By: Trudi Gilson,
Husband is completing his training miles and was wondering about good medical insurance that doesn’t cost alot. MCT has ITCP, does one have to go with that company if you drive for them? Between the both of us with extra coverage it look’s like $700 or so monthly. These days this is a pretty silly question but just wondering. Thanks Trudi
Response from Vicki:
This is a great question and not at all silly. It is entirely reasonable that you should be concerned about truckers medical insurance — or health insurance — since the possibility of injury or illness is just as great or greater for professional truck drivers than those employed in many other occupations. As we state on our Health and Wellness page,
It was very unsettling to read an article stating that commercial truck driving is the ninth deadliest job due to work-related incidences, but could possibly be the deadliest when “heart complications, blood clots, and other sedentary lifestyle related abnormalities were factored in.”
In answering your question, please be aware that we are not insurance agents or health advisors. Our perspective is on helping professional truck drivers save money. You must weigh all of the factors concerning your personal situation, financial outlook, and health needs to come to a decision that is right for you and your husband. Given that understanding, here are some questions and guidance.
First, my husband Mike and I went through an evaluation of our own health insurance needs in 2009. His trucking company offered a specific health insurance policy from a specific health insurance company that we did not like. Mike started searching for options in a way that may be similar to what you’re doing now. We detailed a lot of what happened on our Open Enrollment page. Please read that page, including all of the information under our Money Saving Tip section.
Second, since your husband is completing his training miles, it is possible that his trucking company may provide a health insurance benefit after his probationary period is over. Depending on his company, the probation period for new drivers may be 90 days. What will you do if something happens during that time period? Will you have any insurance at all?
Third, do you have any health insurance at all right now from any sources? We do not advise that you “let go” of any existing insurance until you’re absolutely sure that you’re covered by another “just in case” something happens. Things can happen during a policy lapse period just as easily as during a covered period.
Fourth, once you have multiple options, decide which single or combination plan works best for you. Mike speaks of a “coordination of benefits.” Sometimes folks get one policy for the major stuff and a secondary policy for smaller stuff not covered by the first. Also, are there others in your family whom you need to consider covering?
Fifth, if you have someone in your area like this, it might be in your best interest to search out a knowledgeable health insurance broker. You may or may not be aware that an agent usually works for just one company whereas a broker can go shopping for you from numerous companies and write a policy for you based on your needs (within the limits of what a company offers). One of the things that we appreciate about our health insurance broker is that she watches out for us when there is a policy that may be a better value for us than the one we currently have. She also provides advice based on her long years of experience in the field.
Sixth, please be aware that certain people are employed within the insurance industry to make sales. They may try — through a number of techniques — to pressure you to buy a certain policy (or among a group of policies) or make a decision by a certain deadline. Remember, this should be your decision, not theirs. On the other hand, be aware that there may be deadlines to apply for certain coverage under a trucking company’s open enrollment plan. This plan will most likely be what you are “locked into” for an entire year. So it pays to do your due diligence up front.
Seventh, we encourage you to ask questions about anything that you may not know or understand regarding insurance terminology or policy specifics. Remember what a health insurance or medical insurance policy is for: it does not remove risk, it only spreads the risk. Given that, be aware that a “cheap” policy may not provide everything you need when you need it and that buying a “Cadillac” policy that covers everything at a much higher cost may be considered throwing your money away if you don’t use it. Consider which types of health care you’re most likely to use and what having a higher or lower deductible could mean to your finances. Only you and your husband can balance all these factors into a decision that is right for you.
We hope this helps. We’d greatly enjoy hearing back from you to learn whether or not any of our suggestions and money saving tips help you.