For the final topic in the Healthcare section of the How To Live Totally Free series I discuss living without health insurance in America. This is a choice many choose because COBRA coverage and private health insurance are too expensive, and the person cannot qualify for a government subsidy. Thus, these individuals go without coverage and either don’t go to doctors, or choose to pay cash or use a discount program when they do. Is the risk of forgoing health insurance worth saving money. Let’s review the pros and cons.
Living Without Health Insurance In America
The realities of living this way
Honestly, I’ve made the choice to live this way right now. I’ve had private health insurance in the past and employer health coverage. After quitting my full-time job this past June I thought about getting COBRA depending on the cost. After reviewing the monthly premium of $442 a month I decided that was too expensive. So I looked at private health insurance plans.
The cheapest I could find was about $340 a month. Unfortunately, the deductible is $8000 but I don’t have to meet the deductible to get preventive care due Federal law. I would choose this plan to cover if something horrible happens to me, like I’m in accident and need extensive treatment or I develop cancer. The reason I would go this route because I’m rarely sick. Also, I don’t have to take medication for an aliment. Plus, when I do have to go the doctor I’m willing to pay for that appointment.
I am thinking about purchasing just dental and vision insurance because those are more affordable. Also, I go to the dentist and eye doctor more often than a regular doctor. Yet, I know I need to have some health insurance just in case something happens.
I don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish. Yes, I’m saving money now because I’m not paying a monthly health insurance premium. What happens later when I need it, though? I will have a large bill on my hands, and either have to apply for payment assistance or get on a payment plan.
Am I Afraid To Live Without Insurance?
Living without health insurance in America doesn’t scare me. I know if I needed treatment I could get it. However, many Americans do live in fear everyday. That’s because some of them have chronic conditions and need treatment for it but forgo it. Others push the thought in the back of their head and just live their lives.
I Wish I Could Go The Cash Route
I really wish the American healthcare system wasn’t ruled by insurance. If I could go to the doctor like I shop for an item at Walmart or the grocery store that would be simpler. Those stores don’t hide their prices. I don’t have to take a pack of steak to the cashier to find out how much it costs. Why must doctor fees be hidden?
I did think about finding a cash-only doctor. There are ones who only accept cash because keeping up with insurance is difficult at best. Yet, that option only works with doctors and not hospitals.
What Will I Do?
I’m going to get private health insurance. I’m 40 years old and I’m getting too old to take this risk.
If you miss any of the posts of the How To Live Totally Free series you can find all the posts here.