Post # 1
Hello Bees, I’m in a bit of a dillema. I’m currently in my last year of graduate school. I currently have a graduate assistantship (part time job that does not offer health insurance) but I’m fortunate enough to still be on my parent’s health insurance. My 26th birthday is next April and I will be cut from their insurance. I graduate at the end of May and then move to a different state to live with my fiancee and begin to look for a job. We will be getting married in late August and I can then be placed on his insurance. I have a history of Melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) and have to go to the dermaotologist every few months or whenever I find a strange spot on my skin. I’m also concerned about getting some of my medications that I’m on. I feel really uncomfortable with the idea of being uninsured for 4+ months. I don’t make very much money right now but my current position helps pay for my school so I can’t find another job. I’m also in an internship to finish school so I am working and going to school about 60 hours per week and have no way of picking up another job. With my current source of income I can’t afford Cobra insurance. Have any of you been in this situation? What did you do? Any ideas or suggestions would be great! Thank you so much! -S
Post # 2
sarahmazing89: I went a short term without health insurance, sadly. My company dropped their coverage, and instead of paying out the wazoo, and knowing we were getting married soon thereafter, waited to get my DH’s insurance. Definitely NOT something I would ‘recommend’, because you never know what can happen, but definitely something that worked out for me nonetheless (knock on wood, no health issures, or RX issues, etc).
You obviously know the cost associated with paying out-of-pocket for your own insurance, and the gamble involved with deciding to not carry coverage. Here would be my ‘tips’ if you choose to wait: Schedule any and all doctors appts from now til April, making your dermatologist toward the tail end of your insurance coverage. Best case scenario, you get a clean bill of health, and the OK to schedule your next appt for August (post marriage) – promsing yourself to being very diligent to refrain from sun exposure, and/or getting ‘odd’ things checked if they pop up (even if you have to pay 100% out of pocket). Your health is nothing to mess with 🙂
Also, for many ongoing RXs (say BC) you get a yearly perscription, so getting them re-filled will not be an issue, but paying for them could be – obviously without coverage. Explain your lapse in coverage to all the docs whom perscribe your meds, and request your ‘new’ RXs be the generic. This will lessen the cost for sure. Also, look into 90-day mail order suppliers, because getting 90 days at a time tends to be cheaper too. If you play your cards ‘right’, then you could re-order meds in March/April from a 90-day supplier, and be good thru July…
Hopefully these are helpful suggestions. And, good luck!!
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
Would you be against a quick trip to the courthouse to be legally married? then you can still do the ceremony in August.
Are you sure you get kicked off on the date of your birthday? They don’t let you finish out the “year”?
Post # 4
Have you looked into short term medical insurance?
Post # 5
OUgal0004: Thanks so much! This is very helpful. I didn’t know that about the 90 mail order suppliers! I’ll definetly look into that. <br /><br /><br />
amberback: My mom just spoke with our insurance company today and they said that my last day of coverage is my 26th birthday. I was hoping they would let me finish out they year too. We have thrown around the idea of a courthouse marriage to make it legal and while I’m very nontraditional, it just feels weird getting married then having a wedding ceremony months after we get married. Thanks for your help!<br /><br /><br />
strawbabies: I’m looking into some now. I’m just worried because I make only a few hundred dollars per month and I’m putting nearly every penny towards the wedding and moving after I graduate. Without a job after graduation even a few hundred dollars a month might be really difficult for me to pay for.
Post # 6
Does your school offer medical insurance? DH was able to get coverage through his law school, though I don’t remember when it cut off exactly.
Post # 7
sarahmazing89: i don’t really have any suggestions other than if you look into short term make sure your read the fine print. They are not subject to health care reform (if you’re in the US) and therefore a lot of your stuff would potentially not be covered anyway. I work in Health insurance, and honestly, in your situation I would either make a trip to the courthouse or pay for COBRA unless you can find a short term where preexisting doesn’t apply.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2015 - Miami, Fl
As scary as it sounds, if I were in your shoes I would just go uninsured till I got married. Rx options that pp has mentioned are good ideas to save money or you could shop around pharmacies and price out how much OOP you would pay for your meds. Walgreens has a prescription savings plan and I know Costco tends to have cheaper prices too. I work front desk at a dermatology office and a lot of our patients are sadly uninsured.
As far as your appointment for your body check with your dermatologist, I would book it a few weeks before your birthday incase any of your biopsies come back positive and require treatment. I’m not sure how your office is run, but we are usually able to schedule patients for surgery (Mohs, scraping, or re-excision) within a couple of weeks. For our patients that have history of skin cancer (BCC, SCC or MM) we schedule them for body checks every 3 months. If everything comes back fine, I think you would be okay pushing your next body check out to 4 months instead of 3 till you are insured. To put your mind at ease about potential spots that may come up, ask your office how much they charge for patients that are self pay. We charge $50 for an office visit and about $250 for a biopsy that is sent to the lab.
Of course this is just my opinion as a front desk girl. Please excuse any bad grammar. I just got off a 12 hour shift and my eyes/brain hurt. Also keep in mind that if there ever is an emergency, an ER can’t deny you for lack of insurance. A lot of these so called “affordable” insurance plans require a monthly premium and you still have to pay towards a deductible when you are seen in an office.
Post # 9
Pepper15: Thanks! This was really helpful and the fact that you work for a dermatologist makes me feel a lot better since you understand a bit about what melanoma treatment entails. I didn’t actually think about going a few weeks before my birthday in case a biopsy is positive, I really appreciate your insight! Thank you! 🙂
Post # 10
sarahmazing89: Does your school offer health insurance? I’m in a similar position (as is FI). We’re both in grad school; I’m graduating in May and he has another year (graduating law school in 2016). At our school, there is a school health insurance plan we can get on as soon as we turn 26. For me, that’s in a few weeks, and the plan goes until the end of August 2015. FI will go on the same plan when he turns 26, and when I start working in August of 2015 (I’m in grad school for teaching, so that’s when the jobs begin), we’ll both get on my new job’s insurance at that time (until he graduates and starts working).
Post # 11
I was in a similar position several years ago and i chose t pay for a crappy but basic insurance plan. I had a couple days without coverage where I was nervous every time I got in my car. I couldn’t handle that stress for 4 months. The plan I had was Humana One and it was only $75 per month, but that was pre-ACA and I didn’t have any pre-existing conditions. But I would defnitely look at private insurance options. I don’t think it needs to be short term because coming off your parents insurance should be a Qualifying even, as would marriage.
Post # 12
sarahmazing89: have you looked into Medicaid? If you only make a few hundred dollars a month, it seems you would be eligible. Otherwise I think you should really, really pay for private insurance. If you can’t afford it yourself, perhaps your fiance or parents could help you cover the cost. I’m extremely opposed to being uninsured under any circumstances, and with your medical history, the likelihood of it being a catastrophic mistake is even higher.
Post # 13
I would apply for Medicaid or get a tax credit on an “Obamacare” plan. It’s worth it. You don’t want 5-6 figure debt if you break your arm or something.
Post # 14
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
Post # 15
the healthcare exchange – right now is open enrollment but since you will no longer be eligible for your parents insurance, that would be considered a life change. you may be able to get subsidies lowering the cost (but they may have high deductibles). the plans are required to cover preventative things like cancer screenings. Still, a $5000 deductible is better than no insurance at all if something bad happens…
oh, the website is healthcare.gov – you can probably go ahead a create an account. And it depends on what state you are in, I’m in one that goes through the Federal Exchange but your state may have it’s own.