Saturday, June 16, 2012


Dear Friends,

I'm in a medical insurance conundrum. I'd like to tell you my problem, and I would appreciate your advice. I'm sure many of you have more experience with making insurance decisions than I do.

Here's the situation: I have COBRA until November, but it costs about $635/month, which is putting me in debt. It's good coverage, especially with the prescriptions I need, but I certainly don't have $600/month in medical bills.

I spoke to an agent at a large well-known insurance company. She said that an individual policy would cost me about $1,000/month. Yikes!

I'm not proposing that I give up medical insurance altogether, but I see online ads all the time for health insurance options. So today I decided to respond to an email offering a health insurance quote. I spoke to an agent at  He said that I could get insurance through a group plan by joining an organization. The insurance would cost about $330/month. If what this man said is true, then the prescription coverage is quite good, and office visits are pretty well covered.

I told him I wanted him to send me information in the mail so I could go over it with Favorite Young Man and make a decision. He said he didn't have a conventional policy to send to me, but I could Google U.S. Health to get more information.

Now, here's the bad stuff I found. I Googled U.S. Health and found nothing. I also looked for reviews of and read a few complaints -- one from someone whose agents didn't give him up to date information about coverage and one that said to get insurance through that you first have to pay $100+ to join the organization and then you have to make your first insurance payment immediately. Another person said she had an information booklet her agent gave her and she could never figure out from looking at it what is covered and what isn't.

However, I also looked at a Web site about scams that said did not appear to be a scam. This was in one brief paragraph, and then the writer went on in detail about something that is a scam.

The Better Business Bureau sight said that has no complaints against it and no unresolved issues. Although I read those three reviews about problems, three is a very small number. When a company really is a scam, usually it's easy to find scads of complaints about it online. seems iffy to me because the agent can't send me information that I can look over to see what's covered and exactly what the costs are. But the BBB says no complaints or cases have been filed again multiplan.

Can anyone advise me as to what I should do? If I don't make a change now, when November rolls around, unless I've found a job with insurance, I'm going to have to get some sort of medical plan.

Infinities of love and thanks in advance for any help you can give me,

Janie Junebug

P.S. I just spoke with an agent from Assurant. He said they are one of the five major insurance companies writing individual policies. He told me about a plan that would cost 350/month. It covers major medical and all recommended services such as mammograms and colonoscopies are free. Has anyone heard of Assurant? Do you know anything good or bad about them?

I'll also research Assurant and look for customer reviews.


  1. How long have they been in business?

    I honestly don't know enough to advise you. I've only had insurance coverage through jobs and am now on medicare and can't even afford supplemental insurance, so haven't had to deal with comparison shopping. Very, very best to you on your quest and I hope somebody else has some advice.

  2. ANY legitimate company would have full disclosure and a policy. When my husband got his divorce from vampira, she had HIM pay for her cobra.

    I will start checking on Assurant for you.

    It sounds too good to be true.

    My problem is that I was forced to resign 6 months before my pension kicked in so I'm riding on my husband's insurance. BUT, it goes by HIS age, not mine, and he's now on medicare. Everything I need insurance for is a "pre" condition and not covered.

  3. Back. Assurant checks out to be reputable. Of course the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. But look at it this way: Figure out your present deductible. Got it? Okay. Next step: Figure out the difference between the monthly premium of your insurance versus Assurant.

    If your present deductible is $500, and the difference between the premiums is $500 PER MONTH, you could actually go with $1,000 deductible and make your money back in ONE MONTH by going with the higher deductible.

  4. As-u-rant about the coverage? All of them have pros and cons. Do you have to sign a term contract? If it sucks, can you cancel if needed? At $350 a month, it will save you some money. I say give it a try. Or call the state and see what they have to offer. GA has insurance at reduced rates or unemployed, single moms and illegal immigrants.

    1. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS and I'm paying out the wazoo? I'd think you were kidding, but I know better.

  5. Thanks, everyone. L.J., I looked at those numbers and I will do well with Assurant. Coffey, I'll check about the term contract. I don't think there is one. Unfortunately, I am not a single mom, nor am I an illegal alien. I also have too much money to qualify for state programs, but not enough to continue paying the COBRA.

  6. Once I start to talk about health insurance in the U. S., I get so upset, I will start to rant. So I better be quiet and let you know I hope you will find what is right for you. It must be in writing with every exclusion clearly stated. Fortunately for me, I get ours from where I worked at the University of CA. With Medicare now and it's great.

    1. I understand how you feel, Inger. I have already received information in writing from the Assurant agent. It lays out everything that's covered and not covered. Fortunately, I have only one pre-existing condition. I understand now that is a network of insurers and not an insurance company as Assurant is.

  7. There has to be something in writing!!!! If there isn't, they can change things all the time on you! Something sounds really fishy there. Just because there are only 3 complaints could mean that people just didn't want to bother writing a review! You know I've been in an insurance dilemma for years now and finally got something being on disability. I did find that there are pharmacies that will give you decent discounts if you beg...yes beg. Walgreens was one. You have to speak to the pharmacist directly. The cost of going to the doctor and the cost of my meds (6 regular meds) wasn't as much as what monthly insurance premiums would have cost. I know that all depends on each different situation but I'm just offering you my experience. Humana has coverage for people besides those on Medicare. They are pretty good from what I can see but I don't know the costs. Check them out! Let me know how you made out! Good luck. Hugs.

    1. I don't have any problem with getting down on my knees and begging.

  8. I agree with the above in that if they can't give you a WRITTEN contract, stay away. And really REALLY look at what is covered and what is not... I have BCBS which is HUGELY reliable here, and yet, my coverage seems to change monthly. I upped our plan when we got married to better coverage for twice the cost and yet, in the end.... we'd been better paying out the expenses as they happened and going with the lesser coverage. *sigh* The whole process will be evaluated in November again... when I can think clearly...

    Good luck darling.

  9. Dear Janie, I wish I knew enough to help you, but I don't. I had BlueCross/Blue Shield of Minnesota before I retired in 2001. Since then, of course, I've been on Medicare, which is so wonderful and I feel so blessed to have it. With regard to prescriptions, I am able also to be part of the Prescription Drug Coverage for the elderly. I go with Coventry and that's fairly good.

    I do so hope you can find relief. Like Inger, I bemoan our health care system in the United States. It's bankrupting our country and our citizens.


  10. When ever I read about the medical insurance industry it makes me glad that I don't have to face those kinds of dilemma's over here in the UK.

    I wouldn't know where to start in giving advice but it seems the kind folk above have some great tips.

  11. We were on cobra until a few months ago. I'm excited because, although our deductible is higher, we're paying less and actually have better coverage now. We went with one of the Regence Family Plans.
    Best of luck,

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