He changed his life’s work and now helps people learn to reduce their costs and improve their coverage. Whether laid off in the Pandemic or a small business owner Nicholas shared his expertise.
After being laid off just before the pandemic hit in the US, I struggled with unemployment income and COBRA insurance. Unsatisfied with the option I was given, I looked online to try to find some health insurance for my triplets and I and was so confused. That confusion gave way to the idea that if I have this many questions, I am sure someone else does.
Remembering his mantra of live to give, he made an investment in a career based on helping other people every day and became an appointed and licensed Health Insurance Advisor. After becoming licensed and appointed, I learned so much more about the Health Insurance industry than I thought I would.
How to Reduce Your Own Insurance Costs
Thanks for listening to bowties and business. I’m your host Tim Kubiak. As always, you haven’t done so already. Please subscribe the show, leave us a review on Apple podcasts and tell your friends. You can find us on our socials a bow ties in business on Facebook and Instagram, bow ties and B I Z on Twitter and meet at Kubiak on Twitter, LinkedIn, and timkubiak.com. Today we’re talking with Nicholas Davis from reclaim your premium health insurance is a politically charged debate in the United States. That aside, it is also an expense. In fact, it’s the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States and more than 50% of the people who declare bankruptcy, had health insurance. Nikolas had been laid off before the pandemic hit in the US he struggled with his unemployment income and the cost of his cover insurance. And if you’ve ever been faced with that, you know what a daunting challenge it is. So he decided that of his mantra of live to give made an investment in a career and is dedicated his working life to helping people understand and find better health care solutions for themselves. So with that, we’re going to talk to Nicholas, you’re going to learn a lot from the show whether you’re solopreneur owned a small business and everything in between. So as I was telling everybody in the intro, one of the things that when you run a business, you’re an executive in a business is the health insurance costs for employees really cripple the bottom line. So today, we are going to talk about this with Nicolas, on ways to his reclaim your premium, his phrase, right, and I’ll use a personal example. So when I was working for a large tech company in North America, to insure a family for was $36,000 a year, straight costs. So the employer had to decide what amount they could defer, what amount they put into wage increases and everything else. So we’re going to talk about options and opportunities in ways to lower your healthcare expenses, maybe get a better quality of care. So with that, Nick, can you tell us about yourself, please?
Nicholas Davis 2:03
Yeah, what’s going on? So my name is Nick, Nicolas entirely depends on how much trouble I’m in at the moment. And I’ve got an amazing say, we’re going to be a premium.
Tim Kubiak 2:17
So you make a lot of fun videos. Right? But thank you, it the core, they’re really very educational. So can you talk about some of the things you help companies or entrepreneurs or solopreneurs solve when it comes to that? Yeah,
Nicholas Davis 2:31
absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and I’m gonna use, I’m gonna use myself, I’m gonna pick on myself for an example. So coming from the WTO world, so I was in the WTO world for a really, really long time. I actually, as a matter of fact, the vast majority of my career, so I never really had to worry about you know, hey, you know, it’s open enrollment, okay. The only thing I knew about open enrollment is like, Oh, it’s time to pick your benefits. And I was like, yeah, that that one, you know, as a W two guy, but now that I’m not a wt guy, I’m a 1089. Guy, which is a you know, self contracted individual, solopreneur, entrepreneur, whatever you want to call him. And it’s very interesting, because in most of the states in the union in the US, if you are underneath 50 people trying to get health insurance and you go to the marketplace, you don’t have access to what’s called a PPO. And a PPO is preferred provider option. Right? That means you can pick your hospital and you can pick your doctor, right? Most people are, I would say most people, but most plans that are on the marketplace, if you do not have access to that PPO, and most states of the union is what’s going to be called an HMO, which is a health maintenance organization. So the difference between your PPO and your HMOs is your PPO is allows you to go to any hospital or doctor in the United States. So like when I was on that w two planet work, and or when I was on the W two status as an employee at work, I would get the PPO is like PPO, and it was like What is it called? That’s like, you know, 1250 out of pocket or whatever, whatever it was for whatever employer, but it was PPO, right? So that meant I can go anywhere I needed to with my kids. I’ve triplets, three little girls. And so I could go anywhere I needed with my kids, and my family can take it to any doctor, if they had cancer, I could take him to MD Anderson best cancer, you know, in the best cancer facility in the US. And so, that was great. There’s a good peace of mind for me. But now as I look into these HMO plans, as I’m not a W two guy anymore, I looked into them and I’m like, Okay, so what’s going on with with the HMOs, right? So, and those HMOs, your coverage is restricted to a few counties, and whatever state that you’re in, or even the entire state, right, but once you leave that state, your coverage drastically changes, you know, and you might not be covered for for very many things. Actually. And the other thing about that is is also a lot of major centers of excellence, are denying HMO plans now, which is very interesting. And this is like, you know, under the radar information for the most part, because, you know, I’ve there’s this crazy statistic in the US that over half of the US is bankrupt. And the vast majority of that bankruptcy is due to high medical bills, which is crazy, right? Now, the interesting thing is, is, as an advisor, I’ve looked into that, and over half of that number actually had health insurance when they went bankrupt. And so you might ask yourself, Well, I have health insurance, but if it’s not going to pay for what I needed to pay for, why do I have it? Right. And that’s the that’s the part where I come in and reclaim your premium, right your premiums, like your monthly payment for health insurance. And so what I mean by reclaim your premium is take charge back of take charge back around what it is that you’re actually doing for health insurance, what it actually is that you’re paying for, which is a big deal, right? So I have the ability to help out small businesses and solopreneurs entrepreneurs, individuals and families with PPO coverage, if you’re underneath 50 people, which is pretty great, right. And that’s something that I did not know was available to me until I became an advisor. And now I have access to stuff that’s off of market and on and on market, which is pretty cool. So that is helping out a lot. And then I almost forgot, there’s there’s one more type of health insurance out there. It’s called EPO. And I usually in my videos, I usually have a lot of fun with it. Or I’ll say, you know, think of Lord of the Rings, you know, when building tool, the wall, you know, or one one tiny entity to rule them all. It’s when your health insurance basically comes from one person and that’s it, your hospitals and your doctors. So it’s even more restrictive than your HMOs
Tim Kubiak 6:51
is the person whose wife is a nurse. That’s how our healthcare is structured. We’re in her healthcare system.
