Being self-employed means being self-insured. We have no employer group coverage safety net. Becoming self-employed and then having two kids is the fastest way to learn all the ins and outs of health insurance. We now have a high deductible plan ($7000 to be exact) and an HSA. Managing our health care is a three phase process. Business Week magazine just featured part of my health care story in a special report: Health Savings Accounts: More Time, Less Money.
With Phase One, every year in April I have to spend countless hours researching health care plans, options and costs. I work with an insurance broker, but thus far I haven’t found one that is truly knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of the various plans. I have to do my own research and let’s face it health care policies aren’t exactly easy reading.
Once I have chosen a health plan and filled out all the appropriate forms, applications and consent forms I can move on to Phase Two. Now I have to spend countless hours researching and planning the cost of doctors’ visits, lab fees and all the other endless costs. I have had to make sacrifices to make it all work. For example, I had to leave my beloved obstetrician when I found out I was pregnant with our second child. Why because she wasn’t affiliated with the lower cost hospital.
Finally, I have to reconcile all the bills, quotes and codes. Many of the bills I receive have either a clerical or billing error. So checking up on the billing and making sure everything is priced correctly is the final and most important part. I can now recite many billing codes from memory now.