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Would you go without Health insurance?

August 15th, 2008 at 09:43 pm

I was talking to my sister the other night, and she could not believe how much I was going to be paying for the new HSA ($600/month premiums but the DDS pays $100/month, so $500/month out of my pocket)...especially after I explained that with an HSA I pay all expenses out of pocket up to the first $5,000.

My husband, daughter and I are very healthy so we are basically paying for nothing. Seriously. I doubt very much we will come close to spending anywhere near $5,000 in the next year. My DD goes to the doc twice a year for check-ups, and my DH and I go maybe once or twice max. My DD does take prescription medicine, so I called the pharmacy and that will cost approx $40/month without a conventional prescription plan. If all of those trends hold we will probably spend under $2,000 over the next 12 months.

So, my sister says, why don't you just drop insurance altogether and save the $500/month in a savings account in case you get sick! If something catastrophic happens (G-d forbid) you can always get charity care. As a person who loves to save money it was like hearing the siren song calling me to throw myself on the rocky coast. For about a minute and a half I really considered it. And, if it were just my husband and I we would probably do just that, but with a child it seems too irresponsible.

What do you all think? Would you or have you gone without health insurance?

18 Responses to “Would you go without Health insurance?”

  1. debtfreeme Says:

    I had insurance (but poor insurance and not worth it) when i eneded up having emergency surgery and two night in the hospital. i had to pay 3000 toward the costs which was not something i had just lying around and count my blessing that i managed to find a second job and pay it off in 18 months.

    i think as a parent it is very important for you to have both health and life insurance. it is the responsible thing to do. Is there no other plan you can have? Have you investigated this for small insurnace plans as a company as a whole. there are businesses that can lump small business owners under one larger policy which means everyone gets better insurnace.

    Benefit Partners in California is one such company. i cannot recommend them enough but i am not sure if they cover ot side of CA. the plans needed to have two employees, that is all. and families were not that expensive.

  2. LuxLiving Says:

    I did without for a while ALMOST. When I finally got into tears over it the Hubster helped me refinagle our outgoing in order to get put on it at his work. I am also (please God) a relatively healthy person. I get a cold maybe once every couple of years and other than that rarely get ill. And go to the doctor even less than that. My argument with Hubster was 'we can afford cable & internet, but not health insurance for me? What is wrong with this picture???' When put in that light it didn't make sense for us not to realign our priorities and do some calling around for cheaper cable rates. However I said ALMOST - I am Native American enough to be enrolled in my tribe and can use my CDIB card to get health care if needed at IHS. These services are much improved in the last ten years or so. Before that I probably wouldn't have taken my dog to them. Last year I did use it to get my eye exam & eyeglasses at a reduced rate.

    But I must say $600 is STEEP!!! OUCH!

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Never.

    I know too many people who had millions of dollars covered by insurance. (One day you are perfectly healthy; the next day you have a brain tumor that cost millions. etc.).

    Likewise, I don't understand not having insurance in an area like this. You don't have to be sick to get in an automobile accident. Anyway, as such, can't say I would live in a large metro area with crazy drivers, without insurance. Though honestly cancer (YOUNG people) seems to be more common than serious car accidents. For whatever reason.

    15% of my pay goes to our health insurance. & ever rising. Just the way it is. But I feel for the long run we are better for it. & hard to get too upset since we just covered 2 pregnancies. Without insurance would have cost much more of course. Plus I think the other point is, the more people you are covering, the more likely one will get sick or in an accident. OR more likely we would all be in an auto accident at once. These are all the things I think about when it comes to insurance. I don't expect it to cover the little things, but I expect it to keep us from going bankrupt if something horrible happens. The last thing you need to worry about is bankruptcy and such when you are deathly ill.

    Then again there is no guarantee the insurance won't drop you. Or that they will cover everything. That's the Catch 22.

  4. Aleta Says:

    We are currently paying $1433.00 a month out of our pocket for health insurance (no kids) and it's a killer. It's a private policy and a very old one. Because of our age and one precondition, buying insurance would be more expensive for us.

    My husband out of necessity to state rules was forced to incorporate to receive an exemption from workman's compensation. We both receive paychecks so I guess we could qualify to get group insurance in the state of Florida.

