For several years after having my first son, he and I were on an independent plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield (meaning, we called them directly and asked what plans were available). Same deal, my husband's work was going to be around $600 for family, and with BCBS my son and I were covered for around $300 if I recall correctly. We had good coverage, but the deal is you both would need to be very healthy with no prior health problems for it to be beneficial. I had a kidney stone in my pregnancy with him, (on an insurance plan through my previous employer) and I had a rider on the plan stating that no kidney/urinary issues of any kind would be covered in the future due to pre-existing conditions. Fortunately it was never an issue. My son, who had coverage from the time he was born, had to have tubes put in. They covered it no problem, but in the pre-approval process they grilled me to make sure he had never had an ear infection or problems with his ears prior to being covered (obviously making sure no "pre-existing" problem there). So, while coverage is good, they will not cover anything you had probs with prior to coverage. Also, you have to renew every year, and I think every year our rates increase around $20 for each of us. But it was totally worth it to have good insurance coverage for a lot less than my husband's employer could offer. It's worth looking into!