Nicholas Davis 6:58
Yep. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. And actually, it’s funny, funny, you should mention that. That’s actually, my, I’m engaged. My feature system a lot as a nurse, which is fun. And she came up to me one day, and she’s like, Nick, Oh, my gosh, the stuff you’re working with sounds phenomenal. You know, I really like the way that you know, it can take care of different things. And, you know, so on and so forth. And it gets really great. And she’s like, yeah, I think I want to switch. I’m like, well, Hannah, cool your jets, just to make sure. Let’s take a look and see what you actually have. And she was like, okay, that’s fine. And so I did a review of her policy for her. And for example, she didn’t know that. She didn’t know that she had chiropractor visits covered because she’d been paying for chiropractor visits, like 1000s and 1000s of rate every year, you know? So she’s like, yeah, this thing doesn’t cover chiropractor visits. I’m like, Well hold tight. And so I take a policy, do a policy document review. And it was somewhere like on like page like 20 or something like that, like halfway down and it really teeny tiny print. There’s a little hyperlink. And so I clicked it. And I’m like, hey, look at this. You’ve got like 40 chiropractors, you can go see, and she was like, Mind blown. And she was like, Oh my gosh, I’ve been wasting money. And I’m like, that’s cool. Don’t worry about it. I mean, well, at least now you won’t going forward. And she’s like, Yeah, for sure. So EPA owes are like the only the only time I would say an EPO super rad is if you are a nurse basically because it’s like, Hey, I broke my leg. Cool. Good for four. Okay, cool. I’m sick. Okay. glowforge. Six. Make sure you’re not late for your shift from floor eight. Okay, great.
Tim Kubiak 8:25
Yeah, that’s literally literally my daughter. oldest daughter is also nurse. Right. So at one point, she was on the floor. They wanted to go get a test Coronavirus test, they sent her another hospital across town. Wow. Right. It’s like, no, we’re doing all the testing at this facility for employees. Wow. Interesting. So so it was interesting. But then she had, you know, she got the negative and had to go back to work and drove back across town. So
so you hit a couple of things there. And not everybody might know them. So what’s on market? And what’s off market in terms of offers? What does that mean?
Nicholas Davis 9:03
Yeah, absolutely. So when I say on market, I mean, plans that are on the ACA, healthcare, exchange, Obamacare, health care marketplace, it’s all the same thing, by the way. So on market would be that and then off market would be a private entity. And so it depends on kind of what your needs are and what your situation is, essentially. And so whenever whenever clients whenever I’m speaking to potential client, the first thing we’ll ask them is, you know, what is your situation? How does everything pan out for you? Right? Because I, first and foremost, I want to be able to find the best fit for them, right? So for example, like if you’re on the marketplace, a lot of their health insurance qualifications are based on your zip code and your income because the government can then subsidize or pay for a portion of your health insurance, should you end up making an income that’s low enough to qualify for that right. Whereas on the private sector side of the fence, there is no subsidization there unless, of course, your employer decides they want to subsidize a bit of your health insurance policy.
Tim Kubiak 10:10
Is that becoming less and less common from what you’ve seen that employer subsidy?
Nicholas Davis 10:15
You know, it’s very interesting. You mentioned that because I just saw an article maybe a couple weeks ago, I want to say, that was that was seeing that employers are trending more toward interest in general, like and when I say employees in general, but there’s, there’s a trend of employers that are saying, okay, and we’re not paying for health insurance anymore, but we’re going to give you a little bit of a stipend to pay for health insurance. And so go out and find your own health insurance. And we’ll give you a little bit of a stipend for that. And so I thought that was pretty interesting.
Tim Kubiak 10:44
That is, so because I have international experience, you hear about countries like the United Kingdom that have essentially national health care, right, which, you know, it was always interesting, we used as a competitive advantage in that market was, yeah, of course, you have the NHS, but we also funded private insurance. So you could go to a private hospital, that wasn’t a public hospital in that country, for our employees from entry level up. And it was literally a corporate benefit. So in a way, you were doubling short, here, it seems to be going the other way.
Nicholas Davis 11:17
Yeah, yeah. It’s very interesting. Um, I, and that, and that, as you mentioned, that I think that’s really cool. By the way, um, most employers? It’s, I don’t know that. I don’t know, I think it’s a lack of just a general lack of education on that specific bit, you know, because most employers are like, Look, you know, those are the rules for us. If you have over 50 employees, and you’re offering people health insurance, you have to pay, you’re legally obligated to pay at least half of their health insurance premium. Right. And, and some employers will say, you know, hey, it depends on the profession, you know, some employers will say, Hey, you know, what, for our employees, just for the employee will be 100% for the employee, but we’re not going to be anything towards the family, right. And so they end up having the family on very, very high market rates, which is very interesting. And so that’s when somebody like myself will say, Hey, you know, hey, let’s reclaim your premium. And, you know, keep the keep the employee on the free stuff, and then come over with me, I’ll get you on something that’s PPO and save you a little bit more money, because this can be tailored to your needs, which is good.
Tim Kubiak 12:18
So one of the things that when you talk about b&w, right, and you get it, and essentially you get a chart, and it’s a bunch of dots here and names of programs across the top, how do you help people really determine what they need?
