or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Thinking about dropping our health insurance
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Thinking about dropping our health insurance

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
We've gone over the numbers again and again, and we just can't justify throwing away so much money every month when we don't see doctors. Ever.

We went without health insurance for nearly 5 years...and in that time I saw a doctor once and my children had 2 check ups, and for those appointments we simply paid out of pocket.

2 months ago we purchased a high-deductible plan, but we still are having a hard time justifying the monthly bill for it...we don't use it...and we WON'T use it...as far as the typical well-visits go anyway. We very strongly feel like we're throwing our money away.

We have some money saved, and feel that we'd like to once again be without health insurance, and take the risks which are associated with that.

Our plan doesn't cover holistic medicine, and should someone in our family develop a serious condition, we're not likely to seek conventional medicine anyway. If one of us gets sick and needs to see a doctor, we could pay for it. If someone has an injury, we could afford to pay for it. If I get pregnant and end up needing a c-section (not likely), we could afford it. My husband has a great job and makes good money...and we don't like handing it over "just in case" when we aren't the doctor-seeing types. We'd much rather save it.

Does anyone else choose this route?

And/or can anyone bring to attention something we're missing in our logic here?
post #2 of 56
I consider health insurance to be an absolute necessity, personally. Especially when you have kids. I know too many women whose kids get sick and get worse and worse because they aren't insured and the parents can't afford/don't want to pay out of pocket.

Even the healthiest people get sick and injured. I was a healthy 29-year old when I developed preeclampsia and had to have a c-section at 32 weeks. My son spent 6 weeks in the NICU. My insurance was billed $250,000 for both of us, and that was 5 years ago. My portion? $1200.

You don't know that you won't use your insurance. Medical bills bankrupt uninsured and underinsured families.
post #3 of 56
I don't disagree that for us non-doctor-goers, health insurance is SO annoying. One thing to think about is that God forbid something big happen, you can wind up totally buried in bills (although your husband may make so much that money is truly not an issue). Last summer my brother in law was hit by a truck while riding his bike. He was in the hospital for a month on his back, multiple surgeries (in including one two weeks ago). So far the bills are about $400,000, paid by insurance. Without insurance I don't know what he would have done... I don't know if you just end up filing for bakruptcy or what.
I had a healthy pregnancy and wonderful, natural childbirth and my baby ended up in the NICU from meconium inhalation. A month later he had surgery for pyloric stenosis. Both of these things were beyond our control and would have cost a fortune without insurance. So.... not to be doom and gloom, but there are things that you just can't account for no matter how healthy your lifestyle.
I'm with you, IF I go to a doctor it's either a chiro or a naturopath, neither of which are covered by my insurance, but I still have it just in case. Our medical system is really screwed up and I hate paying into it I just don't feel like i have much choice at this point.
post #4 of 56
We dropped our insurance this year. My kids are insured through their dad, but DH and I have nothing. We make too much to get on state health care, we make too little to afford the premiums, and the "limited" health insurance offered through my job doesn't pay for squat. It's a no-win situation.
post #5 of 56
We dont have any either. We can buy food or insurance. Without food we'll be dead in a week or 2. Easy choice. We are prepared to declare bankruptcy in the event of catastrophic injury.
post #6 of 56
I would think that health insurance brings a little peace of mind, esp. when tragedy strikes. If I were to end up in a situation where immediate treatment was needed, I wouldn't want treatment costs to be a factor in an already stressful situation.
post #7 of 56
I would strongly suggest you go to ehealthinsurance.com, and buy the cheapest insurance you can for you and your family. Going without is a very bad idea. I know you never see doctors, and would prefer alternate medicine, but the fact of the matter is that health care in our country is silly expensive.

I'm imagining a family outing, when a drunk driver runs a light and totals your car with your family in it. All family members go to the hospital with various injuries. You say you can afford it. For this type of situation, the bill could top a million or more. Can you really afford it? If so, then why are you stressing the cost of health insurance?

