I’ve written several times previously about how there are several alternatives to conventional health insurance that can provide protection against catastrophic medical expenses. These include health care sharing ministries, short-term health insurance, critical illness insurance, and fixed-benefit insurance. For people who can’t afford conventional health insurance or who want to opt out of Obamacare and what I call bureaucratic medicine, these can be excellent alternatives.
One of the interesting things I’ve begun to see is a growing number of companies that are beginning to market alternative insurance products directly to people as an alternative to Obamacare or conventional health insurance. They have to be careful of course and include all of the legally required disclaimers (appropriately so, I think) that these policies are not health insurance and do not meet Obamacare’s definition of a qualified health plan (meaning someone who uses one of these policies in the place of conventional health insurance is still subject to the tax on being uninsured).
Bill Brann, one of the partners at Obamacare Alternatives, described a little bit about the life insurance policy that is part of the package they often put together for people, and also shared with me his own experience as a self-pay patient (Bill said it was OK to share this info on my blog):
We market as 1 part of our package a term life policy that’s very unique. It comes with 2 important riders that “accelerate” the death benefit on diagnosis of cancer, heart attack and stroke. Meaning you don’t have to die to get the money. A 1,000,000 life insurance policy will pay 90%, 900,000 in CASH benefits to a cancer diagnosis…
The critical illness accelerated benefit rider “accelerates the death benefit” on those critical illnesses mentioned. Just as important is the chronic illness rider, which accelerates on chronic illness, another import feature.
The chronic illness rider is huge – basically a long term care benefit. If I can’t do 2 of 6 adl’s (activities of daily living) I get the money. Up to 90% to 2,000,000 in face amount becomes a cash benefit to the insured. I’m a 52 male. My premium for a 20 year level $2 million policy is $421.63 per month. Our carrier is American National an A+ company out of Galveston, Texas.
We also combine it with a cancer policy which we believe is the strongest in the country. My FAMILY rate is $125.00 per month and it pays $90,000 per year for radiation and chemo as well as travel to care, and surgery. It also covers specific dread diseases such as MS, etc.
Last but not least is the critical illness policy which I have my whole family on which is a 50K cash benefit for cancer , heart, stroke. It’s about $100.00 a month. On a cancer, heart, or stroke diagnosis I get $50k up front and the cancer benefit kicks in. The cancer treatment plan takes over for treatment. If it’s a protracted battle I can draw down the $1.8 million from my life and settle in, ready for the worse financially…
We’ve been recommending this plan to self-employed business owner of all types with success.
Office visits, x-rays, etc. are all paid cash. I’ve located a facility here in Corpus that utilizes nurses aids, and provides office visits for $60.00 and kids $30.00. Here’s their site. They get highest marks from local consumer agency.
The life insurance is the biggest part of the plan cost, which I would have had anyway…
My original blog post about the Obamacare Alternatives agency suggested that they were only licensed to work with people in Texas, Bill has since explained to be that they are actually able to work in all 50 states.
There are a few other companies out there that I hope to write about in the future that are also marketing these types of plans directly as an alternative to Obamacare, including Parachute Health out of Atlanta, Georgia. They appear to be combining accident insurance and critical illness policies, and also provide some helpful information on auto insurance medical benefits. They also have some very interesting information on small group insurance as a way to get Obamacare insurance outside of the open enrollment period.
Lots of Americans are looking for alternatives to conventional health insurance, either because they can’t afford it even if they are eligible for subsidies under Obamacare, or they just don’t want to be part of the system of bureaucratic medicine that dominates health care today. For either group, the types of policies being marketed as alternatives are worth looking into.