Affordable health insurance in NYC?
March 16, 2007 7:58 PM   Subscribe

I am a healthy 22 year old female living in New York City. I am about to be employed as a "casual" employee-- meaning no health insurance. Any ideas about how I can find affordable health insurance (preferably $200/month or under)? Everything I can find through google doesn't cover New York.

I don't need vision or dental or anything fancy. I'd like to have catastrophe insurance at the very least, and preferable some coverage for prescriptions. I don't have any major pre-existing conditions. I'm just about to leave a full-time job where I would have had health insurance for a job where I'm going to be employed on a "casual" basis-- meaning I'll have a monthly salary, but no benefits (I'll be a W-4 employee). I'll need insurance for anywhere from 3 months to a year.
posted by blim8183 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
You might try the Freelancer's Union, although I don't think you can be a W-4 employee to qualify.
posted by bshort at 8:13 PM on March 16, 2007

Check to see if Blue Cross is available in New York. Their Afforda Blue should be in that range.
posted by ranchgirl7 at 8:26 PM on March 16, 2007

This page discusses Healthy NY, plus some other individual plans.

IANAHealthGuy, but have you considered going with a (very) high-deductible plan? Pay for the nickel-and-dime-and-hundred dollar services out of pocket, but make sure the big stuff is covered (and the premiums are lower).
posted by Kibbutz at 8:27 PM on March 16, 2007

I'm getting a good Blue Cross plan (SelectBlue, 1K deductible) in Chicago for about $150/month (I'm a 27 year old healthy male) which pretty much covers everything a great employer plan does. It's actually fairly cheap when you're young and healthy and not planning to procreate.

A cheaper "catastrophic" option is to get a high-deductible policy (5K deductible) combined with a Health Savings Account. The policy will probably run you around $75/month, and you can put money into the HSA tax-free and use it towards the deductible - and unlike something like Flex accounts it carries over to the next year.

Finding a decent "small business" insurance broker is often your best bet for good information in this area.
posted by chundo at 8:53 PM on March 16, 2007

Also, if you just need temporary insurance, you can usually get something cheaper (probably $50/month) for 1-12 months. I used Chesapeake for this when I was transitioning from employer health insurance to self-employment.
posted by chundo at 8:58 PM on March 16, 2007

And FWIW, with individual plans, prescription coverage is rarely worth it if you actively use it. Unless you're in a group plan they'll tailor your plan to cover their costs based on existing prescription usage.
posted by chundo at 9:00 PM on March 16, 2007

I'm done now.
posted by chundo at 9:00 PM on March 16, 2007

you can use cobra to keep your current health insurance for up to 18 months. it doesn't matter if you were fired or quit your last job.

it might be more than $200/month, but not a bad idea to buy you some time while you research plans.

i got my plan through
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:45 AM on March 17, 2007

Whenever people post a question about affordable health insurance, I point them towards Mega insurance. I'm not sure whether they cover NYers, but it's worth looking into; they're monthly premiums can get pretty low if you choose just a disaster coverage with a high deductible.

COBRA can be great, but you have to pay the full monthly amount to your former employer, and that can often be very expensive.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 7:46 AM on March 17, 2007

I just picked up a plan through Golden Rule. It's in your price range. I went with a $2500 deductible.
posted by JamesToast at 7:47 AM on March 17, 2007

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