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Old 08-05-2009, 10:10   #1
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Cheap Health Insurance for Cruising Families

We're back in Georgia and it's time to pay the piper and get a job to make some cash. We coasted back home with less than $1,000 in the bank.

We currently have a catastrophic health insurance policy that has a $10,000 deductible which costs us $235 per month set to go up in July to $299. We found out that my wife is pregnant and of course the insurance won't cover the pregnancy. The average healthy pregnancy costs about $15,000!

We went and saw the OBGYN and they suggested Medicaid Pregnancy. We went and applied. My wife is now fully covered for the pregnancy with any doctor that accepts the Medicaid.

But here's the interesting part.

My wife and 19 mo old child (and maybe even I) qualify for a Medicaid health plan (there's two health plans in Ga.) if we earn a combined income of less than $28,800.

Frankly with the work and cruise plan- that's not too hard to stay under. In fact, right now making more than that is tough!

The coverage is excellent and includes dental and vision! $10 co pay and includes prescription medications. The comparable health insurance for us as a family is about $800 per month (prenatal plus an infant and two adults) without the dental and vision or the prescription coverage.

In addition, depending on where your humility lies- there's a federal program called WIC that is for Women, Infants, and Children. It provides a nutritional supplement for low income families.

Now here's the last kicker. We qualify for food stamps. We live on our 30 year old sailboat, which we own outright, and pay for a cell phone and a slip fee (currently- pregnant momma still getting morning sickness). Our choice to live a simple life

Now understand, we've always worked hard and have been self employed all our lives. We have either paid through the nose for healthcare or gone without because individual health care plans are SOOO expensive. I have never qualified and still don't for unemployment benefits. We have worked hard, harder at being self employed than if we were employed by BIG CORP to make a living with a certain amount of freedom and autonomy.

But now, this is craziness. If I earn less than $29k the government will provide me better health insurance than if I earned $40k per year. Because I choose to live on a sailboat and only want to work enough to pay the bills and keep cruising, the government will not only provide us with health care but will also give us food.

I'm not an advocate for letting the fed gov paying your way, but when the dichotomy is so great between basic health needs and costs for families you can't help but try to take advantage of programs that will provide proper health care for my wife and child.

Depending on the states you legally reside in- check out the requirements for Medicaid. You might be surprised.
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Old 10-05-2009, 21:29   #2
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When my boy was a baby I lost my good paying job as a result of the company dissolving the branch that I worked out of. I couldn't find a job that payed even close to what I had been making (semi-rural area) so I took a job that paid half. My wife couldn't work at all because my son was very sick in addition to having been born with a birth defect and premature. I qualified for the food stamps, WIC, and Medi-Cal. I had to apply to get the health insurance for my kid and we qualified for the other stuff too. I thought I was too proud to accept public assistance but I couldn't get any insurance any other way at that time. I took it all and it was fine.
I rationalized it in my head by admitting that I really did need the help, that I had paid in to that system for years, and that I was spending the food stamps on quality healthy food for my family, not Fillet Mignon or frozen dinners and soda pop.
Now I am neither happy or ashamed that I took the help. Nobody ever disrespected me that I was aware of. I was surprised by that.
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Old 10-05-2009, 21:32   #3
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BTW, I priced health insurance through Costco a couple of months ago and it was only in the mid $300.00 range for a family of three, regular insurance not just catastrophic.
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Old 10-05-2009, 23:14   #4
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Health Insurance here in Ga.

First off, we have always been self employed. None of the insurance quotes are group rates.

We used to have Blue Cross Blue Shield. For a $2,000 deductible with $40 co pay for a family of 3 (2 adults at 37 and an infant less than a year old) it was over $500 per month and there was no prescription plan included, immunizations were not included, no dental, no vision.

We switched to a lesser known insurance company here in the south with a $10,000 deductible for a family of 3 and it was initially $239 per month. $40 co pay the same, no prescription plan, no dental, no vision. This year it's up to $300.

We used to have Kaiser Permanente, and they were better rates than Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia- but the coverage is only good in the City of Atlanta for Georgia.

Someone once told me, You can't play the game if you don't know the rules. I guess I'd better learn the rules...
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