The other sad truth is there is a different standard of care in our country for those with health insurance and those without. For example, limb reattachment is standard for people with health insurance, but considered optional for those without. Is your arm worth $500,000 or more? Would you like to make that decision for your family?

Under the new health care act, there are more state run low cost options for you and your family. Consider buying into one of those. Or like I said, visit ehealthinsurance.com and choose a plan that doesn't cover well visits or medications. They are cheaper. Just FYI I recently priced health insurance for our family of 4, and could go as low as $129 a month (for everybody) with a high deductible.
post #8 of 56
also bear in mind that lapses in coverage can make it hard to have things covered when/if you do have coverage again.

My kids have double coverage. We have a kid who ends up in the ER and or admitted usually at least once a year. We'd be sunk financially w/o coverage.
post #9 of 56
I was really glad I had insurance when, at 30 y/o, I unexpectedly got cancer. Prior to that, I really only had it because you are supposed to. Now, I really understand the value of having insurance.
post #10 of 56
Last year, I had to have my gallbladder out. I was trying to wait until my baby was 12 months old (he was 9 months old at the time), and so I kept putting off my symptoms. Honestly? I was also trying to hold out to have it done until a new calendar year/deductible year hit, because we have a large deductible/out of pocket. I ended up with pancreatitis because of that choice.

I hate being in the position that I have to choose which health care I will take advantage of because of cost. And, I can only imagine that it would be MUCH more pronounced if I had no insurance at all.

My stepfather had his appendix out at, like, age 45? He was and is completely healthy before and after. But, the appendix was unexpected.

The cost for these benign surgeries travel into the 10s of thousands of dollars. Steep to pay for many people. Insurance helps with that.
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gini1313 View Post
I was really glad I had insurance when, at 30 y/o, I unexpectedly got cancer. Prior to that, I really only had it because you are supposed to. Now, I really understand the value of having insurance.
I've been in the same boat. Health insurance is an absolute top priority in our family. If you were to be struck with a catastrophic illness or a chronic illness and don't have it, you are completely screwed. My cancer treatment probably cost half a million dollars, when all is said and done.

And while you might think you would shun conventional medicine, I think that's a really hypothetical call if you or your children are hit with something serious.
post #12 of 56
can you get the kids insured thru your state?
every year whether we have insurance or not (and we have even had really good insurance at times) we spend about $10,000 out of pocket and we are not sick people. last year ds#2 fell of his bike and split his chin open and needed stitches, i had two miscarriages, the kids needed dental work.... it adds up.
one plus is that hospitals take payments. i can't imagine facing a half a million dollar bill BUT they will take payments.

h
post #13 of 56
As someone who has been through chronic illness (lupus, since I was eleven), a major "accident" (beaten so severely that I was in a coma for eight days, when I was nine), and surprise emergencies (swine flu that nearly killed me, last year; car accident, age twenty-five; a collapsed lung out of nowhere; two years ago; etc.) I would never be without health insurance. I haven't been since I was ten.

You can never know what is going to happen.

My perfectly healthy, clean-living, physical therapist sister-in-law battled breast cancer a few years ago. My best friend's mother died of lung cancer, despite never smoking a single cigarette in her life at age forty-three. Another good friend's very cautious three-year-old daughter just fell off of a jungle gym at the park and broke her arm.

I'll say it again - you can never know what is going to happen.

I wouldn't risk it.
post #14 of 56
I know there are different school of thought and some folks would move heaven and earth to have health insurance and others will always find it a complete waste of money and time.

I think in the OP situation you need to think of it as bankruptcy protection insurance not healthcare. How important to your family is it to not loose your entire net worth (minus whatever is in retirement) to a medical calamity? What makes you feel more frustrated/sick to your stomach paying premiums or losing what you have worked for be spent on medical care in a matter of a couple days, weeks or months. Perhaps the answer is actually a higher deductible plan?

