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The Doctor Is In - We Hope!

Health Insurance.

That is the last, big, semi-stressful question mark looming over our heads. What do we do about health insurance? We are tentatively planning to get monthly US carrier coverage for our trans-American road trip and then getting "travel insurance" or overseas insurance or something right before we leave the continent.

But which insurance carrier? And which plan? And which travel insurance?

Help us!

Have you ever bought insurance on the open market (rather than through your employer)? If so, what carrier did you use? How did you find them? Was your experience positive or negative (or neutral)?

If you have traveled overseas for any extended period of time, what insurance did you use? Did you use insurance at all? Did you need to see a doctor or go to a hospital while you were there? If so, did your insurance (or lack of insurance) come into play?

There's a lot of confusing information out there. Your input is valuable to us!

Photo by Jared Rodriguez/


  1. Jen Vesbit tipped me off to an online health insurance option they used when they were off the grid. Something like e insurance. You fill in a (tedious) online application, and they gave you some different carriers / prices to choose from. I went with Aetna (same company I had thru work, and kept the same doctor). Checkups were still the same ($25), but for serious issues I think I would have had to pay the first $5000. That plan was $71 a month... right up my alley.

  2. Just be careful selecting, I applied once to United and was rejected because I never had my minor heart murmur fully evaluated! Many of them won't take individuals with easily treated conditions like asthma. Also they will exclude certain preexisting conditions from their coverage - i.e. if you have a skin condition that was treated by a doctor before applying for this insurance, they will not cover it if you need more treatment. I'm sure I don't know everything about insurance on the open market, but this was my bad experience!

  3. Hey Ellen!!! Liz shared your blog site with me and well, here I am!
    When I was self employed, I did purchase health insurance myself for a year and a half.
    It's not as expensive as you think and I had very positive experience shoppin for it and in using it.
    BUT, I did use an insurance broker that was able to shop around and was quite familiar with the best plans out there for the money....little did he know that I also did my own research and found the same plan as he did. For me it was nice knowing I had someone else in the "biz" that could offer their knowledge.
    I also have used "international" insurance when on overseas was more like major medical if you will that covered transportation back to the States for care. It wasnt terribly expensive but then again, I only purchased for a month's worth of time.
    Are yo part of a professional association? If so, many times they partner with insurance companies that provide discounted plans...that may be another way to look into things.

  4. I used Fortis when i was self employed. Major medical and it gave me piece of mind that i wouldn't go bankrupt. I never used it and when i did go to doctor i requested and always got a cash discount. 15-40%.


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