or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Women's Health  › Anyone choose to not have insurance?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anyone choose to not have insurance?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The main reason I felt I needed it was how expensive vaxes are and how often you need well baby checks. Now we arent vaxing and maybe not well checking. So. We get sick enough to go to a doc...not much. I mean, colds and stomach viruses I can handle. It seems it would be cheaper to pay out of pocket, unless of course something unthinkable happens. But then Ive heard horror stories of people who have paid thier premiums faithfully for years only to be denied coverage when the REALLY needed it.

I spend over $500/mo for my ins.

We dont even go to the doc once a month.

Is it really worth it?
post #2 of 33
I believe that with a child it's very important to have insurance. You never know what might happen. Even something as "little" as a broken arm or an appendicitis could set you back a ton. I suppose if you put the $500 aside each month and dedicated it for a fund just in case, maybe that would be ok. You'd be taking your chances though. I'm not a gambler....If your baby ever had a problem it could ruin you financially.

My father and his family don't have insurance, however, they have enough money to pay for whatever may come their way. I'd never risk it...I can't afford to!

It does kill me to shell out that much money every month for insurance that I barely use though.
post #3 of 33
I don't have insurance, we,ve thought about needing it but we feel its a waste of money during the time we don't need it and when we need it(which we have, dh broke his hand) we pay payments to the hospital, its worked out good so far and we don't have that $500 a month going out the window every month that we don't need the insurance, just my opinion
post #4 of 33
The difference in care that you get with vs. without an insurance card in your hand is unbelievable. In many cases, they even give different diagnoses to insured and uninsured people with the same problems because they are not able or willing to give the uninsured person the standard treatment for the real diagnosis. So they will water it down and give you band-aid symptom relief while an insured person with the same condition is getting everything they know how to give. Trust me, my family has BTDT and I thank God every day we're not there anymore. Have you seen the movie "John Q" with Denzel Washington? Even with cash in hand - cash doesn't "compute" in the minds of the medical people the way an insurance card does. And you would need to put $500 a month away for many years before you would be able to pay your own way on a course of treatment for a serious disease. Yes, it's unlikely, but that's why it's called insurance. It's not really intended as a discount plan for routine care, although many people use it that way. If you are uncomfortable with your premium, can you maybe look into a catastrophic plan, with a high deductible?

If you pay premiums and they refuse to cover you, you can sue. If you don't pay premiums, you can go to the hospital, put your hand out, and pray they give you charity. Seems like a no-brainer, to me.
post #5 of 33
I don't want to sound snarky at all thats not my intent but if they don't give un-insured the same amount of treatment or respect as someone insured you can sue them. Especially if something goes wrong due to their neglect.
post #6 of 33
ICU812, I don't think people who can't afford insurance are going to be going around suing people for poor care.

People who don't have insurance are charged more for the same service. I know "they" say the insurance company has worked out lower rates with them... that's BS. They should charge everyone the same low rate, regardless of insurance ownership.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
The main reason I felt I needed it was how expensive vaxes are and how often you need well baby checks. Now we arent vaxing and maybe not well checking. So. We get sick enough to go to a doc...not much. I mean, colds and stomach viruses I can handle. It seems it would be cheaper to pay out of pocket, unless of course something unthinkable happens. But then Ive heard horror stories of people who have paid thier premiums faithfully for years only to be denied coverage when the REALLY needed it.

I spend over $500/mo for my ins.

We dont even go to the doc once a month.

Is it really worth it?
The company DH works for has excellent insurance, and the premiums are quite minimum, probably less than 50 a month for the family. You never know when something will happen that you will wish you had insurance. Our 4th child was born with heart and lung defects, and the surgery/hospital stay was hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet minimal out of pocket for us. Our son spent just a few days shy of a month in the hospital. The insurance also came in handy when our older son was out of town and a golf cart tipped over breaking his ankle, and he also had to have knee surgery for a later injury. If something happens and you try to obtain insurance after the fact, most, if not all, will not cover a pre-existing condition. So although your insurance is quite a bit more than ours, I would still think it would be very helpful to maintain. One major incident could bankrupt you.
post #8 of 33
We have it through dh's work,and it REALLY annoys me when the medical bills come.It seems like they pay nothing. The fear of major illness/accidents keeps us from canceling.My kids go 1-3 times a year,and they usually never get over the $250 deduct.
post #9 of 33
I work at a large teaching hospital in a big city, and my experience has been that the uninsured often get better/ more thorough care than the insured. The floor I work on is a trauma floor/surgical floor, and so many of our patients are uninsured trauma victims. The doctors are able to order all kinds of tests for the uninsured, but they often have to clear the same tests with the insured pt's insurance company. It's ridiculous. Perhaps this is because it's a teaching hospital though.
My big issue with my company is that the insurance company won't pay for my dh's allergy medication. They claim that he could use another (cheaper) medication instead, however, that other med is NOT the same. And my dh has tried it without relief. He is in the process of jumping through hoops to get a specialist to write a letter to the insurance company. It makes me very angry...
post #10 of 33
We also pay about $500/month for insurance and I brought up the idea of a catastrophic plan to DH a while back. I haven't looked into it really, just thought about it a little.