    If anyone knows this do you still have to go through hoops to get insurance when it's group?

    We really do need to get rid of the other insurance. It only pays up to $100,000. for any one claim or ailment.

  5. cargirl86 Says:

    Never, absolutely not.

    I've seen too many family members go from perfectly healthy one day to human vegetable the next. It's all very well and good to be relatively healthy, but life changes in the blink of an eye. Having a cavalier attitude only invites disaster, IMO.

  6. debtfreeme Says:

    Aleta and Mari-- if your husband owns a company it can be provided under a company policy. Look for a company that specializes in small business owners (call an insurance agent for a good company in Florida).

    Small business owners can buy into a pool of businesses to get a better leverage with insurance companies. A small business in CA must have 2 employees on the policy to qualify so if both you and your husband are employees it would give you each a policy in your name which of course is cheaper than one employee and a spouse plus family members. I used to administer insurance for a company that specialized in providing small businesses (less than 100 employees) with insurance plans. We could lump all the businesses into one pool for a specific insurance company and get better rates for their employees.

    I believe in CA there were some tax benefits for the companies providing the insurance but I was not that part of the business, I helped companies pick the best plans for their employees making it not to expensive for the business or the employees. It has been years since I did this but it is important to cover your families.

    For both of you wondering about this: if you own a small business or work for one, take the steps and do it. It is important. I know it is a lot os leg work but wouldn’t you rather have the peace of mind for you and your family than worrying about every sneeze, cts, scrape, headache or play ground accident.

    I have a mom who has very little insurance because she is retired. I am scared to death every time she gets a cold (which could kill her). There was a time when she had no insurance for 3 years. I was a basket case because I had no idea how I would be able to help her if there was a reason for her to see a doctor or go to the hospital.

    Just investigate the options, sooner raher than later.

  7. Ima saver Says:

    I have no health insurance. I got some for my husband but it has a $10,000 deduction. I have never been to the hospital in my life and only to the doctor's twice. We paid in over $90,000 in premiums and never got one penny back, so I am taking my chance with it.

  8. MariRDH Says:

    This is NJ. That is one of the big reasons the expense is so high even for a crappy HDHP with an HSA. I am the only employee in my company to use this health insurance, everyone else has insurance through their spouse. That is probably another reason it is so high. Last but certainly not least, my employer pays the premiums late nearly every month. For instance, I went to the drugstore this morning to pick up my DD's prescription and their computer shows my coverage as expired...my boss sent the payment a month late, so I will have to wait until the insurance company reinstates us to pick up the Rx. Hopefully next week. It sucks working for a small business.

  9. compulsive debtor Says:

    Absolutely not. Not with kids.

  10. scfr Says:

    Even tho I don't have kids, I still think it's important. If I had kids, I don't think there is any way I would go without. That would be too scary.

    Have you looked in to whether there is some sort of student insurance your husband would be eligible for?

    Do you belong to a professional organization that offers insurance to it's members?

  11. disneysteve Says:

    Absolutely not! Even though the 3 of us are perfectly healthy, you never know what can happen. My wife had emergency gallbladder surgery 2 years ago. The bill for that was $28,000. You'd have to save that $500/month for nearly 5 years to cover that.

    Plus, you've got an HSA. You can put money in pre-tax each year. Any medical bills then get paid pre-tax, saving you money right away and you can use those funds for things that aren't usually covered by traditional health insurance. Any unused funds at year end remain in the account. Ultimately, if you haven't spent all of your HSA funds at retirement, you can tap that money for any purpose, so it serves as a secondary retirement account if you remain healthy.

    Unless you absolutely can't afford insurance, you should always have it, even if it means cutting back on other things to pay the premium.

  12. disneysteve Says:

    MariRDH - I just saw that you are in NJ. Here in the wonderful insurance market of New Jersey, HSA plans are NOT a good deal. Is that your only option? If you have a traditional plan or an HMO or PPO available to you, you probably want to switch to that. Every year when we shop insurance plans at my office, I look at the HSA plans because ideally, I'd love to have one. But every year the numbers just don't add up and I stick with the HMO plan.

