I am thinking of leaving my current job to do appraisals full time but the Health care issue is a big problem. What does everyone else do for Health Insurance? Is there any plans that the Professional Org offer? Is Cobra a option??
Most residential appraisers are "single person" shops with few, if any, benefits like group insurance. If you can do a cobra I would recommend it. I am very thankful my wife works for Walmart Corporation...we are covered under her policy.
My wife has life insurance as well. My old job had great benifits but valued us cheaper than a half eaten pear
I was looking around a few websites for insurance just as a hypothetical situation and i can sum up my findings in one word.
I think the cheapest i saw was 450.00 and the deductables and what they payed was plain aweful...
Mike is right...alot of places are Mom and pop type operations so benifits are scarce but not impossible to find
Even group insurance is not all it is cracked up to be. Groups like appraisers and geologists (where I have a group policy thru the AAPetroGeologists) were cheap when their members were young. Now the average Geo and Appraiser alike are over 50. Claims are up, investment profits down. My $30/ a month went to $100/mo. so I upped the deduct to $5,000. Now it has zoomed to $5,600 per year for this high deductable. I anticipate it will increase to $10,000 per year by 2006.
Check AARP if over 50. Check BC/BShield thru an applicable group, i.e.- my local electric co-op has group insurance (avg. age should be lower), and if you have arthritis, mild hypertension, high colesteral, etc. you are screwed. You are stuck where you are or will suffer at least a 3 year wait until those related items are covered. .....ie.-high blood pressure reading could give the co. a chance to reject you for potential heart or stroke problems, diabetes, kidney disease...in other words you will pay a premium for years before it is worth anything, because almost anything could be caused by High BP.
Ter, the reluctant supporter of National Health Care. Hillary was right, as much as it sticks in my craw to say it.
Use your COBRA until it runs out-12 or 18 months, I forget which. Then, if you are basically uninsurable like I am (quadruple bypass 3 years ago; too many ultimate cheeseburgers), "portability" may be your only option-any insurance company you apply to has to take you (federal law), but the premium is pretty high. I have BS/BC for about $650/month and feel pretty fortunate. And don't let it lapse, 'cuz you'll never get it back.
I agree with Dave, since my husband and I went through the same thing. When my husband retired at 62 he kept his COBRA for the 18 months allowed, during those 18 months we went shopping. Finally just as the 18 months expired we found an insurance company that only cost $650 a month for my husband and $200 a month for me. Other insurance companies were way higher. All insurance companies had to take my husband because of the existing insurance but if there had been one day after the COBRA coverage lapsed--he would have been out of luck. So that $800 a month insurance policy paid 80% of the doctor bills and had a $15 co-pay on prescriptions for the remaining 18 months until my husband turned 65. Then he went to medicare and medi-gap, which pays all the doctor bills but the only prescription insurance available is a 10% discount. So now that both of us are on medicare-medi-gap we still have the $400 a month charge for both of us--and $500 a month for prescriptions. So as "retired" senior citizens we are still having to spend around $900 per month for health coverage. When I have a second to think, I am very glad I enjoy appraising so tremendously because Social Security won't pay the bills---and medical costs. One or the other but not both!
all this talk of cobra being the right way to go... not always the case. i recently left a job with fully paid health and cobra was approx. $800 (harvard pilgrim). i did some shopping and excluded all the rinky-dink plans with $5,000 deductibles ($400/mo mega-life). found bc/bs for $400/mo. this is because my cobra only offered single and family coverage, rather than "subscriber plus 1" which fit best for my wife and I seeing we have no children. take into account the pricing point are for a 26yr old couple. but as you see cobra was not a best fit.