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Where to get affordable healthcare when you don't have insurance

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    #16
    Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post

    So ......
    You make plenty
    You are unwilling to pay the going rate for health insurance
    You are unwilling to give up self employment for a job with insurance benefits

    But .....
    You want health coverage and you want it cheap

    Sorry, but not much can be helped if you are unwilling to make changes.
    I'll stick to my original suggestion and say that somebody needs to pick up a different job, working for the other guy, that provides health insurance.
    This self employment gig isn't nearly as good as you think if it doesn't kick out enough money that would allow you to buy health insurance coverage.
    Kind of harsh. People shouldn't have to work for a corporation to have quality healthcare. Another finance form I am on just had a post yesterday where a young, healthy self-employed individual was looking for an alternative to his $700 PER MONTH healthcare premium. That's not reasonable. For someone earning $50k/year, that's 16% of their gross income. On this forum, we wouldn't advise someone to take on a mortgage payment that large on that income and a house is something you use and need every day. $8,400/year just in case something goes wrong? You'd be better off socking away those premiums in a savings account and hoping you don't get cancer. It's a broken system.

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      #17
      Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post

      Kind of harsh. People shouldn't have to work for a corporation to have quality healthcare.
      Agreed. One of the big problems is how health insurance in this country is tied to employment. That needs to stop. Lots of people can't get coverage if their employer doesn't offer it or if they are self-employed. Lots of people feel trapped in lousy jobs because they don't want to lose their coverage. Lots of people who would love to retire at 59 or 60 or 62 have to keep working until 65 solely to maintain affordable coverage. There needs to be a better way.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post

        So ......
        You make plenty
        You are unwilling to pay the going rate for health insurance
        You are unwilling to give up self employment for a job with insurance benefits

        But .....
        You want health coverage and you want it cheap

        Sorry, but not much can be helped if you are unwilling to make changes.
        I'll stick to my original suggestion and say that somebody needs to pick up a different job, working for the other guy, that provides health insurance.
        This self employment gig isn't nearly as good as you think if it doesn't kick out enough money that would allow you to buy health insurance coverage.
        Leaving my self-employment "gig" and having benefits taken out for us would decrease our taken-home by nearly $1,200 per month for the two of us. I've pondered getting a full-time 9-5 job working for "the man" and it just isn't worth all the things I'd be losing, including pay. Most wouldn't match what I'm making now being self-employed AND they'd be taking money out for these health benefits. Financially, that's just not the move for us.

        Definitely not unwilling to pay the going rate for health insurance but absolutely unwilling to put us in a financial crunch to pay for it.

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          #19
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

          Agreed. One of the big problems is how health insurance in this country is tied to employment. That needs to stop. Lots of people can't get coverage if their employer doesn't offer it or if they are self-employed. Lots of people feel trapped in lousy jobs because they don't want to lose their coverage. Lots of people who would love to retire at 59 or 60 or 62 have to keep working until 65 solely to maintain affordable coverage. There needs to be a better way.
          Absolutely! I actually found a doctor (about 45 minutes away) that has a plan where you pay the office directly ($55 per month). Paying that price, you get discounted (or free) lab tests, work, etc. and can visit the office as much as you need. They do everything minus dental work in that office too. I'm going to search for one a little closer, but it seems that may be a good option.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

            Absolutely! I actually found a doctor (about 45 minutes away) that has a plan where you pay the office directly ($55 per month). Paying that price, you get discounted (or free) lab tests, work, etc. and can visit the office as much as you need. They do everything minus dental work in that office too. I'm going to search for one a little closer, but it seems that may be a good option.
            This goes by a few names depending on exactly how it's structured: concierge medicine or direct primary care are the two you'll hear the most. This is a growing trend as it's good for both the patient and the provider. It does not, however, replace health insurance as it only covers care delivered in that office. It won't help you in the ER or if you're hospitalized or you need to see a specialist for anything.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
              Kind of harsh. People shouldn't have to work for a corporation to have quality healthcare. Another finance form I am on just had a post yesterday where a young, healthy self-employed individual was looking for an alternative to his $700 PER MONTH healthcare premium. That's not reasonable. For someone earning $50k/year, that's 16% of their gross income. On this forum, we wouldn't advise someone to take on a mortgage payment that large on that income and a house is something you use and need every day. $8,400/year just in case something goes wrong? You'd be better off socking away those premiums in a savings account and hoping you don't get cancer. It's a broken system.
              Sorry, for the somewhat rude reply but the current reality in the US is that we all need health insurance and the only reasonable options are:
              a. Work somewhere that it is provided.
              b. Buy your own through the ACA.

