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rongo

Missionaries and health insurance

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My family doesn't have health insurance. The missionary application contains several pages requesting coverage and carrier information. Does anyone know if having vs. not having insurance is a factor in where missionaries are assigned? I would assume that missionaries without insurance coverage are simply covered by a Church policy (if needed. I never went to a doctor and knew of only a few who ever did)?

Would this tend to influence where missionaries might or might not be sent?

Thanks!

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Even when we had to go to the doctor for something (stateside), the church insurance handled it regardless of if the missionaries had personal coverage or not.  Our mission President's wife was always talking about how we had to get permission to go to the doctor because it cost the church a lot of money and she didn't want us going for every little thing.

One of the sisters that I lived with had type 1 diabetes and she had to use her insurance for anything relating to that though.  Maybe it's just an issue with pre-existing conditions?

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Well, the way the paperwork is worded (several pages worth), it emphasizes repeatedly the cost to the Church, and the importance of defraying this cost through privately-held insurance. That made me wonder if uninsured missionaries go into a separate "bucket" for assignment --- with actuary tables and risk management being the primary consideration. 

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welcome to Canada! nobody that I know of had insurance and so you risked it. I had some dental problem but a member initially paid it but then my folks sent the brother money for it. When I was going out people got sent to either Belgium, France or California so I think they sent us wherever but I don't think ti had anything to do with coverage

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I thought Canada was a universal health insurance paradise on earth. ;) 

ETA: I'm opposed to universal health care. We had health insurance when we had our children, but it is much more cost-effective not to have it (if you are healthy, of course). My monthly premiums for high deductible coverage are about a third of my income. And that buys us the right to pay 100% of the first $2600 in medical expenses. Since our only medical expenses are my wife's blood thinners, we simply pay for that. I pay $200 in cash every summer to have pre-cancers burned off of my face. So, barring someone getting leukemia or something, it doesn't make sense to pay over $15,000 per year for the right to pay the first $2600 of medical costs (and then 80/20 after that). 

Edited by rongo

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1 minute ago, rongo said:

Well, the way the paperwork is worded (several pages worth), it emphasizes repeatedly the cost to the Church, and the importance of defraying this cost through privately-held insurance. That made me wonder if uninsured missionaries go into a separate "bucket" for assignment --- with actuary tables and risk management being the primary consideration. 

I really don't know, and they could easily be doing things a lot differently now than they used to.  I just know how it worked in my mission in 98-99 in Northern California.

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I really don't know, and they could easily be doing things a lot differently now than they used to.  I just know how it worked in my mission in 98-99 in Northern California.

Yeah, it looks like it's now "primary coverage" first, and then the Church now.

I'm all for not incurring frivolous costs for the Church, I just hope that it doesn't prejudice assignment. 

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4 minutes ago, rongo said:

I thought Canada was a universal health insurance paradise on earth. ;) 

ETA: I'm opposed to universal health care. We had health insurance when we had our children, but it is much more cost-effective not to have it (if you are healthy, of course). My monthly premiums for high deductible coverage are about a third of my income. And that buys us the right to pay 100% of the first $2600 in medical expenses. Since our only medical expenses are my wife's blood thinners, we simply pay for that. I pay $200 in cash every summer to have pre-cancers burned off of my face. So, barring someone getting leukemia or something, it doesn't make sense to pay over $15,000 per year for the right to pay the first $2600 of medical costs (and then 80/20 after that). 

in Canada! when you leave the Garden of Eden though you are advised to get health insurance, paying 40$ for a week in the States is better than 4000$ for a broken arm or something. I hear you but think of it as a big pot, I may not need anything right now but someone needs a lung transplant and if everyone puts something into the pot the cost can be covered so you aren't stuck with some outrageous bill, it's covered. It doesn't cover everything, like dental or elective surgeries and some stuff has to be done elsewhere as there doesn't seem to be a doctor here or whatever

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2 minutes ago, rongo said:

Yeah, it looks like it's now "primary coverage" first, and then the Church now.

I'm all for not incurring frivolous costs for the Church, I just hope that it doesn't prejudice assignment. 

