How Far Would You Go to Bring Down Your Health Insurance Costs?
Some company owners will go to great lengths to save money, and then there's Rabbi Craig Ezring.
Ezring, 56, gets his health insurance through a small corporation he formed, and this year, the cost jumped 38 percent. The bill: An eye-popping $18,636.
"I needed to come up with a solution and fast," the Boca Raton, Florida, rabbi wrote on his blog.
His solution: Find a young wife.
Why? He did a little research, and found out the small business rate he gets at United Healthcare is based on the age of the owner of the company. (He says, for the record, that United has been "wonderful.")
"So I thought about marrying a 21-year-old and making her the owner of the company," he writes. "But let's face it, 21 is a bit young for me."
Ezring's first wife, who served as the company's bookkeeper, died four years ago. He'd thought the cost of his insurance would drop, but instead it rose precipitously, partly because Ezring had heart bypass surgery a couple of years ago. (He notes that his cardiologist says he's in "better aerobic shape" than most people his age, and that he does Zumba two to three times a week and ballroom and Latin dancing twice a week.)
So Ezring, a rabbi at several South Florida nursing homes and assisted living centers, stopped by the nurses' station on his rounds. He announced if any of them had good health insurance and would like to get married, he's available.
"Rabbi, we work in health care, we don't have good insurance...you're looking in the wrong place," came the reply.
So he did what any 21st century rabbi would do and took his plea to the Internet, saying he was looking for a good younger woman with better copayment figures.
"Give some thought to the possibility of marrying me...a good insurance plan is all I ask," he wrote. "Okay there maybe one or two other things I ask for, but sadly, right now insurance has become a top priority."
So far, he's had a few "comical offers," he told Kaiser Health News.
Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.