I'm frustrated with health insurance too. For a totally different reason (but sort of the same reason too). My employer offers very good insurance, but at the expense of ever giving anyone real raises. I would enjoy some more take home pay and gladly forgo some of the admittedly great coverage since only one of the four people in my house has met the $100 individual deductible so far 9 months into the benefit year.
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post
I think in the OP situation you need to think of it as bankruptcy protection insurance not healthcare. How important to your family is it to not loose your entire net worth (minus whatever is in retirement) to a medical calamity?
I don't know the OP's whole situation, but if she's anything like me, she doesn't have a "net worth." What are they going to take from me? I have nothing in savings, the bank still owns my vehicle, and we rent. We live week to week, and will continue to do so at least until I finish school.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
I think in the OP situation you need to think of it as bankruptcy protection insurance not healthcare.
Exactly.

Yes, you can afford to pay for check ups and holistic visits or whatever. That's the main premise of a HDHP. A HDHP is for worst case scenario. Your whole family is in a terrible car accident, someone gets run over by a bus, that sort of thing. Those bills can easily run into the hundreds of thousands or more. Who knows, maybe you can pay that too. But would you really want to? I'd rather keep my money in my bank account. I know for me I'd rather pay $299 a month (the cost of a $10,000 deductible health plan for my family of 5) and know that I will never have to worry about hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Lots and lots of people have lost their life savings, their homes and more over medical bills they couldn't pay.
post #17 of 56
We don't go to the dr much either, but my DH was laid off and we had no insurance for that time period and it was stressful to think that something could happen and we would have to file bankruptcy and loose everything we have worked so hard for. Not worth it in my opinion. Our health care is outrageously priced and we are a "poor" family yet we give things up to pay for it.
post #18 of 56
Well, if you spend $10,000 per year or less general "emergencies" included that is less than most insurance esp. if you pay a deductible/copays plus payments. I'd look into catastrophic coverage since that is only for major emergencies.

If you are comfortable with what you describe, I'd say go ahead and drop it. Feeling okay with how you would handle various scenarios is as much peace of mind as anyone can have. Insurance companies sometimes drop coverage on people when things get expensive, deny coverage for really important things, etc. I have heard of quite a few people who have insurance having to declare bankruptcy due to medical expenses too. They thought they would be covered but then something major happened and the insurance co. found a way not to pay or coverage ran out. I've realized that big scary life-altering things can happen healthwise and we don't know when, nor how exactly we'll get through it no matter what we attempt to protect ourselves and our family with. In some ways health insurance can give a false sense of security at a hefty price tag.

That said, I will point out that while we are very healthy and low-intervention when it comes to medical stuff my dh will be 45 soon and the past five years he has used insurance a LOT. He has had a lot of small things and worrisome things come up. We used to never use it. I don't deal with conventional docs unless I have a need. I paid out of pocket for a long time and we paid maybe $300 per year average at most with six people in the family. (We qualified for state coverage at the time, but I didn't even have it BECAUSE you can apply on the spot if you take a child in to the hospital for something. It will then cover retroactively.) We still have paid for some things out of pocket. Like thousands for a vasectomy reversal...

I think when standard insurance becomes only an emergency backup plan the expense is highly questionable. I think you do what feels safe enough for you. This is a world in which things often do not turn out as we expect with or without insurance. Health insurance feels like good thing but I confess it doesn't give me very much sense of protection. I have difficulty trusting it would work out as needed if it ever involved paying out more than we were paying in. People get dropped all the time after they start having real health problems.
post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post
People get dropped all the time after they start having real health problems.
Supposedly the regulations against this are now stronger than they used to be, due to the new healthcare law, so you soon will have more recourse if it does happen to you. That provision takes effect on September 23 according to this news article: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_15287105
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I don't know the OP's whole situation, but if she's anything like me, she doesn't have a "net worth." What are they going to take from me? I have nothing in savings, the bank still owns my vehicle, and we rent. We live week to week, and will continue to do so at least until I finish school.
She stated in the OP that she had enough cash reserves to self-fund a c-section. To me that's not paycheck to paycheck. I do think you're plan of action would be different with a net worth of $50,000 versus several million. She shared enough that the advice would be different than someone without any assets like yourself.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Thinking about dropping our health insurance