              We can gripe and moan all we want about it not being right, but currently that is the way it is. I'm not too thrilled about it myself, $1285 per month for myself and spouse using ACA, and it's not the best insurance. But I've also came to the reality that I'm going to have to pay that, or go back to work. We can all hope for something better down the road, but that is not the current environment.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post

                Sorry, for the somewhat rude reply but the current reality in the US is that we all need health insurance and the only reasonable options are:
                a. Work somewhere that it is provided.
                b. Buy your own through the ACA.

                We can gripe and moan all we want about it not being right, but currently that is the way it is. I'm not too thrilled about it myself, $1285 per month for myself and spouse using ACA, and it's not the best insurance. But I've also came to the reality that I'm going to have to pay that, or go back to work. We can all hope for something better down the road, but that is not the current environment.
                I would hands down pay cash for my medical care and hope not to encounter something I can't afford before I'd pay $15k/yr on insurance. I don't blame people who opt out one bit. While it may provide peace of mind, medical insurance is not mandatory or a necessity. Most of the time we consider insurance a necessity because the value of having it outweighs the risk of not having it. ie. I pay $15,000 in insurance premiums on my primary residence over 10 years. Most people are going to have a claim at some point worth around $10-15,000 - further, those who are unfortunate to experience a total loss such as a fire or tornado, are provided with coverage that would make an otherwise devastating event even more financially burdensome - not to mention leave them without a place to live - had they not paid that small premium each year.

                On the contrary, using you as an example, are going to pay $150,000 in insurance premiums over the next 10 years. Sure you'll likely take advantage of some of the covered preventative procedures, maybe have an ER visit or two, but unless one of you becomes terminally ill, you're never going to get out what you paid in. So whats the point? Why not invest that $15k/yr and at least earn some interest on it to help pay those medical bills down the road? I see very little advantage to taking the self coverage

                Comment


                  #23
                  There is a great feature spread on healthcare costs in the November issue of Kiplinger's. One thing it mentions is that there are a growing number of "short-term" health policies that don't meet ACA standards and can run as little as $125/month for individual coverage. They may exclude things that would otherwise be covered with an ACA-compliant plan but if you're in good health and need affordable coverage for a year or two, they can make sense.

                  They mention eHealthInsurance.com as a source. They also quote an insurance broker. Amanda, you should take a look at that site and see if any plans like that are available in your area. You may also want to connect with a broker and see what options they have. Picking up a copy of Kiplinger's or reading it at the library might be useful too as it also gives tips on lowering costs, which was your original topic.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
                    are going to pay $150,000 in insurance premiums over the next 10 years.
                    you're never going to get out what you paid in
                    The whole point of insurance is you just don't know. It takes very little to rack up a 150K bill. My wife tore her ACL getting into a hot tub in Jamaica. I'm sure between Ortho visits, MRI, surgery, and rehab, that could easily top that amount today (she did it 20 years ago). Spend a few days in the hospital for appendicitis or any other emergent surgery and it wouldn't be hard to hit that figure either. I see this sort of thing all the time of course being a physician but it's quite easy for bills to rack up fast even if you are young and "healthy". I have a friend who was attending a conference with me a few years ago. He was under 40 at the time. He asked what I thought about a lump on his neck. I told him to get it checked as soon as we got home. Turned out he had lymphoma. I'm quite certain his surgery, chemo, and radiation cost far more than 150K.