Nicholas Davis 12:34
Okay, that’s entirely based on kind of what their needs are. It’s, it’s super case by case. Right. And some of it depends on the income as well. But I would say, in general, looking at it from a W two standpoint, interestingly enough, I was ironically, thinking about this exact same thing on the way to work. Because I was thinking, Man, you know, maybe I should go into my old, my old engineering firm and, and talk to them real quick, because nobody ever explained health insurance benefits to me at all ever. And I realize now that the reason that they didn’t, it’s because those HR individuals were not licensed in health. And so they couldn’t necessarily explain everything all the way in detail. So here we go, I will explain everything in detail. Parents medically coated, so. So Alright, there’s it. There’s all these different plans at work, right? So you’ve got your, you’ve got your HMO plan, you’ve got your PPO plan, and you’ve got your high deductible plan, right? Which a lot of individuals think, Oh, I deductible, so cool, man, forget the deductible up sky high. That way, my premiums will be super low, and it’ll be really nice, I can take on more money on my paycheck, right? The only thing is, if you do that high deductible plan, you have to have to have to invest your money in a health savings account. Right. And the reason for that health savings account is you put money into it to pay for your own medical bills. So very interesting thought, helps if you’re on your health savings account, and you’re investing all this money to pay for your own medical bills. What is the insurance company actually helping you out with in some cases, right? You know, there’s going to be some discounts after a while after you reach that really, really high deductible. But before that, basically, this counts, right? So, you know, begs the question of, you know, what it is your insurance is actually doing for you? Or are you just paying the whole thing yourself? The next one is your HMO. HMOs funny stories on HMOs. So, when when I was you know, a W two guy, nobody ever explained the difference between HMOs and PPS, I just saw the HMOs were less expensive. And so I was like, you know, one year I was like, You know why? Just for fun, I think I’m gonna do this HMO. It was the worst decision ever made personally. The finance, like everything was so expensive, because it was like, everything was out of network like all my normal doctors, all my normal dentists, they’re all our network and the prices were sky high. The insurance didn’t pay as much as a Holy Moses. But I mean now as an advisor, I look back on it. And the reason why is is because everybody I was going to was outside of those couple counties that were some that were recommended for the health maintenance organization, which is very interesting. And then you go to that PPO plan, which is usually the most expensive for most employers, and you think to yourself, wow, do I need this PPO plan, right? Well, if you have kids, super wise Eddie for the PPO plan, because you never know, when Little Timmy is gonna fall down skin, his head, break his arm, whatever, you know, I mean, heaven forbid, don’t wish that on anybody, because it’d be terrible. But I mean, if accidents happen, you have that, you know, 1250 deductible or $500 deductible or $3,000 deductible, whatever it is you have at your company, you have that deductible to meet. And then after that, this thing called coinsurance is going to start kicking in, right? And so coinsurance is when they split the bill when the insurance company splits the bill for you, right? And then after you have after you’ve paid so much money in coinsurance, then after that the insurance company can pick up the tab. Right?
Tim Kubiak 16:06
So that’s actually a moto pocket. Yeah, that you see in the in the W two plans when they say yes, with my pocket is that the coinsurance?
Nicholas Davis 16:14
Usually your maximum out of pocket is your deductible, plus the maximum amount you’re going to pay for your copay. And that will be your maximum out of pocket. Okay. Yeah, and sometimes to explain it, I kind of refer to, to like a club that sells sandwiches, which is lots of fun. So you’re, I’ll have analogies for days. So keep going. Yeah, right. So here it is. So you see, for example, you go into a sandwich shop, right? It’s, it’s kind of like an exclusive sandwich. It’s like a club, right? Not the actual sandwich. But you know what, we’re gonna order a club at a club, because that sounds like a fun idea. So. So you go into the club famous for making the club. Just lots of fun. And so you walk in there the big bouncers like alright, cool. Hey, I need your you know, I need your What’s it called? The amount of money you pay to get your cover charge, we need to cover charge. All right, cool. So I’m going to be $20 to get into the club. Now I go into there, I’m going to order the club, right? So I’m going to look on that video. And it’s like, Alright, cool. Now the club. Alright, the club cost $10. Oh, man, it’s an expensive club. But whatever. Alright, cool. However, it so happens to be that you got a membership card now because of the membership card, your first $3 you got to pay, but then the rest of the $7 is it be covered 80% by that card, and then you only pay 20% after that. So that’s actually a good bit of math unexpected, by the way. So I do not know the answer that number, but it’s a very small number comparatively $10, much less than $10. Right? Right. And so that is it. So that example, details a doctor’s visit, right? So you go into the doctor’s visit, you got to cover charge that your copay, that’s how I think about it, right? Because it doesn’t do anything else other than allow you to get in to make an appointment. And then if you ever recover charges, services are rendered. And then after that, you you pay whatever it is that your deductible is, and then anything is leftover, the you and the insurance company split the bill until you’ve paid X amount of dollars, and then the insurance company will just cover it all after that.
Tim Kubiak 18:17
So one of the things I’ve learned in my journey of having children that went to too many doctors is the insurance rate versus the cash rate. Mm hmm. Right. So what we found sometimes is even if we had pretty good insurance, we would say Nope, we’re not putting this through insurance, we want the cash rate, because we’d actually be less than our contributed portion of that now, it didn’t count towards maximum out of pocket and all that stuff. Right? Is that a common thing? Is that something people are doing more and more, or to my wife just stumble on something kind of cool.
Nicholas Davis 18:54
Thank you so much for asking. Yeah, you know, it, it depends on the person. And it also depends on the facility, honestly. But I have seen that for quite a few individuals that they’ll say, you know, hey, I want that, you know, that cash rate or whatever, you know, and sometimes it is sometimes it is less expensive, sometimes it’s not. But the having the option to you know, use your insurance or pay by cash is a good option. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t definitely I would highly not recommend not having health insurance and just pay cash for everything right? Because that’s it’s a terrible position to be in. But what I will say is depending on the way your health plan is structured, you know, some health plans might have more of a one for one approach to it. Or as it were, it might you know, pay for, you know, X amount towards you know, doctor’s visit or whatever it is regardless of the price, you know, and so if that’s the kind of situations you have for your health insurance plan, you know, you’re paying the cash price might be next it might be a pseudo moot point. But if you haven’t designed if you haven’t played designed, where it’s like X amount of deductible, so on and so forth. You know, it’s worth it’s an option worth exploring. If You have the right health insurance for it. Okay.