FWIW there was a missionary here a few years ago who had hip problems and couldn't walk that well, he would get tired easily. Anyways he put on his application not to send him to a proselyting mission, well they sent him here which is a huge mission, lots of walking, super cold etc. and he lasted not even a year and he went home. I am not sure what they expected him to do or what but he wasn't wanting to go to a proselyting mission

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3 minutes ago, Duncan said:

in Canada! when you leave the Garden of Eden though you are advised to get health insurance, paying 40$ for a week in the States is better than 4000$ for a broken arm or something. I hear you but think of it as a big pot, I may not need anything right now but someone needs a lung transplant and if everyone puts something into the pot the cost can be covered so you aren't stuck with some outrageous bill, it's covered. It doesn't cover everything, like dental or elective surgeries and some stuff has to be done elsewhere as there doesn't seem to be a doctor here or whatever

When I lived in Montana, there seemed to be a lot of Canadians who would come over the border for health stuff because the wait was too long in Canada.  I think the most well known case had something to do with a family who was having multiples.  Every system has its flaws.  If Canadians are smart though they will pray mightily that the US never follows their health care example because then we'd all be going to Mexico or Europe to get past the long wait times.  :lol:

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4 minutes ago, bluebell said:

When I lived in Montana, there seemed to be a lot of Canadians who would come over the border for health stuff because the wait was too long in Canada.  I think the most well known case had something to do with a family who was having multiples.  Every system has its flaws.  If Canadians are smart though they will pray mightily that the US never follows their health care example because then we'd all be going to Mexico or Europe to get past the long wait times.  :lol:

the wait can get long depending on how much your Dr. likes to talk! I wouldn't mind going to Europe on the government's dime🤑 I got this thing, Dr. Cumberbatch, heal it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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42 minutes ago, rongo said:

My family doesn't have health insurance. The missionary application contains several pages requesting coverage and carrier information. Does anyone know if having vs. not having insurance is a factor in where missionaries are assigned? I would assume that missionaries without insurance coverage are simply covered by a Church policy (if needed. I never went to a doctor and knew of only a few who ever did)?

Would this tend to influence where missionaries might or might not be sent?

Thanks!

It's a good question and I don't know for sure. There was one couple I worked with who submitted missionary paperwork without insurance. They ended up purchasing the church insurance and I think they paid extra monthly to be on it but they were sent over seas.

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7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It's a good question and I don't know for sure. There was one couple I worked with who submitted missionary paperwork without insurance. They ended up purchasing the church insurance and I think they paid extra monthly to be on it but they were sent over seas.

My parents are retired, only have social security/Medicare, and my dad is a vet (so, VA, for that that's worth).

When they were in Poland, my dad had a huge malignant tumor on his crown. The Church wanted to send them home for surgery, and he didn't want to go. So, they paid for it themselves, and vaulted in front of years of people as cash customers. He actually had the entire tumor removed by a plastic surgeon, with a graft from his thigh. Complete success! They were very impressed by this Polish doctor, and he dug down deep to make sure he got it all. The graft "took," and so far, so good. They were actually at a big advantage paying for it out of pocket, because the wait time is long there. I think they would have had to come home otherwise. 

ETA: 

They landed in the Czech Republic yesterday for their second mission. 

Edited by rongo
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1 hour ago, rongo said:

Would this tend to influence where missionaries might or might not be sent?

I wouldn't think that insurance, or lack thereof, would make any meaningful difference when it comes to assignment.

Certain preexisting medical conditions, however, might very well keep one from serving in some missions. 

 

Edited by Amulek

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

I thought Canada was a universal health insurance paradise on earth. ;) 

ETA: I'm opposed to universal health care. We had health insurance when we had our children, but it is much more cost-effective not to have it (if you are healthy, of course). My monthly premiums for high deductible coverage are about a third of my income. And that buys us the right to pay 100% of the first $2600 in medical expenses. Since our only medical expenses are my wife's blood thinners, we simply pay for that. I pay $200 in cash every summer to have pre-cancers burned off of my face. So, barring someone getting leukemia or something, it doesn't make sense to pay over $15,000 per year for the right to pay the first $2600 of medical costs (and then 80/20 after that). 

If my wife didn't have health insurance through her employer, our cost would be about a third-quarter of our income as well. My brother is a member of a Christian Medical Sharing Plan, but I think some of those have limitations for pre-existing conditions. Nevertheless, I think they allow one to avoid tax penalties, and represent a good option for self-employed or low income people. If we didn't have my wife's insurance, I think we would also be heavily utilizing a health-savings account, and buy cheap high-deductible health insurance. I don't know if a Christian Health Sharing Plan qualifies for this purpose though. 

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Had three vertebrae fused before my mission.