                    So you may never get your money back, but that's how insurance works. I hope I never get my money back on my auto insurance, health insurance, or home insurance either.
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                      They mention eHealthInsurance.com as a source. They also quote an insurance broker. Amanda, you should take a look at that site and see if any plans like that are available in your area. You may also want to connect with a broker and see what options they have. Picking up a copy of Kiplinger's or reading it at the library might be useful too as it also gives tips on lowering costs, which was your original topic.
                      I'll definitely check that out! I think I should be able to read the Kiplinger's at the Barnes and Noble on the corner if I'm not mistaken. I think finding lower-cost options (right now) will probably be the best move. My husband's "employer" recently offered him coverage even though he is technically self-employed... BUT it would be around $2,000 per month to cover us both. That's just insane to me.
                      Last edited by disneysteve; 10-23-2019, 05:07 AM.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                        So you may never get your money back, but that's how insurance works. I hope I never get my money back on my auto insurance, health insurance, or home insurance either.
                        That is the difference right there ... MANY people want something in return for the money.
                        Have you ever seen the breakfast bars at hotels ?

                        When people add up the cost over years of not using or barely using medical, It is easy to see why so many drop to a lower cost plan or opt out. Regardless before or after mandate was ended. Yes, one never knows something can pop up tomorrow but for some people 15k (premiums) of piece of mind a year is not realistic. Part of the problem with the expense was all the add ons the ACA has.

                        I look at it from the 401k standpoint.
                        It took the retirement plan ( pension) away from Employment and put the responsibility on the persons shoulders. For some people whom take up the reins they have manged to grow and save a great deal it works...... and then there is the do it for me crowd that did not sign up/ do not understand how to use for their advantage and BLAME companies for not providing a pension. There seems to be no middle ground.

                        many many Plans or policies look good until in practice. I for one think the ONE SIZE fits all policy is not good.

                        Many conversations evolve around worst case scenario and that is how these insane premiums are just sucked up saying "well i have to" reminds me of MOB protection rackets saying remember Billy down the street he decided not to pay so that is why he is in a cast.... or swimming with the fish.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post

                          I for one think the ONE SIZE fits all policy is not good.
                          Definitely. It's always nice to have options. We have several plans available to us at my job with a range of prices. If you are buying individual coverage, same deal. You can shop from a variety of plans either online or with a broker. The tough situation is when you have a job that only offers one option which I'm sure probably happens at some places.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                            The whole point of insurance is you just don't know. It takes very little to rack up a 150K bill. My wife tore her ACL getting into a hot tub in Jamaica. I'm sure between Ortho visits, MRI, surgery, and rehab, that could easily top that amount today (she did it 20 years ago). Spend a few days in the hospital for appendicitis or any other emergent surgery and it wouldn't be hard to hit that figure either. I see this sort of thing all the time of course being a physician but it's quite easy for bills to rack up fast even if you are young and "healthy". I have a friend who was attending a conference with me a few years ago. He was under 40 at the time. He asked what I thought about a lump on his neck. I told him to get it checked as soon as we got home. Turned out he had lymphoma. I'm quite certain his surgery, chemo, and radiation cost far more than 150K.

                            So you may never get your money back, but that's how insurance works. I hope I never get my money back on my auto insurance, health insurance, or home insurance either.
                            I get that but there still has to be some level of being worth the benefit you're receiving. If my auto policy was $15k a year, I'd take the risk and pay for accident damage out of pocket. I could buy a new car for less than the cost of one year of coverage. Of course there is the risk that you could cause and accident and severely injure someone and be responsible for their medical bills which insurance would have covered, but I'm still not paying $15k/year for that benefit. Auto insurance for $800/year, sure that's worth it and I do carry full coverage on my fully paid off car. If medical premiums are $15k/year, I'm not paying it. If I have a life threatening injury, I can't be refused medical care and I'll figure out the cost after the fact. If I get cancer, maybe I'll move to Canada, IDK but I'm not paying more in medical premiums than I pay for my mortgage, leaving aside the fact that for most of the population, its not even feasible to pay that.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              I don't know if anyone on a financial forum would recommend not having insurance. That's a sure path to bankruptcy. I have 4 people in my household. I think the odds are pretty high I would end up bankrupt without insurance. Any one of us might be in an accident or have some random health diagnosis. We do choose to pay $1,200/month for health insurance (to ensure that we otherwise get to keep our assets). But we've done some middle ground with a high deductible plan and a non-profit insurer. The insurance I have been offered by my employers either cost the same (as we were paying anyway) and was pure crap. I believe at my last job the deductible was $15k or something like that. Okay!? & I can pay just as much for a $3k deductible, and I don't even have to deal with the mess of an employer system. (I wouldn't personally recommend taking employer insurance. But I don't want to be worried about health insurance if I am laid off or take some time off work for any reason, including medical reasons. The system is very broken). I have always had private insurance.

