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VTVEGANDBERRY  March 2009

VTVEGANDBERRY March 2009

Subject:

Re: health insurance

From:

Howard and Lisa <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 13 Mar 2009 16:59:48 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (266 lines)

Well, its possible that I have been grandfathered in as I joined quite
a while ago. Like I said earlier,you need to check with your local
Chambers for current requirements...

On 3/13/09, Fertile Fields Farm, Lori Schreier and James Warren
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
> I called the Chamber in Brattleboro today and they said you are not eligible
> just because you are a member of the market even if the market is a member.
> The insurance is only available to employees of the market.
>
> Lori Schreier
> Fertile Fields Farm
> 916 River Road
> Westmoreland, NH 03467
> (603) 399-7772
> www.fertilefieldsfarm.com
>
>
> If you want to go fast, go alone.
> If you want to go far, go together.
> African proverb
>
>
> In a message dated 3/13/2009 3:18:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> Thanks Mike, several things,the option of having to go without
> coverage for 6 mo to be eligible for VHAP is not an option for most.
> For a lot of farm couples,without children or children that are now
> grown and fled, we find that we are over the income threshold to be
> eligible. Not so good. As I mentioned in previous post, if you belong
> to a farmers market that is also a member of the Chamber,you are
> automatically eligible for the insurance program. Or at least that was
> the case several years ago,you would have to check now. We pay about
> 560.00 per month for the 2 of us,. The coverage is thru CIGNA and it
> does include eye.
>
> On 3/13/09, Ewetopia <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Some more thoughts on options for health insurance:
> >    1) While it is extremely admirable to offer health insurance to one's
> > employees, I would suggest that you could compare the wages you are paying
> > to the eligibility for VHAP (VT Health Access Plan) and to the State's
> > Catamount Health.  I think most of your employees would be eligbile unless
> > you are paying very, very well and/or they have spouses with high enough
> pay
> > to push them beyond the wage limits.  Having children changes the
> > eligibility since it changes household size which is a part of their
> > formula.  I have worked with a number of farmers who were unaware that
> they
> > could qualify for these programs for themselves, let alone their
> employees.
> > I was on VHAP for a number of years when I was still farming
> full-time--very
> > good coverage.
> >    2)  Almost all children of farm employees in VT will likely qualify for
> > "Dr. Dinosaur".  Recently, my wife began to teach in the public schools,
> and
> > we considered adding our children to her health plan through the school
> > district.  But, when we made the comparsion between the school plan
> premiums
> > and the Dr Dinosaur premiums, Dr Dinosaur won out, so we continue with
> that
> > State program, and continue to be eligible for that program.
> >    3) Prior to my wife working through the school, I had my health
> insurance
> > through Farm Family Insurance.  Specifically, through Farm Family, I had
> my
> > plan from Blue Cross of NEW YORK, not VT.  Apparently, the insurance
> > companies have an exemption that allows them to go out of State to provide
> > health insurance for farmers.  This insurance premium rates for Blue Cross
> > of NY were significantly lower than Blue Cross of VT.  In my particular
> > case, the premium was also better than what I would have gotten by going
> > through the Chamber of Commerce when Chamber dues were included (every
> local
> > chamber has dramatically different dues rates).  But, I definitely know
> many
> > businesses for whom going through the Chamber for health insurance is
> > definitely the best approach as mentioned in a previous posting (this is
> > especially true if are already a chamber member or have other reasons to
> > join).
> >    4) Not all "high deductible" policies are alike,  and just because they
> > have a "high deductible" does not make them the best deal--there is NOT a
> > direct correlation between the deductible and the premium--none of this is
> > straightforward.  Some are eligible for "Health Savings Accounts" ("HSA'")
> > and some are not.  I thought that I had a "high deductible" policy when I
> > looked into HSA's.  It turns out that even though the deductible was high,
> > because Farm Family also had an additional eye benefit that it tacked onto
> > the Blue Cross-NY, it didn't qualify.   When I switched to a legally
> defined
> > "high deductible" policy that qualified for an HSA (also with Blue Cross
> of
> > NY), not only did my premium drop substantially, but ironically so did my
> > deductible by $2000!!!  I lost the eye benefit, but gained a free annual
> > physical, which I thought was a good deal.  My new lower premium ended up
> > being comparable to what I would have paid if I had gone over the State's
> > Catamount program.  The benefit of a HSA (in addition to the lower
> premium)
> > is that any money put into the account is not taxable as long as it is
> used