Has anyone gone that route? Anyone gotten rid of their "regular" insurance and gone with catastrophic?
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammom View Post
Has anyone gone that route? Anyone gotten rid of their "regular" insurance and gone with catastrophic?
That's been my goal for a while, but like pp said, we'd need to have a chunk in an emergency account b/f I'd do it. My issue aside from the monthly cost is the fact that insurance won't cover (or barely, barely) covers the type of health care practicioners I want to see (NDs, chiros etc..). I hate the stupid hoops you have to go through, and though it's only happened once, I have gotten screwed over on a claim they *say* wasn't cleared first, when there is proof I spoke with someone. But apparently the someone I spoke with wasn't fully informed and gave me bad advice (imagine that).:

But yes, someday I plan to give my regular insurance the boot.
post #12 of 33
A combination of a catastrophic plan with a regular contribution to a savings account for medical expenses can work for some people. Basically, if you have a $5,000 deductible, plus limited coverage for certain other things, you need to figure out what your maximum yearly out of pocket expense is likely to be for doctor visits, alternative practioner visits, remedies and vitamins, and anything else you can think of that the insurance wouldn't cover. Then you need to see if you can come up with that amount of money each year. If you do mostly alternative stuff anyway, you can probably save a good bit of money and get more of the sort of care you want.

Good luck figuring it all out
post #13 of 33
Moving to health and healing.
post #14 of 33
We have major medical or a catastrophic plan.
It is Lifewise insurance for Washington state residents.
For my family of 3 it's 140.00 a month 2,000 deductible (which we always have in savings) and gives us 3 ND app. each a year or you can see a chiro or Acc 3 times at 25% which usually is about 20-40 out of pocket.
They are changing the plan in Jan too it gets even better but goes up 30 .
i can see chir for 25.00 up to 12 times and see Nd up to 6 times.
We don't vax and rarely see doc's. It works out well for us. I think that it is fairly affordable for what I get.
I have the Essentials 25 plan fyi in WA.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by chelsmm View Post
I work at a large teaching hospital in a big city, and my experience has been that the uninsured often get better/ more thorough care than the insured. The floor I work on is a trauma floor/surgical floor, and so many of our patients are uninsured trauma victims. The doctors are able to order all kinds of tests for the uninsured, but they often have to clear the same tests with the insured pt's insurance company. It's ridiculous. Perhaps this is because it's a teaching hospital though.
Yes, probably. Research institutions, even if affiliated with a "private" university, receive a great deal of public funds - NIH research grants and, I'm sure, a large number of other things I don't even know the names of. And they have a mandate to do a lot of stuff on people in order for students to get the needed clinical experiences (although see the stories of many women who have given birth in teaching facilities for how this can backfire on a patient). In less-well-funded settings the story is quite different. You're also not taking into account the many uninsured patients who never make it to your facility because they are too far away, or because they perceive, rightly or wrongly, that it is not accessible to them - or perhaps because the ambulance driver just takes them straight to the county public hospital. All your experience indicates is that, depending on location and circumstances, my "pray for charity" idea doesn't necessarily fail.

Also - hospital care is one thing but the specialized outpatient care which is often needed for serious conditions is another. My husband has a rare, chronic debilitating condition, but one which does not normally require hospitalization. When we were uninsured, he was given painkillers etc for symptom relief and told by multiple specialists in several different states that there was nothing else that could be done because "your condition is so rare, nobody bothers to develop treatments for it."

When we got insurance, his specialist suddenly revealed the existence of a drug therapy which attacks the root causes of his condition, halts the progress of the disease - and costs $25,000/year to administer.