Served in the US, in an area that basically functions like a different country functions.

Got in a fight w/ a comp. whose mental health Rx weren't working.

Not sure but believe my Dad's health insurance covered the doctor's visit and oxycotin Rx I recieved but never used.

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Separate question (and I know I need to ask someone with financial expertise on this, and not just people on a message board. It doesn't hurt to just hear some ideas, first, though! :) )

What are the ramifications of my son filing his own taxes (1040 EZ) in February and not being claimed as a dependent by me? I realize that this reduces my refund, which I'm totally okay with. I have no federal tax withheld, and get a large "refund" back. I don't really consider it to be my money, anyway. 

What I'm wondering is if filing for himself would reduce his Pell and other grants, because his "need" would be calculated on his small single young adult income. Would that drastically reduce his grants if he wasn't claimed as a dependent in a family of six with a teacher's income? He would file his 2018 taxes, and then we would file his 2019 (for income January through June) and he wouldn't have any 2020 income to report while he's on his mission

We're just trying to not get his school financing reduced because he filed for himself instead of being a dependent under me. I really have no problem at all having a reduced "refund" because I have one less child listed as a dependent. But, we don't want to cause bad financial problem for him.

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27 minutes ago, rongo said:

Separate question (and I know I need to ask someone with financial expertise on this, and not just people on a message board. It doesn't hurt to just hear some ideas, first, though! :) )

What are the ramifications of my son filing his own taxes (1040 EZ) in February and not being claimed as a dependent by me? I realize that this reduces my refund, which I'm totally okay with. I have no federal tax withheld, and get a large "refund" back. I don't really consider it to be my money, anyway. 

What I'm wondering is if filing for himself would reduce his Pell and other grants, because his "need" would be calculated on his small single young adult income. Would that drastically reduce his grants if he wasn't claimed as a dependent in a family of six with a teacher's income? He would file his 2018 taxes, and then we would file his 2019 (for income January through June) and he wouldn't have any 2020 income to report while he's on his mission

We're just trying to not get his school financing reduced because he filed for himself instead of being a dependent under me. I really have no problem at all having a reduced "refund" because I have one less child listed as a dependent. But, we don't want to cause bad financial problem for him.

FASFA (government grants and loans department) requires that a student input their parents tax returns regardless of if they are still living with the parent, the parent is providing for them at all, or if they have filed their own tax returns.  This only changes if the student is 24 years old, married, has a dependent of their own, or is a veteran or active duty in the military. 

It's dumb.

Edited by bluebell

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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

FASFA (government grants and loans department) requires that a student input their parents tax returns regardless of if they are still living with the parent, the parent is providing for them at all, or if they have filed their own tax returns.  This only changes if the student is 24 years old, married, has a dependent of their own, or is a veteran or active duty in the military. 

It's dumb.

Well, they want to know how much your family *could* help you with school, if they really wanted to. ;) 

That sounds like we should be okay if he files his own. He's looking at about $10,000 in income (his mission money, surplus in savings). He would have to file our tax returns with his FAFSA, anyway. There are no hidden resources there! :) 

What's dumb was that we filed his FAFSA last year on October 1, when it opened, because some grants are based on availability, and filing date prejudices selection. It didn't sync with the IRS like it did for my wife's FAFSA, so we had to input all of the tax info. The syncing made it super easy, but it also means that FAFSA trusts your numbers. We had to do the "Blue Verification" process to prove our tax returns were valid. We couldn't just provide copies of our tax returns for the last three years, we had to obtain a "tax transcript" from the IRS (which is just a "certified" copy of tax returns). It was a huge hassle, and I've been told by other early filers that they had the same problem. So, as our high school makes their big FAFSA push for seniors on October 1, I'm thinking maybe it might be good to wait a few weeks at least . . .

Do you know if my son needs to do another FAFSA this year (mission summer 2019- summer 2021)? Or, does he/we need to do it fall of 2020 for reentry fall of 2021?

New territory for us! :) I didn't even file a FAFSA (not sure if it even existed in the late 1990s).