Tim Kubiak 20:03
So prescription drugs, right, you can’t turn on television without seeing an ad. And I learned recently and I don’t remember where that only the United States in India are the only two, quote developed countries that you can advertise drugs directly to consumers, which is fascinating to me. Right? Yeah. But B, that’s another area where when I have read a lot of times when you’re whether it’s w tude or whatever, you’re buying in on prescription drug coverage, and it’s a case where we have firsthand, you know, in my family, you know, if we do the cash rate at the pharmacy, it’s actually lower than our copay is that you know, and then you see good RX opinions, thoughts, best ways to maneuver that if you’re, you know, using your insurance benefits the maximum,
Nicholas Davis 20:47
absolutely all day long on that one, man. So big props to you and your wife for that, because that’s really, really cool. Most people don’t do that. Now, I’m not asking everybody to go, Hey, you know, the cash buys for the pharmacy, blah, blah, blah. What I am saying, though, is definitely check out good RX comm god rx.com It’s a completely free service. And how how I make the analogy, the parallel to what it does, is, if you’ve ever seen the Wizard of Oz, before they pull back the green curtain, and you’re like, Whoa, it’s a little Do you do the lead stuff? Right. So this is a good old Rex pulling back the curtain go, Hey, by the way, you know, these people itself prescriptions, they can sell them for anything they want price wise, and and it’s the same exact prescription like, regardless of what it is, right? And you’re like, Whoa, hang tight. These, you know, 12 or 13, people are all selling, you know, a Moxie, I’m picking on myself. All these 12 or 13, people are selling amoxicillin. And man, the price ranges from $2.50 per prescription to $30 per prescription. And it’s the same dose, same amount, same prescription, like how can they charge that much, you know, and that’s the thing is the vast majority of the US public, from what I’ve seen so far as an advisor, has no idea of this. And so you have health insurance companies that will say, yeah, it’s a $15 copay for myself, you know, what, when I was when I was a W two employee, one of my, one of my health health care plans was like at $15, go bandwidth. Okay, cool. I didn’t question it. Okay. It’s been three bucks. Yeah, whatever, I was going to pay 15 bucks. Sometimes, I would have a pharmacist that was very, very nice. And if it was less than $15, they would just give me the cash price for it. And they’re like, we’re not using your copay for this because it’s less than your copay. But more often than not, nobody paid attention to it. And so we just went through and just pay $15 $15 $15. Right? Well, the thing is, is those health insurance companies are making a lot of money off of that, right. And so you as the consumer, part of reclaim your premium is to get educated and knowledgeable about this stuff. So when you go in next time you go into that anybody, anybody listening, goes in for prescription, any prescription to go to good rx.com. It’s an app you can download on your phone if you want to. Or you can just go to the website, you type in your zip code, and it boom shows everybody in that area. And you type in your prescription up top, whatever it is, even if you don’t know how to spell, it just sounded out. And they’ll like suggested spellings because trust me, as an insurance advisor, I hear all the prescriptions and I know how to spell maybe two of them. And so I’m like Emma and carry the two. Okay, okay, look at that. It’s, it’s suggested, that’s fun. And so I think propranolol was one of them, I was doing the other day, it was like, pro and then plan and then lol for like money. And so this, you know, you know, little monitors to help you Yeah, things but at any rate, um, so it goes through the time in your prescription type in your zip code, get a list of who’s selling it, and then go to the person that charges the least amount of money for it. And there’s also an option for a coupon on there, you can click that in the booth, they can scan it, sometimes the pharmacies will even let you use good RX and your health insurance. It depends on how it works, what kind of policies you have, so on and so forth. But cool food for thought, though,
Tim Kubiak 24:11
that Yeah, and that’s a good one. And I know they’re advertising. So I am often accused of being a capitalist pig. Okay. I run a sales organization. I do sales management service, and I do sales training. So if the shoe fits, and one of the areas I often get into debates is I come from a telecommunications and it background. And I remember when it used to cost 64 cents to call across your county. 64 cents a minute per phone call, right? Don’t talk to grandma too long it’s going to make bankrupt the family. Mm hmm. So there was a Telecommunications Act in 1984 that basically broke up mom Bell and deregulated all of that space. Now, deregulation in every area isn’t a good fit. I actually argue with a lot of people but if you allowed interstate competition on health care Yes, you would end up with the equivalent of Verizon, at&t, t mobile and sprint. But you would also end up with unlimited plans for $70 a month, they can do things you can’t dream of, that you’ll never get if you keep people in silos. Am I off base? Is their true potential logic to that from somebody inside of the health care world? Sure, yeah. It’s
Nicholas Davis 25:20
actually interesting that you say that, because there are certain certain aspects of that that I can see. So for example, and I work in, I’m actually based in Houston, I work in multiple states across the US. And so I get to see this from different states in different avenues. So in general, how health insurance works in just super general, is you have the marketplace, which is kind of maintained and managed, basically, by the government, right? And then on you go, one tear down from that, and then everything is managed, then at a state level, every state has their own rules for health insurance, things that they’re cutting cover things that they won’t cover things, they cover extra things that they don’t cover enough of. And then things that even allowed to be sold in their state. Just very interesting, right. And so, you’ve got two filters to pass. So the consumer down here on the on the ground level, has to pass the state filter, and then they pass the government filter, you know, or they just use the private filter, and the private filter has to go through the state anyway. Right? Um, so there’s, there’s a little bit of regulation, as far as that’s concerned. If you had deregulation, theoretically, it would mean there would be no state filter, in which case, the plants would just look like they would look for everybody. Which, I mean, they did. I mean, I want to say, it was in the early 1900s, that they actually used to do that. And they stopped that and then put a cap on that, and then gave the states more power for health insurance, which is very interesting. That’s up to look at my dad didn’t research. I didn’t, you know, plan for that question. So I didn’t grab my answer. But I was tested on that fun fact.
Tim Kubiak 26:56
That’s fascinating. I had no idea that already gone that direction.
Nicholas Davis 27:00
Oh, yeah, it started out that way. So health insurance from from what I’ve researched health insurance, interestingly enough, actually started from seamen that were going around port, right, because they were like, Hey, man, we need the dc dc fares we need we need the human taking care of, right. So if they’re going to get injured when they’re on the boat, you know, fishing or doing whatever they’re doing. We need to give them options to get taken care of whenever they get into port. Right. So that was technically kind of like the first PPO health insurance because they will come in from dock and they would say, Hey, I’m covered with this boat. And I need health care wherever I’m at. Okay, great. You know, and then we get injured on the boat, they will come into port, hey, you know, go to the doctor, hey, we’re taking care of and you know, I’m gonna pay, you know, 10 cents, whatever it is towards this guy’s doctor’s bills. Okay, great. Awesome, because he’s part of my ship. Okay, cool. It was very interesting stuff. And I’m paraphrasing very loosely. But that’s basically how it works, which is pretty cool. And that was like, way early in the 1900s. So way, way, way, early 1900s, which is very interesting.