> > for health care ( I believe that this includes dental and eye as well?  It
> > probably could be used to pay premiums/co-pays on Dr. Dinosaur as well?).
> I
> > believe that the employeer can deposit money directly into an employee's
> HSA
> > account, and the employee can use the money for both premiums and co-pays,
> > etc?  Check with the insurance company and/or your accountant on that.
> The
> > HSA account can be set up at most any bank (I first got looking into it
> when
> > Chittenden Bank had an article about them in their "Socially Responsible
> > Banking Fund" newsletter).
> >    5) Haggle with your insurance company, or at least really press them on
> > getting you the best option.  I had had the unofficial, high deductible
> > policy for a number of years thinking that was the best deal that I could
> > get.  I only got to the official, high deductible/HSA policy after I told
> > Farm Family that I was dropping my health insurance because the premium
> was
> > increasing so rapidly and they were raising my deductible.  I told them
> that
> > I was going to go through the waiting period to get back on VHAP/Catamount
> > (you used to have to be without health insurance for a year to be eligible
> > for those State programs.  I think they have dropped that to 6 months or
> > so?), now that our family size was large enough that our income qualified
> > for me to be eligible again.  As soon as the company realized that they
> were
> > going to lose my health insurance account, they looked around and a day
> > later came back with the much cheaper, better benefit HSA policy.
> >
> >    Good luck finding your way through the health care maze.
> >
> >  Mike
> >  Mike Ghia
> >  Ewetopia Farm
> >  Grazing, Soil, Crop, and Farm Business Consulting
> >  UVM/Intervale Farm Viability Business Planner
> >  UVM Grazing Technical Assistant
> >  UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
> >  POB 276
> >  Saxtons River, VT 05154
> >  (802) 869-1214
> >  [log in to unmask]
> >
> >  ----- Original Message ----- From: "Howard and Lisa" <[log in to unmask]>
> >  To: <[log in to unmask]>
> >  Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 9:48 AM
> >
> >  Subject: Re: health insurance
> >
> >
> >  If you belong to your local Chamber of Commerce,or your Farmers Market
> >  belongs(they should!) you can buy into the state wide Insurance
> >  offered by the Chamber. It has the best rates going,because of its
> >  large group pool.
> >
> >  On 3/13/09, Fertile Fields Farm, Lori Schreier and James Warren
> >  <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > I never filed a claim with them so even though I have their policy
> through
> > > the Chesapeake Life Insurance Co, I have no more insight.
> > >
> > > Lori Schreier
> > > Fertile Fields Farm
> > > 916 River Road
> > > Westmoreland, NH 03467
> > > (603) 399-7772
> > > www.fertilefieldsfarm.com
> > >
> > >
> > > If you want to go fast, go alone.
> > > If you want to go far, go together.
> > > African proverb
> > >
> > >
> > > In a message dated 3/13/2009 5:46:36 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> > > [log in to unmask] writes:
> > >
> > > I went to google the NASE and lots of reports of scam showed up with
> their
> > > insurance. Anyone have any insight?
> > > Richard Wiswall
> > > Cate Farm, VT
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: Fertile Fields Farm, Lori Schreier and James Warren
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 8:58 AM
> > > Subject: Re: health insurance
> > >
> > >
> > > we have ours from NASE, National Association for the Self Employed but
> we
> > > don't have employees.
> > >
> > > Lori Schreier
> > > Fertile Fields Farm
> > > 916 River Road
> > > Westmoreland, NH 03467
> > > (603) 399-7772
> > > www.fertilefieldsfarm.com
> > >
> > >
> > > If you want to go fast, go alone.
> > > If you want to go far, go together.
> > > African proverb
> > >
> > >
> > > In a message dated 3/11/2009 6:37:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> > > [log in to unmask] writes:
> > >
> > >  We are pursuing health insurance for our employees. If anyone else has
> > > pulled this one off and wants to share wisdom and/or commiserate about
> it
> > > contact me directly. Thanks, Pete
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Pete's Greens at Craftsbury Village Farm
> > > 266 S. Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, Vermont 05826
> > > 802-586-2882, #7
> > > www.petesgreens.com
> > >
> > >  ________________________________
> > >  Worried about job security? Check out the 5 safest jobs in a
> recession..
> > >
> > >  ________________________________
> > > Worried about job security? Check out the 5 safest jobs in a recession.
> > >
> >
> >
> >  --
> >  Howard and Lisa Prussack
> >  HIGH MEADOWS FARM
> >  742 Westminster West Road
> >  Putney, VT  05346
> >  802-387-6050
> >  [log in to unmask]
> >
>
>
> --
> Howard and Lisa Prussack
> HIGH MEADOWS FARM
> 742 Westminster West Road
> Putney, VT  05346
> 802-387-6050
> [log in to unmask]
>
>  ________________________________
> Worried about job security? Check out the 5 safest jobs in a recession.


-- 
Howard and Lisa Prussack
HIGH MEADOWS FARM
742 Westminster West Road
Putney, VT  05346
802-387-6050
[log in to unmask]

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