F*ing Health Insurance

For the past month I’ve been trying to get our insurance plan set for 2017.  I don’t get insurance through my work, and my husband is self-employed, so for the past few years we have gotten insurance through the health exchange. It’s a mess between the health exchange in my state (which did its own and not the Federal one) and the state Medicaid website. Now with 2 days until the deadline to enroll, I’m still fighting with them trying to get their systems to talk to each other so that I can pick a plan for my family. I honestly have lost track of how many hours I have spent on hold and/or talking to representatives who simply point their fingers at the other team and say the issue is with someone else.

In the meanwhile, I’m shopping plans as a guest just by entering our ages, sex, tobacco status, and county of residence. Below are the 3 best plans available in our area. At this point, we have gone from 3 options to just 1 insurance company in the exchange in our part of the state, so it’s a total monopoly. We also live in one of the 2 most expensive counties in the state for health insurance because of the demographic (construction workers and outdoor adventurers) who are more likely to get hurt and use their insurance I guess. Add to this the fact that premiums have gone up roughly 40% in our area, and yeah… fuck this shit.

The three plans show below are the cheapest option available for our totally healthy family of 4, the cheapest HSA plan available (which I generally use so that we can at least put away some income pre-tax to use for health related bills), and the most expensive (i.e. supposedly the best) plan available. I mean, seriously? This is like having to pay another mortgage.


I hate insurance. It was broken before. It’s broken now. And I don’t know how to fix it. But I hate it.


  1. Wow. That’s absolutely crazy. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know how bad. Another mortgage is right! $17,000 alone in premiums is not doable. Add on top of that deductible costs and holy shit.

    1. Right? I’ll probably go with the HSA plan again, and if anything major actually happened (please God no), we’d be $40k in for the year by the time we hit our deductible and paid our premiums. It’s just ridiculous and unsustainable.

  2. I really hope they get their stuff together before the deadline. Dealing with health insurance for anything is a nightmare. It’s not fair when you’re being responsible and they don’t seem to care about deadlines. I am so sorry you’re dealing with this 🙁

  3. Elizabeth D · · Reply

    I know you’ve commented before on my Facebook insurance rants. It’s such BS. We are in the same boat since my husband is self employed and I stay home. We pay a more expensive monthly rate to get us the best coverage possible. We are all healthy (knock on wood) and generally only bring the kids to the doctor 1x yearly each for a sick visit. I just feel better knowing that god forbid someone have a serious health issue we can go to any hospital we want for treatment & care and we’ll never have to sell our house to pay medical bills. But yes, it’s like a second mortgage. Definitely a huge downside to being self employed. I’m STILL having my dental insurance problem. Still no coverage but you bet they’ve been cashing my checks every month. Bastards.

    1. We go with the higher deductible plan simply because random acute visits are done for free by my boss (I work at the local family practice clinic) so i don’t have to worry about paying for office visits for acute issues. It’s literally just a catastrophic plan for worst case scenarios and it still costs us nearly as much as our mortage. *sigh*

  4. The system is so, so broken. Before my husband’s new (at the time) job picked us up we were spending $25K a year in premiums for Kaiser, and that was with my husband having the cheapest plan with the highest deductible (we all had decent plans with reasonable co-pays and quality RX coverage). When my daughter was born she cost me $125/mo to add, which is what I cost to cover alone when I first bought my own coverage at 24 (six years earlier). By the time my son was born 3.5 years later it cost $475/mo to add him! That is a 300% increase in as many years! It’s insane how much it costs. And I can guarantee that repealing Obamacare is not going to bring down prices. Once they raise them, they never bring them down.

    1. Oh yeah, repeal of the Affordable Care Act is only going to make prices go up, not down. . . and is going to prevent some folks from getting insurance to boot.

      Yeah, it’s a big mess.

  5. I’ve been hearing a lot of similar complaints from local friends who are self-employed. Maricopa County, Arizona, which has a population of nearly 4 million people, now has only a single insurer available to people purchasing health insurance through the exchange. (It’s made the national news.)

    About 15 years ago, a friend of mine had a bumper sticker that said “Our national health plan: Don’t get sick.” That about sums it up.

    1. *sigh* Exactly.

    Working for a University they give us amazing health insurance. I can’t believe how much you as a healthy family of 4 have to pay. Wow. Hope they can figure it out so you can get enrolled too…

    1. Yeah, and we pay that much to still have massive deductibles! It’s a total mess. :\

  7. This is unfathomable to me. I pay $1200 for private health insurance which gives me basic cover plus extras for optical which i basically use about $1000 of per year. When I go to the doctors I pay $75 and get about $45 back. If Molly is sick she is usually free. Or we go to the public hospital and pay nothing. I know you can’t compare appples and bananas (350m v 22m people) but still. Something is super wrong here.

    1. You pay $1200/year?!

      1. I could pay nothing! My sister doesn’t pay a cent. I just pay a bit more for priority! I’d still have yo pay for IVF / dental etc but run of the mill – nada. Molly’s hips cost me zero. My friend who had a unicorn paid $500 this time. If j managed to have a baby that sticks this time I would be about the same out of pocket unless if I wanted a private OB then maybe about $3k

        1. IVF still expensive tho. No subsidies and all private does is give you hospital / surgery but not the actual IVF that’s still expensive. And when mum went thru breast cancer she was out of pocket for scans and specialists etc as she went private

        2. I meant $1,200/yr was crazy cheap. Wow. American insurance sucks.

  8. I am floored. I had no idea it was so insanely expensive. That is a LOT more than my mortgage. And we of course have public health system which works wonderfully, but choose to get private coverage as well through our works – mine and Nacho’s are free and the kids come to maybe 1000€/year. And you know how insanely good my coverage is…

    Anyway, moral of the story – February visit to Madrid becomes a job/house-hunting venture!! 😉

    1. Our four round trip tickets to come see you literally cost the same as one month of health insurance coverage. This is fucked up.

  9. I truly feel for you guys that don’t have employer-paid health insurance. I cover my family of 5 in NC for <$300 per month with pretty low deductibles and copays. It's one of the main reasons still work full-time doing what I do, so I can provide health insurance for my family.

  10. This really is bad, this is probably the #1 reason I wouldn’t want to live in the US. What my kiwi friends living in the US complain about.It is super scary. We pay $1500 a year for private health care for 3 of us. It’s just really for if we need hospital or specialist care we can get it fast. It is a choice we could just go public and it would mostly be free. It costs us about $60 to go to the doctor (Toby is free until 13yrs). People with lower incomes get subsidised. It isn’t as good as the UK by any stretch but it isn’t so bad. Good luck I don’t know how you do it.

  11. Shannon C. · · Reply

    Have you looked into a sharing plan like Medi-Share? I don’t have experience, but know some self employed people that have been happy with it. It seems like it would be ideal for someone like you that truly only needs insurance for catastrophic events.

    1. I haven’t, but know ppl who use it. The problem is medishare doesn’t meet ACA requirements so you are still penalized come tax time.

  12. It’s crazy how much work goes into figuring shit like this out. Whenever I do stuff like this, it makes me wonder how other people do it. You KNOW a massive percentage of the population is not putting as much? any? thought or effort into this stuff. Being responsible blows.

  13. […] the past couple of days I have been scrambling, trying to figure out what the hell to do about our health insurance conundrum. I was researching exemptions because one of my coworkers told me her son always claims the […]

  14. Out of curiosity, because I don’t know how this works, are there tax breaks that help bring down your overall premium payment?

    1. We are literally like $1k above the AGI that qualifies for it, so no.

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