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5 minutes ago, rongo said:

Well, they want to know how much your family *could* help you with school, if they really wanted to. ;) 

That sounds like we should be okay if he files his own. He's looking at about $10,000 in income (his mission money, surplus in savings). He would have to file our tax returns with his FAFSA, anyway. There are no hidden resources there! :) 

What's dumb was that we filed his FAFSA last year on October 1, when it opened, because some grants are based on availability, and filing date prejudices selection. It didn't sync with the IRS like it did for my wife's FAFSA, so we had to input all of the tax info. The syncing made it super easy, but it also means that FAFSA trusts your numbers. We had to do the "Blue Verification" process to prove our tax returns were valid. We couldn't just provide copies of our tax returns for the last three years, we had to obtain a "tax transcript" from the IRS (which is just a "certified" copy of tax returns). It was a huge hassle, and I've been told by other early filers that they had the same problem. So, as our high school makes their big FAFSA push for seniors on October 1, I'm thinking maybe it might be good to wait a few weeks at least . . .

Do you know if my son needs to do another FAFSA this year (mission summer 2019- summer 2021)? Or, does he/we need to do it fall of 2020 for reentry fall of 2021?

New territory for us! :) I didn't even file a FAFSA (not sure if it even existed in the late 1990s).

I've filed so many different times, it's a huge pain.  They will take your parents income (unless you meet one of those previously mentioned criteria) into consideration even if they provide $0 for schooling, which I do not think is at all fair.  

My son just had to do FASFA as a junior because he goes to a public charter school run through Weber State and they can earn their Associates at the same time as they finish high school.  They do it through a scholarship though (to account for the tuition that the student isn't actually paying).  We didn't have any problem with tax returns not syncing but maybe that's because he was already connected with a scholarship?  Oh my goodness who even knows!

I'd call the school and double check to see if you need to file again.  I would assume that you didn't, but you probably want to be sure.

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

They landed in the Czech Republic yesterday for their second mission. 

You'll have to keep us (me, ha) updated, like what cities they are in, etc. My favorite city by far was Uherske Hradiste, in the southeast of the country in a region known as Slovacko. It is such a lovely place of traditions, folklore, old babickas with headscarves stopping traffic as they cross the road with their goats, fun accents and dialects, beautiful rolling hills, and wonderful friendly people. Hopefully they can spend some time there, especially in spring/summer.

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

Separate question (and I know I need to ask someone with financial expertise on this, and not just people on a message board. It doesn't hurt to just hear some ideas, first, though! :) )

What are the ramifications of my son filing his own taxes (1040 EZ) in February and not being claimed as a dependent by me? I realize that this reduces my refund, which I'm totally okay with. I have no federal tax withheld, and get a large "refund" back. I don't really consider it to be my money, anyway. 

What I'm wondering is if filing for himself would reduce his Pell and other grants, because his "need" would be calculated on his small single young adult income. Would that drastically reduce his grants if he wasn't claimed as a dependent in a family of six with a teacher's income? He would file his 2018 taxes, and then we would file his 2019 (for income January through June) and he wouldn't have any 2020 income to report while he's on his mission

We're just trying to not get his school financing reduced because he filed for himself instead of being a dependent under me. I really have no problem at all having a reduced "refund" because I have one less child listed as a dependent. But, we don't want to cause bad financial problem for him.

It won’t effect his school aid or grant money because they will take your money into account either way until they are 24.

If he is paying out of pocket for some school tuition and book expenses it will effect claiming education credits. In my family, this helped because as parents, we didn’t qualify but as a non dependent, my kids did. Up to $1000 can be used as a tax credit even if you don’t owe or have that much taken out.

Under the new tax plan, you will only lose a $500 credit come tax time.

We can’t claim my college freshman because she must gain Utah residency this year.

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You should not have to file a fafsa again until the fall before he plans to attend.

He will be gone next fall/winter so it would be a waste of time. 

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12 hours ago, rongo said:

My family doesn't have health insurance. The missionary application contains several pages requesting coverage and carrier information. Does anyone know if having vs. not having insurance is a factor in where missionaries are assigned? I would assume that missionaries without insurance coverage are simply covered by a Church policy (if needed. I never went to a doctor and knew of only a few who ever did)?

Would this tend to influence where missionaries might or might not be sent?

Thanks!

My son left for his mission August 1 of this year.  We have insurance for the family, but it doesn't follow him after he is 18 and out of high school, so he has no insurance but the Church.  He was sent to the Philippines. I don't remember a lot of pages on that--just a NO. ?  Ha ha.

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12 hours ago, rongo said:

Yeah, it looks like it's now "primary coverage" first, and then the Church now.

I'm all for not incurring frivolous costs for the Church, I just hope that it doesn't prejudice assignment. 

Maybe you could get a really cheap plan for now and then you wouldn't be lying. 

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