Tim Kubiak 27:57
Well, before we started rolling around on airplanes, very much so right? Yeah. Darien was a guy who lived on the road for 20 plus years, knowing your health care was a big deal. Because if you got sick in Dallas, or you got sick in LA, yeah. Do you know where you could go?
Nicholas Davis 28:14
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and to speak to your provider specific kind of plans where you were like, you know, att Verizon, stuff like that the analogy you made there, I’ve seen a lot of doctors start offering in various states, start offering kind of subscription plans, so to speak. And it’s, it’s a different word for more than likely that they’re going to use, but the long and short of it is it’s basically a subscription plan, really, hey, you know, you pay me 50 bucks a month, or you know, this, this amount of price. And then you have unlimited doctor’s visits to come in and see me I’ll write you whatever prescription you need. And then you know, of course, you have to pay for your prescription to get filled, of course, but that’s a subscription plan through that doctor, and I’ve run into a few people throughout the states that are like, Hey, you know, I’ve got this really great plan for my doctor, it’s 50 bucks a month, you know, and I don’t need to pay, you know, four or five 600 $800 for health insurance premium, because I’ve got this cool plan with my doctor that I pay 50 bucks a month or $200 a year or whatever, whatever rate they work out. For my doctors, don’t worry, I’ve got access to my doctor 24 hours a day, should I need him, and I can go get an appointment. Wherever I don’t have a copay, I just go see him. He takes care of me, he writes my prescriptions, and I get them filled. Right. So like, I don’t need health insurance for that. And so my answer to that is, you don’t get health insurance to go to the doctor, just like you don’t get car insurance to get an oil change,
right? You get car insurance,
if S gets real, if your stuff gets totaled. You’re either gonna pay for just your stuff or your stuff and somebody else’s stuff, your liability and full coverage, basically, right? And you know, same thing with health insurance, right? You’re not you’re not saying hey, I’ve got this awesome health insurance because I want to go see the doctor and pay a copay when I go in. No, you’re like, hey, if this gets real, and I know Getting the like, I’m picking on cancer, I’ve already said at once. But if I get like a cancer, I want to go to the top rated medical fill seal facility in the US. Okay, great. Awesome. He ppl coverage, you know? And then you would get health insurance because of that.
Tim Kubiak 30:13
Yeah. And I, you know, so I had a buddy of mine who was, you know the story goes he was dead for seven minutes it’s legitimate right? came out of yoga drove this company had a heart issue in his car. You’re right, seven minutes later he was revived net right little short term memory loss. Amazing recovery, the bill to revive him was 100 grand before it hit insurance. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So so to get him out of his very expensive sports car. And I love you, Patrick. But to get him out of this very expensive sports car, right. And to bring him back to live in, in drag is, you know, skinny yoga dome button to the hospital was 100 grand. And that was before they actually fixed. quote the problem? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it adds up quick.
Nicholas Davis 31:11
So it does in a heartbeat.
Tim Kubiak 31:13
Let’s talk about how you got into insurance. Talk a little bit about your background, because it’s sure a lot of times, this is an entrepreneur’s journey. And you’ve got some great background from our previous discussions.
Nicholas Davis 31:26
Thank you. So um, so kind of starts, you know, when I was my last gate was an engineering job. And I’ll go into that, how I got into that position a little bit. But, you know, I’m doing an engineering job, I’m doing some of the most complex engineering in the world. And you know, I’m just super jazzed about it. I’m like an authority in the Western Hemisphere. I’m so jazzed, I’m like, this is a great position. I’m loving it, right? So before I was in oil and gas, I was running a bike shop, you might ask yourself, like, you know, leap from one to the other. I’ll explain that in a minute. But my thought was, oil gas, man, it’s so stable, man, I had no idea what I’m talking about back then. But regardless, I that was great. I didn’t know like, off sort of thing. And so when I was there, I made it through six rounds of layoffs, and five and a half years, which is nuts. And so then I’m like, Man, I’m good. I’m solid, I’ve got it. Right. And, and then just the day came, you know, where my company ended up buying their competition. And, you know, I ended up just getting replaced, essentially. And they’re like, just like that, I had no career and I was freaking out. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, you know, so like, do one, how do I take care of myself to take care of my kids, and provide for them to get health insurance and everything for them? Because, you know, as a dad, I mean, you got I mean, and, you know, I mean, providing for your family is a big deal. And also that health insurance is massive, you know, and so I was like, man, I was really freaking out about that. So, when I got laid off, I was, you know, I was offered, you know, unemployment, and I was able to apply for unemployment, rather, so I got some unemployment. And that’s not very much it was like, maybe 1250 a month or something like that, you know, which I mean, for for a dad with kids. It’s not very much for like a single Dude, you’re like, yeah, different situation. And so, um, so then I was thinking to myself, I’m like, Man, you know, how do I make this work? You know, and then they offered me Cobra insurance as well. And so I was like, for my job. And so Cobra insurance, I was like, wow, you know, the only time I remember like, honestly, hearing Cobra, anything was like Cobra, commander’s back in GI Joe days, and I’m like, Oh, I need to be to the Cobra Commander. And I told you to do. I honestly did say that when I called Cobra insurance, and they were just like, Huh, they were like, pokerface. I’m like, you get that a lot. They’re like, Well, yeah, sometimes I’m like, anyway, it was I was having fun with it. So anyway, I did talk to the Cobra guy. And it was very interesting, because I had gotten laid off and September 26, right. And so I was like, Man, you know what, and that was not this year, by the way was last year. And so I got laid off on September 26. And so I was like, Man, you know, I need to make this Cobra stuff happen. What is Cobra, specifically, Cobra is an extension of your workplace benefits, right? And so it’s your employer saying, Oh, well, cool, you’re laid off, but we’re not going to send you to the golden moon, we’re gonna have the option to carry your insurance that you had with us. You’re like, Okay, great. That sounds awesome. Well, the downside is about it is what most people don’t realize is, as that rule that I had mentioned earlier in the conversation of your employers required to pay at least half of your health insurance premium for these bigger and bigger companies, they might pay 90% of your health insurance premium, my company at the time that I was with previously paid half. And so Cobra insurance is usually at 102% markup from what you’ve currently been paying, right? In that you pay your portion plus their portion plus a nominal at minimum 2% stitching fee to put it all together. Right. So I was like, you know, my health insurance went from you know, maybe $600 a month, give or take to about 14 $100 a month, just like that.
