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Navigating medical insurance without Obamacare

posted Jan 17, 2010, 7:05 PM by Arthur Purves   [ updated Jan 17, 2010, 7:25 PM ]
The average employer-sponsored premium for a family of four costs close to $13,000 a year, ranging from $3,300 in Utah, with minimal insurance regulation, to nearly $17,000 in Massachusetts, where insurance is highly regulated ...

I negotiate with the doctor, hospital, or clinic for a price resembling what my old insurance company negotiated, plus my co-pay, and then maybe I throw in another $20.  Providers are generally quite willing to accept a check, and forgo the overhead they would have incurred if I had insurance.  If Obamacare goes into effect, we will have lost the freedom to be frugal and provide our own insurance as I've just described ...

Doctors hate Medicare because of the paperwork involved and the low reimbursement rate.  They prefer that you pay an extra $125-$160 per month for "Medicare supplemental insurance", which pays them better and more promptly than Medicare alone, and also covers your annual deductibles (currently $135 for medical and $1050 for hospital stays).  But the money I'd save by not paying for a supplemental plan is money available for paying the doctor directly at better-than-Medicare rates, and we're both better off!

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