Health Care Solutions For Real Life
"Share Your Story" is a regular feature of Covertheuninsured.org that asks readers to share a personal story about a problem due to the lack of health insurance. Unfortunately, the column stops short without giving a response that will best address the current crisis. MedSave.com, a provider of low cost and temporary health insurance, steps in to offer solutions through OnlineAdviser.
Original story posted at http://covertheuninsured.org/stories/index.php?StoryID=35
Story #35 Sarita Scarbrough of Houston, Texas is an industrious business owner whose printing firm employed 10 people at one point in the firm's past. She also works a second job. She has had no health insurance since 1998 and admits that she struggles with the cost of ordinary well care like annual exams.
Texas utilizes a unique implementation of federal HIPAA law (the law designed to ensure availability of health insurance) that offers commercial health insurance to all applicants but the process is difficult for many residents. The availability of the Texas Assigned Risk Pool gives a false sense of security. Too many Texans make the mistake of waiting until after they have a health problem to seek health insurance and this is too late. The best strategy is to find affordable insurance before a health care problem develops.
OnlineAdviser: Business owners make many spending decisions and too often health care for the business owner is placed on the bottom of the list. Usually the owner feels that they have no choice on this allocation of expense payments. This behavior must change. The best approach is a commitment to values-based management (rather than management by need or crisis) and monitored long term project to improve business profitability.
Sara's decision to use independent contactors rather than employees is smart for a number of reasons, including health care. In Texas, ten individuals can buy higher quality health insurance at a lower collective cost than a business with ten employees. This is primarily due to the ability to customize each person's coverage to make the best use of h. There are likely a number of other benefits of using independent contractors rather than employees. Sara should have her adviser review the current arrangement to ensure that she meets state and federal criteria for independent contractors and can legally avoid . Sara also has an inherent interest in ensuring that each of her sub-contractors has access to health care solutions and/or professional help to deal with the same problems.
The most important issue in this situation is that Sara must change her thinking, personal financial priorities and financial behavior to make health care a priority. Many people pay more for morning coffee over the year than for routine health care. There is no real reason that a healthy person working full time in any occupation would not be able to afford the cost of an annual physical exam that probably costs less than $300, including lab tests. Sara's admission of difficulty affording this small cost is a clear indication of a need to change personal financial behavior.
Sara should immediately enroll in a low cost health insurance as a temporary solution. A plan that covers catastrophic expenses would be priced at less than $80 per month in the Houston area if the deductible is set above $1000. The policy will also help her pay for routine health care like a mammogram and PAP smear as recommended by the standards of the medical profession without the need to pay the policy deductible. This short term solution will give her time to explore other options and develop a strategy to pay for comprehensive health care.
MedSave.com offers a number of low cost health Texas health insurance options at http://www.medsave.com /low-cost-health-insurance-listing/tx.htm starting at $75 per month. The best value is "Secure STM" at $105 per month for a 2500 deductible comprehensive coverage. This is one of the nation's highest quality comprehensive major medical insurance plans that includes a prescription drug card and other "extras". A second choice (in the event of an eligibility issue) would be Celtic Insurance (www.celticenrollment.com) at $111 per month. More information and reviews are available on the Web site.
These solutions are not easy and hard working business owners may not appreciate a "tough love" approach to their health insurance problems. After all, in this care, Sara has come a long way one her own merits and may resent being told that she must change the way she manages her business and her finances. This is a normal reaction. Yet all successful business advisers know that the way to solve a difficult problem like this is to change the way we look at the problem.