health insurance decision

In late January, I signed up for a silver plan on the health insurance marketplace and the monthly premium would be $200. I went over a decade without health insurance due to being marginally employed, then was covered by Obamacare for free before getting a full-time job recently. I’m middle aged and overweight but haven’t had any major health issues or expenses in the past except for some dental work. The health insurance doesn’t cover dental.

Now I’m thinking I’m better off just not having health insurance the next couple years because I’m going to be paying rent for an apartment and that $2400 would equal at least 1/3 of my rent plus I’m just now getting my credit card paid off after years of carrying a balance so $2400 is a lot of money to me.

I think I’d be better off socking away $2400 in a savings account or low risk investment. Over the next several years, $2400 per year could add up and cover any unexpected medical or dental expenses. The health insurance company just sent me a letter explaining how to create an online account and send payment. Is it too late to change my mind or can I just ignore the letter and not send a payment?

Would $2400 a year for several years pay for a $100,000 heart bypass operation or chemotherapy?

Just don’t go without insurance. Especially if you’re not young and/or have assets to loose in a bankruptcy.

Well, you will have to pay the penalty so there is that to keep in mind. But I do believe we have an obligation to carry at least a catastrophic coverage plan. None of us plans to get sick or have an accident, but it happens all the time and someone has to pay for that care you would then need.

My premium for a silver plan is over $800.00 a month so I went for the bronze plan this year. That’s still almost $600.00 a month for me.

I hate it, but I pay it anyway because I do feel it’s my responsibility.

My young and healthy brother-in-law stepped in a hole and broke his leg badly enough to require surgery a few years ago. Being uninsured, it was $12,000 in hospital bills.

Accidents can happen to anybody.

Why aren’t you covered through your employer?

Another possibility is I won’t be working at this job more than a few years and maybe less than a year because I want to move, so I’ll be unable to pay insurance after employment so why bother to pay for it now? That would be like getting insurance on a few teeth and leaving the rest uninsured.

But what I may do is pay the insurance anyways and find a room for rent instead of having my own apartment.

Sure, and they can also not, too. I didn’t have health insurance for 10 years (ages 25-35) and needed to see a doctor twice in that time, wracking up $400 in medical expenses which I paid for. Bad things might happen if the OP skips insurance, but if he’s pretty young, they probably won’t.

bobkitty, nearly every year the % of employers who even offer insurance, let alone help you pay for it, goes down. Last year only 57% of employers offered health insurance to at least some of their employees.

If I was younger I would say consider shooting craps and not getting the insurance. You would be far from the only one (one of say 10 million working age adults?), the penalty is smaller than the insurance payments, and your job situation as you describe it isn’t terribly stable.

Me? I pay the price. I am older and not much of a betting man.

The federal government decided that you are not able to appropriately make these type of decisions for yourself anymore. You are required to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, so that people that can’t afford the insurance will be subsidized by your premium or penalty.

Thanks for playing.

This. If your employer dumped you on the exchange with some money, there may be additional legal implications beyond the non-coverage penalty.

It seems to me that you are the ideal candidate for a high-deductible plan. Find a plan that just covers catastrophic. The lowest level bronze plans have you pay the entire out of pocket maximum before they kick in at all and can be much cheaper than the other plans. If you have no problems, you spend only for the limited premiums. If you have a severe problem, it will cover it.

Not unless by next several years you mean 40 or 50 years. A simple heart attack or car accident can easily result in a six figure bill.

The key is your ability to go bankrupt. As one person noted, if you have no assets to seize you may be better off just paying the penalty.

I work with low income people and one thing that is way understated is the ability to get health care without insurance. Sure they WILL treat you for life threatening emergencies. But I work for a NPO and I can name you ten times in the last five years, where I have intervened and got people free angioplasty and heart treatment through referrals when they were sent away from the hospital with chest pain.

The hospital was not under obligation to provide them with any service that wasn’t life threatening. The hospital was not under the obligation to render medical aid till they had an actual heart attack.

This is counterproductive but it happens all the time. Plus while I used a lot of my pull to get a doctor to perform the surgeries in no case would the doctor provide any follow up care other and all of the patients were told to see their regular doctor for post care.

When you have a kidney stone and can’t get a pain shot, you may wish you had insurance. On the other hand, I look at myself and have paid $7,500 in insurance premiums for about $200 worth of medical treatment in the past five years.

You’re paying for peace of mind.

You’re right, they probably won’t. I’m 47. I’ve always been healthy, haven’t had any broken bones or major illnesses (knock on wood). I could have saved a lot of money by not having health insurance. But I wouldn’t go without it. Just like I insure my house, despite not having had anything bad happen to that either (again, knock on wood). Just like I insure my car, even though I’ve never had an accident (3rd, knock on wood).

Insurance is to cover what might happen.

I’ve been healthy all 45 of my years so far, but that didn’t change my gall bladder from giving out a couple years ago. Between the surgery and a complication that made my hospital stay 4 days long, that was a $65,000 bill I didn’t even have to pay a deductible for, thanks to Blue Cross.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean you wouldn’t be able to pay COBRA? With the way the Marketplace is set up now, leaving employment makes you immediately eligible to enroll in the Marketplace and you can skip COBRA.

I just meant I wouldn’t have the money to pay for any insurance. I’m just going to go ahead and pay for it this year since the insurance letter already arrived. I might consider going without next year depending on my employment status. The bronze plan is only $50 cheaper and has a much higher deductible and less coverage so it doesn’t seem like a good option for me.