My former employer LinkedIn do offer some great plans under COBRA, but when you actually have to pay for all of it yourself, it is - uh - pricey.
So I looked around for alternatives and no surprise, as an individual buyer, your options are limited, and the prices are even less attractive!
I thought there might be some ways to join (or form) a non-employment based group to gain group bargaining power with those mighty insurance companies, and even asked a question related to that on Quora - see http://www.quora.com/Medicine-and-Healthcare/How-can-I-join-start-a-Non-Employment-Group-Health-Insurance
I got a few views, but no answers, yet.
This got me thinking, and the idea of Health Nut Insurance is formed. The gist:
- It is a regular insurance plan (e.g. PPO, say 70% co-insurance, low deductible, low copay...) that anyone should be allowed to buy in, even with questionable health, and the starting premium will be HIGH, say $1000 per individual per month (but hear me out...)
- subscribers can then "earn" kickbacks or discounts for their monthly premium based on verifiable healthy behaviors captured with some bio-metric gizmo (wristband + bathroom scale + pee sampler?) connected to your smart phone - you do have one of those don't you? For example:
- Every mile you run you earn $5
- Every 5 mile you ride your bicycle you earn $5
- Every 10 minute you swim you earn $5
- Every 10 minute you do Yoga or Taichi or meditate you get $5
- Every day you weigh in and show that you are maintaining your weight, or safely lose some if you are a little overweight like me, or safely gain some if you are a little underweight like some skinny ex-super model or recovering patient, you get $5
- If you are overweight, skip a meal to earn $5 (up-to say 3 times a week)
- If you maintain ample and regular sleep you get $5 per week
- ... so on and so forth ...
There is MORE...
- If you drink alcohol, ingest 5 cups of coffee per day, take questionable substance, as captured by highly encouraged weekly pee sample data, your premium goes UP!
- If you do nothing or didn't bother to gather and send bio-metric data, every month you will be reminded with high insurance premium
- If you miss your mandatory annual check up you might even lose your coverage.
Wait, there is EVEN MORE!
- You get to brag about your great achievements on social media Facebook, Twitter, Google+
This way, reasonably healthy and responsible people get to enjoy affordable high quality coverage, and the pool grows bigger and healthier as a result!
I am not sure if this is acceptable under current laws, but I think it is worth a blog post...