How Many People Stay in Their Job For the Health Insurance?

“How many people would quit their stinking job that they keep for the health insurance?”  I wrote this in yesterday’s post and as I re-read it I thought it might be a good question for readers of  Tucsoncitizen.com.

Do you know people who have remained in a job they hate because they need the health insurance?  Or is this your story? Have you ever thought you’d like to start your own business or become a writer or painter…but you can’t pursue your dreams because you need the health insurance that comes with your current job?

Let me tell you a story from just last week.  I was talking to a couple who bought a house here in Arizona and intend (or maybe “intended” is the right word) to live in Arizona full-time.  They moved here from Washington state and the husband is on Medicare so he was looking for a Medicare Advantage plan in Arizona.  It turns out his wife is younger and has an individual insurance policy through a “high risk” insurance plan offered through the state of Washington. The wife has a condition that makes her an automatic decline for individual health insurance through all reputable (meaning “real”) insurance plans in Arizona.

The wife’s insurance plan from Washington told her she will be dropped because she is no longer a resident of Washington state.  This couple had not realized the wife could not get individual insurance when she moved to Arizona.  We talked about what options the wife might have and the only thing I could think of was that  they needed to go back to Washington.   They could keep their house in Arizona but could only be here as “snowbirds”.

I must admit that I also told them that Washington is a progressive state that believes everyone should have access to health insurance. In Arizona, our “leaders” don’t think it’s necessary to make health insurance available to everyone, even those who are willing and able to pay for it.

What Next?

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8 Responses to "How Many People Stay in Their Job For the Health Insurance?"

  1. Gillian says:

    As of August 1, Arizona finally has an option for the uninsurable, though it has passed the buck to the federal government to run its required (thanks to the healthcare reform bill) high-risk pool. All states now have healthcare reform-related risk pools until 2014, when those with pre-existing conditions who apply for healthcare coverage can no longer be turned down.

    The Washington couple can go to healthcare.gov to get an application. No word on premium costs yet, but premiums are capped at 125% of an average individual policy premium.  Hope that helps!

  2. medicareblogger says:

    The premium for the high risk pool will be $688 per month for anyone aged 55-64.  That seems a bit steep to me.  Plus this woman does not want to be uninsured for six months.  The rules for getting into the high risk pool are that a person must have been turned down by an insurance company and be uninsured for at least six months.
    The high risk pool in Washington state seems a lot better price-wise than the federal plan.

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