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Health Insurance California Companies Question & Answers

2014 September 27
by Sarah Fields

James asks…

What should Americans do regarding the new Congressional health insurance structures?

What should Americans do regarding the new Congressional health insurance structures, given that many Americans can’t make sense of them or do not know their health insurance status under the new rules and structures, and some updated information or revision information may not yet be available from health insurance corporations?

Sarah Fields answers:

This is regrettably impossible to answer in this type of forum. The most important thing is that each state has a scheme to implement health care. Medical? Badger care? It depends on the state, so someone wanting to know the progress of health insurance reform would have to research both the state and federal programs. As far as an individual is concerned, you need to make an appointment with your human resources officer. Do not just drop in, but send an email in advance or interoffice mail with your specific question so that you get an answer that has been researched. I think that health insurance will become compulsory like in Germany eventually. In California it is prohibited to “lemon drop” customers just because they make a claim. This has not proved to be a problem for the insurance companies. The next big problem is “cherry picking”. The insurance companies want to only accept the customers they think will not make any claims. Compulsory insurance purchase ironically is Republican in ideology.

Ken asks…

Can I terminate an employee in California who does not qualify for FMLA?

This employee has qualified for the California state disability, and provided a doctors note which ended 3 weeks ago. This person claims they are still seeing specialists and does not know what is wrong yet, but doesnt want to quit employment because the company is paying this persons health insurance premium every month and doesnt want to lose that. This person is not working, does not qualify for FMLA or the California version based on our companies employee count in the area. Is there anything that would prevent us from terminating for non performance?? The employee claims a person cannot be terminated while on California disability at all. Suggestions?

Sarah Fields answers:

Hire a CA lawyer. Your state is so messed up, no one but a CA lawyer could give you a reliable answer.

Charles asks…

How much average does a family of four pay annually or monthly for health insurance?

I’m currently in the military and plan on getting out in 3yrs. I have an EF but people in the service forget about health insurance (because its free now). I want to set my family up. Just wondering what would I be looking at paying when I separate for a family of four so I can start saving

Sarah Fields answers:

It does not matter, because what an “average” family pays is not what you will pay.

In approximately 4 states (notably New York), insurance companies must charge the same price for all adults from age 19 to age 64. This makes the price in those states several times the national average. For example, I paid over $200 per month (for one person) in one of those states and then moved to a state without that rule, where I paid less than $70 per month.

In most states, the price is based on the age and health of the adults in the family. Any health problems you have from your military service could easily increase the price by more than a factor of 20. For example, a person in California might pay $100 per month with no existing health problems, but over $2000 per month (this is for one person) with existing health problems.

I have never heard of anyone paying the “average” price, or anything close to it.

Your best option may be to get the military to send you to Iraq or Afghanistan for a few months. Anyone who serves in war after September 11, 2011, gets a few years of free VA health care when they leave the military, before they have to buy health insurance.

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