There’s no way.
I mean, I don’t even make that much in a month deployment. You know, I got we’re gonna do this. Talk to the Cobra guide, and the Cobra guy was like, Okay, cool. So if you if you, I mean, it’s just really expensive stuff. So I mean, I haven’t recommend the Cobra guy recommend to be go to the marketplace to get better coverage and he was like, no better but less expensive coverage. Right? Like, he’s if you’re gonna twist my arm, I’ll sell you Cobra insurance. But honestly, I will go to the marketplace because you can get a better rate. I was like, Oh, that’s like the Cobra guy is saying that it’s bananas. Right? No offense to anybody who sells Cobra that’s watching by the way. But
Tim Kubiak 35:45
it’s federally mandated. It’s fine.
Nicholas Davis 35:47
Yeah, I think it’s a thing. Yeah. And so um, so then I was like, Okay, well be that as it may guide, Cobra guy I need I still need health insurance because I was laid off September 26. I got my Cobra documents by October 26. So a full month had passed of me sweating bullets. I’m like, Holy Moses, I don’t have health insurance or do I don’t know. So here’s here’s the here’s the full answer to that one. Technically, technically, you do. But you don’t. Right. So as of September 27, technically, right. I would not have health insurance. And technically so I would have had to pay for everything out of pocket. Right. But Cobra allows you to retro actively apply those bills towards your existing health insurance policy? Should you decide to sign back on with Cobra. Right. And so I was like, okay, that’s great. But I’m not using that feature. But that’s great. And so here comes October 26. On the cool I need the health insurance for me and my kids, just for November, because it’s it lasts 18 months, you can use it for up to 18 months, or you can go month by month, six and a half dozen. The other really for the Cobra guys. So it’s like, I’m gonna change it for November and see where we said after that. He’s like, Okay, cool. So in order to do that, you have to purchase the last couple days of September, all of October, and all of November to be covered for November. And I was like, do that’s like a lot of money, dude. That’s like, a lot a lot of money. And he was like, yeah. And I’m like, Whoa, there’s like zero, like, yeah, of course it is. And I’m like, wow. So I was like, Okay, well, definitely. Now you can Cobra, that’s for sure. So I was freaking out. And so I went straight to the marketplace. And I said, Oh my gosh, you know, what is? What is all of this stuff with HMO mean? What’s EPO mean? Like? Why is PPO not here? I don’t understand, you know, there’s all these like, definitions of everything looks the same. This is not. And so, you know, I was able to get my kids covered temporarily on the Medicaid plan through the state, which is phenomenal, big, but super jazzed out about that. So I just continued to looking. And I was at I’m gonna find a job that, you know, has health insurance benefits, I’m gonna find it. You know, I know I will. And so I just kept looking and looking and looking and looking. And at the time, I didn’t know that COVID was starting to happen overseas, which is the reason why job market was kind of shrinking. I didn’t know that I was like, Oh my gosh, it’s just the feet to lightning. Really, it was just it’s a global thing. But at any rate, so I started thinking, I’m like, Man, you know? So maybe I should maybe I shouldn’t do engineering anymore. I don’t know, what do I do? So then I started drawing on my past experiences, past experiences. So I have led lots of different things. Right. So I’ve been professional dance instructor, so I’ve danced with people from every continent on the planet. With Lindy Hop, Swing dancing, it’s phenomenal. It’s huge. It’s like in my bones. It’s amazing stuff. I’ve been a professional dancer. I’ve been a professional musician, like, you know gigging. I’ve played shows and albums or tours, I’ve you know, run a skateboard shop, like run started a skateboard shop basically, from the ground through an employee through a thread through an entity started a skateboard shop. And convinced this, you know, nationwide, like I guess, chain, so to speak, to even carry skateboards, and then made the largest skateboard shop in the city of Houston and then had an international clientele from there, and like 19 or 20 and then all through an inline skate shop, and then also ran a bicycle shop for a long time. I was a biomechanist so aligning skeletal structures, and, you know, making inserts footbeds to prevent pronation, I’ve done master bike fitting. So you know, when really aligning the skeletal structures, again, to map them to the shape of the bicycle, and then also memorizing the physics of that bicycle, to see the flex and, you know, flexing, you know, sway of the bicycle, see how it works and, you know, get your get your best pedal stroke going. I’ve also rented cars, literally, I’ve done like a lot of different things. And so I was like, you know, man, that’s really really, really random. Like there’s just like, oh, and then also engineering on top of that.
And so in really how I got entered into into engineering, I have a marketing degree Fun fact. And so one of my buddies was an engineer and he was like, Look, dude, with us, by me. annex in the physics the frame and looking at the welds of the frame and seen how things work, she had a really good knowledge of Applied Physics and you know, a little bit of metallurgy, like just a pinch of metallurgy, but a really good mechanics background, because I was really good mechanic for bikes too. And I think I can teach you engineering, I’m like, beans, let’s do it. I’m down, you know. And so literally, I learned engineering, and then did that for a long time. And so I was like, so I know that I have the wherewithal to do things to self start. And then other than that, I do a lot of different things. So I was like, Where can I go with this. And so, a long time ago, I had, I had the mantra of loop to give. And so I thought about it into all those careers, all I’ve been doing is helping people in different aspects. And so then I thought about it, I was like, You know what, I mean, underneath is live to give mantra. I mean, I got to think of a common denominator. And then I realized the thing that I was freaking out the most about was health insurance. And so I was like, you know, what, if I’m this confused about it, and if I have this many questions about health insurance right now, then I guarantee you somebody else does. And so then I took that I was like, okay, cool, made up my mind and took the last bit of my unemployment cash, and invested it into state fees, licensing fees, education, testing, fingerprinting, like is you get to do that for insurance? And, and then I became, you know, basically who I am right now. And I’m now able to help people that were in the same situation, I was freaking out, you just lost your job.
You’re like, Oh, no, what do I do?
