Do most full time employers offer health insurance or do most people have to have individual insurance? What insurances are available and what are your suggestions.
Most employers do not offer insurance. Most people get their own or do without. The types of jobs that generally get insurance are govt jobs or salaried type jobs, but that is just a rough guideline.
Trying doing a search on this subject in case you do not get many answers or try www.phonebookvi.com
Some large employers do offer insurance, but you usually have to work for an amount of time, usually a year, to be eligible. And often there is no provision for spouse or kids.
If you find an employer who does offer health insurance -- TAKE THE JOB.
Several do. Depends on the job. Where I work it's available after 3 months, I think. Just something to check on when you apply.
If it is provided by your employer, chances are there's an extremely high ($2,000 - $3,000 deductible) if not higher. I agree with previous posts, most are government jobs and hard to come by.
I had a job in the jewelry business for a little while. Health insurance was offered through Cigna after three months of employment - it was about $200 a month out of my paycheck but went up to $450 a month when I wanted to add my spouse. A lot of the jewelry stores offer health insurance and most office type jobs that I've heard of. My deductible was only $1,000.
You can get your own health insurance for about $200 a month as well - that deductible is higher than $1000 I believe, but I think if you pay more per month, the deductible is lower. I can't think of the name of the insurance company off the top of my head, but you can find a couple insurance companies in the phone book - they all sell the same one it seems.
Here's a slightly different perspective on the subject you might not have thought about before. I am one of the owners of the samll company I work for. We offer our employees Blue Cross / Blue Shield. It is expensive as hell and we (the company) don't pay any portion of the premium. The cost to the employee for the family plan is $660.00 per month. They are free to purchase it thru us or to provide for themselves elsewhere.
What most don't realize, and I have to go thru this almost everytime I hire somebody, is that the cost I quote an employee for health insurance is the same amount ALL companies with less that 50 employees are charged by BCBS for insurance. I have to explain to future new employee that there is a "bucket" of $$$ available to pay his or her salary and that that "bucket" is of a fixed size. I could take $660 per month out of the bucket and "pretend" I was giving health insurance to the employee but I'm really not. They are paying for it in terms of a smaller salary. Most just don't know it. The same applies for vacation, sick pay, holidays and any other "benefit". The employee is paying for it.
If you're of good health, and can get insurance on your own, you'd probably be better off negotiating for a larger salary and purchasing health care somewhere besides your employer. You can get an MSA which makes it all tax free, and best of all, it goes with you when you change jobs.
I'm really lucky then. The company where I work pays half the insurance cost. For a single person I pay $14.23 per week for my share. I can't remember the deductible but it's not terribly high, I don't think. It's with Mapfre but we've changed several times because the costs keep soaring. It also includes dental & eyeglasses.
how well does blue cross work here, do you have to pay first and then get reimbursed?
I have used it and all the doctors have gone to accepted it. I just made my normal co-payment and the doctor billed Blue Cross for the balance.
You will be considered out of network so if you use the local VI hospitals it may cost you more.
I go thru TOPA Insurance agency for AmeDex. They can answer all your questions and help you select a plan that works for you. It's not hard to choose a plan because there are only like 4 choices!
In general health care programs in the VI are limited and expensive, but going through an agent ensures choosing the plan that fits your needs so there are no suprises come claim filing time.
Topa Insurance Services, Inc.
Hibiscus Alley, 35 Dronningens Gade, PO Box 6758, St. Thomas, VI 00804
(340) 777-8844 (340) 777-8488 Fax
On STX, the doctors are pretty cool and will work deals out for you if you don't have much money on hand or in general. That won't, of course, be of much use if you need a spleen removed or something, but I'd try to get that done in the states anyway. For stitches and small injuries, though, the doctors are more flexible in terms of payment options (sometimes even trade, depending on what you have to offer) than stateside. Something to keep in mind.
Maybe you can make a list of "the Cool Doctors that Barter their medical services". I'd be interested in that!