                              OP, you need to talk to an insurance broker who can go over options with you. Some good middle ground might be choosing a high deductible plan if you want to bet on good health. But then gives you more catastrophic coverage in a worst case situation. But a broker will be able to go over the risks and pros/cons of each, and will probably be able to find some more affordable options. The fact that no one has mentioned this to you shows how little people shop around for their healthcare.

                              OP, the best of luck. It is 1,000% an easier decision to pay this much for health insurance at this stage in our life when we do have significant assets to protect. & I have a spouse with a medical condition (something random and awful that popped up around age 30, but is very expensive). If I was a perfectly healthy 20-something, I can't say I'd agree to pay $1,200 per month for insurance. Or more. But just make sure you know what your options are before foregoing insurance entirely.

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                                #30
                                Um delivery of my baby cost $100k+ looking at our bills. I was 30 and young and super healthy and had a couple of issues that cropped up. Early delivery, jaundice, hip dysplasia, heart murmur, vacuum, and DK got stuck wrong side up after being turned from being breech entire pregnancy. I had terrible tearing spent over 3 hours being seen to after. I ran a fever, delivered at 35 weeks and did not have for extra "test" that were supposed to be done. Did I mention I snowboarded, walked and ran 5 miles a day and perfect health. No problems. And then a bad delivery. With all her problems we were SOL for every buying private health insurance before the ACA. DK1 was "pre-existing condition" everything. Allergies she had as well, multiple ear infections, surgery to correct and put tubes in 2x the first by 6 months after 3 months of being on antibiotics which turns out she was allergic too. She also had a high palate and was we suspect tongue tied. Can I keep going? The aca was the only thing going that allowed us to quit DH's job and buy some crappy HDHP plan and we still didn't buy dental or vision. So I have a huge bone to pick with insurance companies and how it's tied to employment.

                                I think picking up a HDHP at a minimum? I agree with MM that it's super easy to lose your shirt I feel without insurance. Just catastrophic coverage is needed personally I think for many. I like more but that's my opinion.

                                That being said I think people can't manage retirement, we'll soon be seeing people retire without pensions the majority. I think anyone under 50. In another 15-20 years it'll really hit because 401k came into effect 1980s. People in their 50s and 60s now many still have pensions from private sector jobs. Most of my friends parents/coworkers/parents friends in 50s/60s have pensions form boeing, exxon, ford, state/federal/city, disney, chase, JPL, unions, then of course military, hospitals, unversities, teachers, police/firemen, etc. Many have frozen pensions but still have pensions and a lot have medical also provided.

                                But people under 50? Only public sector workers and even then some states have cut pensions and turned it into 401k matches because people do move away, stop being a teacher and not getting the pension benefit aspect. So we haven't seen the pensions drop from say 60% to pretty much 0-10% in private sector yet. When it does it'll be ugly. There wasn't a need before for a 401k for the majority of workers when they got pensions and free medical. In the 1980s the creation of the 401k (including the guy who started it) said it wasn't meant to replace the pension but supplement it. Well it's not replaced it and people don't save.

                                So if people can't save for retirement I'd like to know how the average person expects to save into a HSA for an HDHP? And if EVERYONE was so against socialized medicine then Medicare should be scrapped and if you are against socialized medicine then why are you on medicare? That's the question to ask? The US already has socialized medicine and we can't take it away from seniors...
                                LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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