Anyone can walk into an emergency room but you can't force a private doctor to give you an appointment nor a drug company to give you $500/week worth of outpatient meds. In my pediatrician's office there is a sign on the wall that if you do not have insurance you will not be seen unless you pay the full fee up-front. It breaks my heart to see that because I know that sign isn't there because of some imaginary possibility that they dreamed up. People really do show up with sick kids, hoping for a break, and they really do get turned away.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by chelsmm View Post
My big issue with my company is that the insurance company won't pay for my dh's allergy medication. They claim that he could use another (cheaper) medication instead, however, that other med is NOT the same.

Don't you LOVE this??? The insurance company is practicing medicine without a licence when they make "change-your-drug" decisions for everyone!
post #17 of 33
We have stopped vaxing and very rarely do a well visit (been over a year, at least), but I'd be very, very nervous w/o insurance. Just a few weeks ago, my kids were playing at the mall playground. We do this frequently, it's geared toward little kids, so nothing hard or big. Ds2 fell backward no more than a foot and ended up breaking his elbow. So, we had an ER visit, then a trip to the orthopedic doc, then found out this is a very rare type of break that can have tons of complications, including needing surgery b/c the bone fragment can move even when in a cast. Instead of a cast for 3 weeks, we're looking at 6, with weekly or biweekly xrays. So far, our out of pocket is $140. I shudder to imagine what it would be like otherwise. Ds2 is also sick w/some infection- we're on our 2nd round of antibiotics, this one would have cost me $115 if I didn't have insurance, but only $25 b/c I do.

We also rarely get sick. Maybe 1-2x a year each, if that. But, this has been a rough month.
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
I wouldnt be dropping my insurance anytime soon anyway. I am pregnant and thats the whole reason I have the HMO instead of PPO plan (more expensive, but covers more, no deductible etc). My ins. covers the birth, as long its with an ob and in a hospital, 100%. If I want a midwife or a birthing center, they dont cover that.

The fear of something catastrophic happening is what keeps me paying those premiums, even when we go months without using it. But yeah, last year ds1 broke his nose and needed surgery.

Of course, Im begining to think half the stuff my ins has paid for has been unnecesary at best. Xrays when ds1 hurt his arm (it wasnt broken). Two barium swallow studies on dd to determine why she wasnt eating, both test pelted her with harmful radiation and told us nothing. I knew she wouldnt cooperate going in. She doenst want to eat at home, why is she going to eat stuff covered with barium in the xray room with strangers watching her? She was so traumitized by the incidents and Im still kicking myself for going through with it. But they wouldnt do feeding therapy without it. Of course, the only thing wrong as it turns out was cavities (yep, her teeth hurt, thats why she stopped eating).
post #19 of 33
We carry only major medical in case of a serious emergency or life threatening illness, and we look for medical professionals that provide cash-only care (they are cheaper because they don't process insurance), and offices that give a cash discount. If you don't have coverage, ask what the insurance companies pay for the care you are receiving and say you want to pay that. If they won't discuss it, call the insurance companies and see if they will tell you. Also, in a private practice the doctor (or whatever) is probably the business owner, so you can discuss payment options with them (before care), the same way you might with a lawyer or a chimney sweep. Save aside the amount of the deductible (this might take a few years of socking away). I know you are carrying your insurance for the time being, but for future reference this works for us. Also, with pregnancy, our major medical covered emergency care and we paid cash for a home birth. All the midwives I know are very flexible about payment options, including time-banking and barter. I actually think that not carrying office visit coverage is a good thing, because it discourages visits to the doctors office, which usually result in more negatives than positives, IMO.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
So they will water it down and give you band-aid symptom relief while an insured person with the same condition is getting everything they know how to give.
Having been born and raised with socialized medicine and now finding myself having to pay for healthcare, I view what you're describing as the doctors ability to bill out the nose for needless practices, versus doing only what's necessary.

I started out my pregnancy without insurance. When my insurance kicked in I suddenly became "high risk" and had to have to non stress tests 3 times a week, often followed up with ultrasounds. Each procedure cost 350 dollars, but oddly enough, when I didn't have insurance it wasn't necessary. I was furious because it seemed like they all of a sudden were taking advantage of the fact I had insurance.

It's no wonder to me that, as you put it, people with insurance receive "better" care, but I don't think that "better" equals necessary. It seems like they just jump at the opportunity to bill for as many services as possible, and who better to do that with then a person with a good insurance policy? It's disgusting.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Women's Health
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Women's Health  › Anyone choose to not have insurance?