Can I keep it? (My health insurance, that is.)
January 2, 2013 5:13 PM Subscribe
Can I keep my excellent health insurance offered through my parents company or do I have to accept the insurance offered through my workplace?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In October, I started my first full-time, salaried professional job that offers health insurance and other benefits. I currently have United Healthcare Choice health insurance plan through a parents employer and am very happy with the doctors that I see- some of which I have been seeing for over 10 years. I see specialists 2x/year for checkups and my prescription refills and a mental health provider every 6 weeks. I really like that I don't need referrals for any doctors and when I have gone to the ER in the past (I actually don't have a primary care doc where I now live) it has never been a terribly expensive amount- no more than $500, including xrays.
I am confused as to whether I must accept the insurance through my new employer or if I can keep the insurance that I currently have. I have read that apparently the Affordable Care Act says that you can stay on a parents plan until the age of 26, unless insurance is offered through your workplace. In 2014, the law will change to allow you stay on the parents plan, but at present, you would have to go. I am curious though, how would anyone ever find out? It seems unlikely that I would be kicked off my parents plan- am I right or wrong? But I have also read that it is possible to have 2 different insurance plans-- for example, if you are married, you can have insurance through your plan and your spouse's plan. My friend who is the same age as me but is still in school and does not work (23) has dual insurance through both of her parents. So what is the real story? Can I have both? And if not, why are parent + work plans excluded while spouse +spouse and parent + parent are allowed?
Background Info Since I Am Anon: I asked a coworker what she thinks about our health insurance, and she told me that it sucks and it is likely because we work at a small company. There are less than 20 F/T employees that are based in our office, whereas my parent's company has nearly 100,000 employees worldwide.
The plan offered through my current employer is Oxford Freedom. There are 3 different plans available, Freedom Direct, Access, and Select which cost $153.75, $197.25, and $261.25 respectively. The coworker that I spoke to said that she pays $60!! for generic birth control on the Access plan. I currently pay $30/3 month for generic birth control on mail order and when I used to get generic at the pharmacy, it was only $15. Even when I got the name brand pill, it was only $30 copay!
So obviously, my employer's plan is not good compared to what I currently have and I do not want to change. It only costs an extra $70 2x/month for my parent to add me as a dependent... That $140/month is a better deal than the cheapest crappy plan which is $153.25/month. I know this might sound like a first-world problem, so before I get flamed, I would like to say that I am thankful that I have insurance period, but I really don't want to pay more for less if I don't have to.
I am 23 years old. I live and work in NYS and my parents do as well, although I do not live in their household. I would be writing the insured parent a check for $140 each month.
Bonus question: How would I evaluate whether a plan is good or not? I just compared prices for PCP visits/specialists/ER and the birth control copay above. Is there something I'm missing? I'm not really sure what the deductible is for UHC but we've never had any problem paying for doctors visits so I guess it isn't horribly high (or low... not sure which is best). All but one of my doctors take both UHC and Oxford.
tl, dr: As a 23 year old with excellent dependent insurance and crappy insurance offered through my own workplace, does the Affordable Care Act screw me over? Or am I worrying for nothing-- because I can be covered by both or because no one would ever find out?