    HSAs are supposed to be a lot cheaper, but in NJ they are actually more expensive.

  13. MariRDH Says:

    Oh, yeah, don't get me wrong. I have been pining for an HSA since it was signed into law. I requested one from our insurance agent at the time (I was working in another field and I was in charge of finding insurance for the small business I worked for), and they were not even available in NJ for the longest time.

    Now that I find they are available I am extremely discouraged by how expensive they are. It makes no sense to charge people $600/month for a product that covers basically nothing. If you are going to have such a high deductible health plan (required by HSA), then you must allow people to pay bare bones premiums. Otherwise they have no money left over to put into the Savings Account portion of the plan.

    As it is, I will be paying just under $200/month less than I was with the regular HMO I had previously. That $200 will go to the HSA - approx $2,400/year. Not much considering we have to pick up $5,000 before the insurance kicks in, and the maximum HSA contribution for 2008 is $5,650/yr with family coverage as we have. If the premiums were a couple hundred less each month that is a couple hundred more I could put in that savings account and the HSA would actually be a decent deal.

    The tax benefits are not that important for us at this point as my husband is working PT while going to school FT. Our AGI will probably only be around $55,000 and according to the IRS Withholding Calculator we should only pay around $500 in taxes this year. We should be getting a big refund check come April 2008. I guess I'll use that to fund our HSA for next year!

  14. MariRDH Says:

    DisneySteve,

    The next cheapest plan was an HMO with co-insurance. The deductible on that one was $2,500, it did not have the HSA portion to save money for medical expenses and it cost $200 more each month which would be a wash. I figured at least with the $200/month savings and our good health we will be better off with the HSA. Who knows? All of the options are really horrible here in Jersey.

  15. disneysteve Says:

    Sounds like the HSA at least comes out even for you, possibly even has the advantage since you can use HSA funds to cover expenses not covered by non-HSA plans.

    Last time we checked, the HSA was actually more expensive than the HMO which made no sense at all.

  16. Dave Says:

    Hello all - I am between a rock and a hard place. My health insurance premium is going up to $343 next month (that's per paycheck) - right now my takehome pay is $671 every 2 weeks. I live in New York and have two daughters, 11 and 16. My wife just signed up with HER employer for $30 per paycheck for herself. My employer will pay my full premium! BUT THE KIDS - according to our income, we qualify --- we ARE eligible for Child Health Plus at $20 per month per child - HERE is the CATCH - a six-month waiting period. We want so much to move out of our current apartment and I have a huge bill I need to move out of the way by feb 1st. If we go on CHP and endure the waiting period, our Quality of Life goes up a thousand per cent.

    My friend told me "if something happens you can take the kids to one of the clinics, and since you're no stranger to bankruptcy (did it over a decade ago) if tragedy struck you could go that route later on down the road

    CATCH #2 - New York doesn't allow children to be insured without the parent being on the policy, so that negates e-health etc.

    SHOULD I TAKE THE CHANCE? A commenter to one of your posts i think mentioned that Citigroup owed "gazillions" and they don't care. I can't get a part time job right now and this modest increase in my paycheck would change everything and help our little family SO MUCH (and keep us together, too)

    CAN YOU OR ANY ONE OF YOUR COMMENTERS OFFER SOLID ADVICE AND/OR SUPPORT????? Please! I'll be watching for replies, and Thanks! I feel so torn up right now - have to make a decision within 5 days.

  17. MarianneJ Says:

    Dave,

    Just want to make sure I understand what you are saying, Your children DO qualify for CHIP, but they have to wait until June to be covered. Do the children have to have NO health insurance for the six month waiting period?

    I don't understand Catch#2. Are you saying that either you or your wife must be covered under CHIP along with the children?

  18. Dave Says:

    Thanks for the respone, Marianne ---

    YES the children DO qualify for CHIP, but they have to wait until June to be covered.

    YES they will have NO health insurance for the six month waiting period... that's the only way NY state will allow them on the program

    CATCH # 2 is New York state will not allow temporary short-term health insurance for children to be sold UNLESS a parent is on as the primary, which jacks the price beyond what I would have had to pay already.

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