Reader tales of private health insurance

Following are several of the responses we've gathered from Bankrate readers, who e-mailed us their experiences with private health insurance. All names of specific insurance companies have been changed to "Fake Insurance Co."

For more about how to shop for private insurance, see " Buying private health insurance." To compare insurance policies and quotes, visit, a Bankrate company.

Dear Bankrate,
We have been self-employed for 18 years now and have nothing offered that is even remotely affordable. The offers are $3,000 deductible and $700 a month. Who can do that? I used to have Fake Insurance Co. but they cut me off when they changed a rule and no longer allowed us depreciation on vehicles.

But if we don't spend income we pay the federal government. It's a vicious cycle for the self-employed. The state got involved recently. We now pay to have a license, where five years ago they were not involved. I think there should be health insurance for JUST the self employed. We were born in Canada, have lived here all my life, and won't give up my Canadian rights because if I ever got sick I could have FREE medical. Why would I ever give that up? I can't register to vote but don't care because my health is far more important in my opinion.
-- Sue

Dear Bankrate,
I am self employed and insured, but at a price. I'm 62, my wife is 55 with two children, age 11 and 15. I have a deductible of $1,000, a PPO policy with Fake Insurance Co., and a premium of $8,556 every three months. Help!
-- Dave

Dear Bankrate,
I am very happy to share my story with you. I work as a real estate agent and as you know, the market slowed down in 2007 and 2008 has been somewhat of a challenge for us in this industry. In October 2007, I was able to get a temp assignment and enrolled in the company's group health insurance plan with Fake Insurance Co.

Unfortunately, in late February 2008, my assignment ended and I had to sign up for unemployment. The great blessing is where my insurance plan was no longer being deducted through payroll deductions with me earning wages, I now had to manage to pay for my health insurance (medical, dental, life, and disability) through calling in weekly to Fake Insurance Co. to make the payments.

I have been able to retain my insurance through the company's group rate, which costs me an estimated $130 a month. Coming out of $141 a week unemployment, this seems a lot, but I am very thankful to God because previous policies I have had through COBRA or paying directly myself have cost me an estimated $300 or more through Fake Insurance Co. or other insurance companies.


The rates for self-employed or individual policies can cost a fortune or it can seem a fortune when you don't have sufficient or no income to pay for it. By working for a temporary staffing agency and being a part of their group rate has afforded me the opportunity to stay insured and I am thankful.
-- Barbara

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