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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2007 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Buying private health coverage

By Vicki Lee Parker


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) When Owen Moore got married 20 years ago, he asked his wife to add him to her company health insurance plan. He figured it would be cheaper than the coverage he had with a private insurance.

He was wrong.

"She was paying $300 a month, plus other costs. I was paying less than a $100," said Moore, who owns a property management company in Raleigh, N.C.

Now Moore, 57, pays $276 a month for health coverage for his wife, 50, and their 9-year-old daughter.

In exchange for the low monthly payment, Moore has a high deductible of $10,000.

Many people think the way Moore used to - that it's impossible to find affordable health insurance on the private market.

But that doesn't have to be the case, especially if you're young and have no major health problems. That's why a recent Census Bureau report is so troubling. It showed that 47 million people were uninsured in 2006. Of that group, about 8 million were 18 to 24 years old and 22 million were working adults.

If you're working - or even if you're not - you owe it to yourself and your family to get coverage. With a little research, you can find affordable options. Even if you're not in perfect health, you might be able to find coverage you can afford.

And like Moore, if you don't mind a high deductible, you could even do better on your own than with an employer plan. And not all deductibles are as high as Moore's.

Mary R. Jones of Wake Forest, N.C., found that out two years ago.

She was working at a manufacturing company that offered expensive coverage. Total premiums for her family were $700 a month, of which her employer paid half.

Because she had worked in the health insurance field, she knew she could find a cheaper policy. Now she pays $253 a month for herself, her husband and two children. And though she has a $2,500 deductible per person, she has invested the money she saved by forgoing her employee insurance plan.

"We are willing to take a little bit of the risk and put that money in the bank," Jones said.

Finding affordable insurance is a little easier than it used to be because of competition and the Internet.

Many major insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield give free individual quotes online.

There also are online insurance agencies, such as eHealthInsurance, that will provide quotes from several insurance companies. If you don't have access to the Internet, you can call the companies and get a quote over the phone.

The Web site www.ehealthinsurance.com is easy to use and requires minimal personal information to get a quote, such as your family members' ages and information on their smoking and drinking habits. It quickly computes your data and provides you with dozens of quotes from insurance companies including Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and CoventryOne.

When you click on the plan details, you get a list of copayments for regular doctor visits, specialists, prescriptions, mental health and other medical needs.

For instance, quotes for a single mother with one child included $215 a month with a $1,000 deductible, a $132 monthly plan with a $10,000 deductible and a $560 plan with no deductible.

Don Stroud, the owner of Wake Forest insurance agency Hartsfield & Nash said that though insurance companies are starting to offer more options, these plans are not ideal for everyone.

"The plans don't tend to work well for people who have some health concerns or people with younger children," Stroud said.

Consumers in these categories usually have to pay a higher premium to get a lower deductible. Some insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions from the coverage. For example, Jones said her insurance company does not cover treatment for her husband's pre-existing back condition.

Typically, after you get a quote from an insurance company, you fill out an application that requires more medical details. If you have no health problems, it's unlikely the insurance company will require a physical or additional medical records.

But if you have existing health problems you might be required to provide more information. If you haven't had a recent physical, you might be required to get one at your own expense. As in Jones' case, the insurance company might decide not to cover the pre-existing condition. But you could still get coverage for unforeseen medical problems.

Like any purchase, consumers have to be very careful in selecting an insurance company.

Recently, a number of companies have been caught selling fake policies, said Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

Pearson urges that before consumers do business with any insurance company, they should call their state insurance department to check the company's status.

"We can tell them how many complaints the company has had, whether it has had any licensing problems or has been fined or had any regulatory actions taken against it," Pearson said.

There are also a number of independent companies that rate insurance companies, she said.

They include A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's, Wiess Rating, and Moody's Investors Service. These companies rate insurers' financial strength and their ability to pay claims, as well as customer service, she said.

Moore said he has no major problems with his private insurance policies over the years. In fact, he has helped a number of friends find cheaper coverage in the private market.

"It's just like when you shop for a car," he said. "People will be surprised what kind of deals they can get."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Vicki Lee Parker is a columnist for The News & Observer. Comment by clicking here.

Previously:

Better Business Bureau ramps up
Two beeps, one item: Listen for overcharges
Recalls: What to do next
Do your homework before home repairs
To tip or skip it: Gratuity must be earned
Advice is free, if you look
Hire a cleaner who won't clean you out
Teach children smart money tips that will keep them busy all summer long
Warning: Don't trust the ATM
Reasons to beware of ‘We Buy Homes’
Too wise to fall for a scam
Untethering cell phone from carrier
Re-check your credit card rewards
Treasure might be buried in medical bills
Tax-time saving tip: Free filing is available
College money is waiting; don't procrastinate
Extended warranties rarely worthwhile
Too busy for tax planning? It'll cost you


© 2007, The News & Observer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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