I can help those guys out. I can now I can help out individuals that are like, Man, you know, it’s really expensive to put my spouse and my kids on my insurance. And I don’t have another solution. I can help with that. You know, small businesses that are like, you know, I pivoted for 2020. I pay rent for 2020. Everybody else pivoted for 2020. You know, you don’t have your employer’s insurance anymore. What are you gonna do? You don’t have your spouse’s unemployment insurance anymore. Are you gonna do? That’s what I’m here for? I made that choice. I made that leap. So others don’t have to, so I can help them out.
Tim Kubiak 42:01
That’s an amazing thing. Because one of the things that I know, Bureau of Labor Statistics is tracking is people going on Cobra and people falling off on insurance along with the uninsured unemployment, right. So yeah,
Nicholas Davis 42:15
definitely. So definitely. So. Yeah, I see. I see a lot of individuals that are, that’ll say, you know, hey, I’ve got Cobra insurance right now. Okay, great. Well, you’re probably overpaying like, I probably am. I’m like, Okay, well, you should probably switch it like No, I don’t. I don’t want to switch into like, so you’re okay with overpaying? Yeah, I’m okay. With overpaying right now. It’s very interesting. And I was just thinking about this the other day. And I might make a video on this later. But sometimes I just think it’s funny, just in general. I’ve been very sincerely since a viewer on occasion. But sometimes talking to people talking about individual health insurance plans is like talking about what kind of underwear they wear, which is lots of fun. It doesn’t necessarily DVD, that personal topic. It’s like, you know, the dreads, everybody’s health insurance, like everybody wears underwear, no big deal. Well, technically, anyway, I’m not I’m not going to say I
Tim Kubiak 43:00
have not seen that study, but I’ll go with
Nicholas Davis 43:02
you. I agree with
that was way off the rails. Sorry. That’s awesome. Oh, the Moses dude. Anyway. Um, but yeah, actually, you know, some people, a lot of people are either afraid of change, afraid of what’s coming next, and so on and so forth. And, and for those individuals, you know, hey, it’s cool, I get it, I understand, because I was in that same situation before. And once again, I took that leap, so others don’t have to, which is really, really cool. And then I also found certain plans out there, that act is what’s called suitcase coverage, which is a term that I kind of came up with, but, um, because it’s, it’s very simple, because when you have suitcase coverage, like some of the coverage that I can work with, for individuals, it follows you 100% no matter what job you’re at, right? So interesting stuff is, you know, I, and I know I’m not alone in this, I would have a job that I would, you know, just just test for a little bit, only because it had really great health insurance, and I’m like, I don’t wanna leave this job because eloquence is really great, right? And then so you feel kind of trapped for a little bit well my answer to that to individuals is you don’t have to be because I have I found coverage out there that will work for you. That’ll that’ll get you on the job coverage off the job coverage so on and so forth, whatever it is, whatever it is that you need, I can find coverage for those individuals to help give them the freedom to choose what it is they actually want to do which is pretty cool. And and not really worry so much about you know, is this guy gonna have great health insurance or not,
I don’t know hey,
I tell you what I want to cover with my family so I can go wherever I want to for you know for whatever job I want to which is really cool. So you know offering that little bit of that pinch of freedom I think that’s pretty cool to
Tim Kubiak 44:54
the sales guy to me says you negotiate that into your into your compensation package. You know what I don’t need your subsidy. What subsidy do you pay a mature? It’s okay, just put that put that in my check. Yeah, there you go.
Nicholas Davis 45:07
You know. And interestingly out that might be where some of that stipend is coming from sometimes for those employers, you know,
you know what that
Tim Kubiak 45:12
could be, you know,
Nicholas Davis 45:13
I take about two just now,
Tim Kubiak 45:15
it went to what they call BYOD A number of years ago, bring your own device. So some companies, you get hired, now they tell you, you get to Grand goodbye cell phone and computer and then we’ll put the programs on it. They don’t want to deal with it anymore. It sounds like health insurance just in a way going that direction?
Nicholas Davis 45:29
Mm hmm. It does. It does. I mean, from from a couple of the articles I’ve seen, it seems very, very likely to do so. And if that’s the case, then, you know, there are a lot of different kinds of coverage out there. You know, there is there are coverage that what’s called guaranteed issue, which and this is actually a very interesting topic for dividuals. So there is a coverage out there that’s called guaranteed issue, which means no matter your medical condition, you can hop on to it no pre existing is whatever the marketplace is a guaranteed issue situation where no matter what you can hop on there, you can get a subsidy should you need one, so on and so forth. Right there. On the other side of the fence, there are a lot of private entities out there that still use what’s called underwriting. And underwriting is a it’s a it’s a form of medical qualification. You know, some some preexisting conditions are totally okay. Some are not very, okay. It just depends on the company or was or you know, what your situation is or what state you’re in, so on and so forth. But more often than not on a lot of those underwritten plans, if you’re very healthy, you can get a lower premium most of the time because of that, because there’s a little risk factor associated with that. So that’s really cool, too. And then also other things that I’ve noticed just other things I’ve noticed in general, since I’ve, you know, started the health insurance advisor deal is sometimes when you’re on plans that are you know, underneath of the marketplace, whether it be you know, a PPO, HMO, EPO, whatever it is, a lot of this stuff’s controlled by the masses, right? And so if, if you find, for example, there was one particular company, I’m not going to shout him out, but there’s one company particular this year, in February that raised the rates 25% just raise the rates just willy nilly. And all the people were like, what are you doing what? raise my rates? And I’m like, well, we had to raise rates. And you’re like, What is this, you know, and it’s just the fact of the matter, you because you with the masses, um, you know, a lot of times when you’re on a privatized system that’s not associated with the marketplace. More often than not, you won’t be subject to increases like that, which is really great. Because it’s, you know, it’s a lot different system, because it’s not, you know, it’s just the mechanics of it are substantially different. And this is the easiest way to say it.
Tim Kubiak 47:41
So the risk factors are different, right? So 100% Yeah, I grew up in Pennsylvania, it’s an aging population. So if you have more people going to the marketplace, frankly, are the demographics going to be they’re older, they have more medical needs more prescriptions that the duck just follows life’s curve. Yeah, the state’s rates are going to be higher for everyone. Right, where I don’t know what a young state is, but maybe Texas because a lot of people have relocated there. Right. So with the growth in Houston, and the growth in Dallas, and all the people live in California, maybe Texas has a younger population, and therefore it’s a de risk because of it. Yeah,
Nicholas Davis 48:16
it could be. It could be one that I’ve seen that has really low rates so far that I’ve seen I think was no bada I want to say really, really low health insurance.
Tim Kubiak 48:25
I pay that tax when I go to casinos. It’s okay. You know,
Nicholas Davis 48:35
they’ll stay away your health a judge. Okay, joking. Yeah, it
Tim Kubiak 48:38
literally Yeah, I’m sure it’s one of the lines that’s on my bill, every time I check out our conference, and you paid for the state’s insurance?
Nicholas Davis 48:47
Tim Kubiak 48:48
Florida is probably the same way.
Nicholas Davis 48:51
Probably. That’s awesome. Dude. That’s awesome. So back, you know,
Tim Kubiak 48:58
what are three things people should think about, you know, kind of bringing this to close as they’re looking at insurance. So we’ve talked about plan types. We’ve talked about costs and your needs, what are three other things people need to weigh?
Nicholas Davis 49:10
So first thing is, is weigh your way, your timeframe? Right? When do you need your health insurance to start? When also, especially specifically, like for open enrollment, right? So open enrollment is November 1 through December 15. If you find yourself in that time window, it is very important that if you need marketplace coverage, you need to get it during that time window, because it will be available to you outside of the time window. Unless of course you’re losing coverage or have a what’s called a qualifying life event. Which I mean it’s like for example, like you know, loss of coverage, adding a spouse getting married, getting divorced, stuff like that.
Tim Kubiak 49:49
So if you change jobs and lose coverage, and you’re outside of that open enrollment period, you can still go to the state marketplace. Yes,
Nicholas Davis 49:55
yes. For a small amount for a tiny window. I think it’s like a 6160 day window. or something like that. I want to say
Tim Kubiak 50:01
otherwise, while you’re faking out Cobra, you can go look at the marketplace.
Nicholas Davis 50:05
Yes, you can you okay. Yeah. So that’s important thing, timeframe. Important thing. Another thing to consider is what your needs are, right? Don’t don’t necessarily look at, you know, the copay or not the CO pays, but I’m trying to look so much at, you know, the premium in relating to what the deductible is, and so on and so forth. But look a little deeper into the plan details and see what it does paid for, right? I have seen so many plans across the US that will say, you know, on, you know, marketplace specific plans that I’ve seen anyway, across the US, that will say, you know, hey, we’re not, we don’t pay for anything until you hit that deductible. Right. And so, and a lot of people are just click, click, click, click, click, click, click, because we were to click society these days. So just like, I can find the answer online, click, click, click, click, click, click, like, I don’t have health insurance. Okay, great. Awesome. Well, what does that do for you? So I’ll make an example. Right? So say, for example, myself, if I were to pick health insurance, and and I would just click, click, click, click like, and I’m like, cool. This is gonna be like a $300, you know, premium. That’s phenomenal. But, you know, the reason that premium is so low is because it’s adaptable. So high. So my deductibles, you know, 10 $12,000, that’s awesome, right? That means that man, I’ve got this low premium, that’s phenomenal. Well, is it phenomenal, because then you look down at this plan details, and nothing like your hospital visit at all your ambulance visits, urgent care facility visits, prescriptions, doctor’s visits, like stuff like that, for the most part, could not be covered at a 100% rate, which is very interesting, right? So a lot of those things will be paid to pay for that out of pocket. And if you only go to the doctor hospital, maybe twice or three times that year, you’ve paid two or $300 a month for the entire month and not being able to use any of it because you never met your deductible. I’ve met so many people across the US that is like, yeah, I never meet my deductible.
that’s something to consider, you know, you might want to consider a plan with a lower deductible. So you’ll actually hit that deductible. So you can say, you know, hey, I didn’t get a chance to use my health insurance this year, because I’m, what’s the point of having if you’re not gonna use it, as well. All right, you know, so
Tim Kubiak 52:20
I’m the guy that goes to doctor once a year and only because she makes me percent Yeah.
Nicholas Davis 52:27
Definitely. And no, also haven’t happened, the high deductible does does really help for that if S hits the fan since your situation, right, because if had, if S hits the fan, most of the time, you don’t plan for s to hit the fan, essentially. And then you don’t have you know, 12 $15,000 saved up just for fun, like if you you know, need your kidney replaced or something like that, or your friends case have marked
out, you know, harden frankly,
exactly right. And so you’re not planning for that stuff. And so that’s where it starts to eat up at you because those dollars out really, really, really quick when you get into the medical world. Yeah. And and I tell you what, man, it’s don’t become a statistic, you know, don’t become a statistic that that bankruptcy in the US like, so, I invite anybody to give me a shout in and I’ll help you review your policy or just help it see what’s available in your area because that might be a big deal too.
Tim Kubiak 53:27
So I know we’ll have put it over the video here. But they can book with you firstname.lastname@example.org slash reclaim your mirror premium if I’m not mistaking.
Nicholas Davis 53:37
Yeah, absolutely. Over here is a cool cool animate and self drawn mind you but of course over here schedule appointment Caligula calm.
This one says find
your custom tailored health insurance fit during a free call. And this one says celebrating hi fi befriends you just reclaim your premium.
Tim Kubiak 53:56
That’s awesome. Nicolas, where else can they find you? And we’ll link to it in the show notes as well.
Nicholas Davis 54:00
Yeah, for sure, man. facebook.com forward slash reclaim your premium. That’s my that’s my business page over there. And Facebook. You can go to linkedin.com forward slash and forward slash Nicolas Davis Houston. That’s my LinkedIn profile. Or if you don’t remember any of those, you can type in hashtag reclaim your premium on LinkedIn or Facebook and it’ll pull up all my cool posts. Like for example, one post, I related why you need health insurance using cats. There was lots of fun.
Tim Kubiak 54:32
I do love that one. So even if you’re not a cat person, it’s a great video.
Nicholas Davis 54:40
I do have a picture of a cat on a computer.
Tim Kubiak 54:44
That’s why the internet stayed alive for a long time was cats and computers did Oh yeah. Big was thank you so much for taking the time here. I invite everybody to check you out. And I’ll talk to you again soon.
Nicholas Davis 54:58
Oh yeah, definitely. Thank you. So much Ramayan Tim, you are so rad man, thank you so much.
Tim Kubiak 55:03