Seriously considering dropping medical coverage, opinions needed.

Here’s the deal. Currently I’m privately insured, and my premiums keep rising. It’s simply getting ridiculous. Shopping around reveals that I can’t do much better on my own, and my rate is better than is what is offered through my work. I’m not getting any benefit from my investment on this plan, they don’t even pay for a “well visit” or a yearly physical. I’m never sick, and don’t have any preexisting conditions nor are any known to run in my family according to my birth records (adopted). On the rare occasions I am ill, it’s a simple seasonal thing that can be resolved with a single course of the usual antibiotics, that only happens every couple of years. Now if I get into an auto accident, my auto coverage actually covers that hospitalization.

So I’m thinking about dropping it and starting a simple savings account. Those occasional incidences only cost a few hundred for the visit and the script. I could halve my current premium and have that money saved in two to three months. If I kept it at current levels I’ll have several thousand in it by the end of a single year.

If something happens at work, I’m covered under worker’s comp. If it’s in the car, then I’m good too. So I’m not seeing the downside. It’s unlikely that I would come down with some catastrophic illness, and even if I did, my current coverage would still bankrupt me in short order when it runs out.

Am I just being incredibly stupid here?

I don’t think you’re really being stupid, as long as you’re healthy now and prepared for the worst. If you have nothing and can declare bankruptcy, this will take care of most emergencies like car accidents and heart attacks. Of course if you get a long term treatable illness like Cancer or MS you’re screwed.

What I did, when the economy was better, was get a part time job and worked 20 hours two days a week and it got me insurance. The pay was only a dollar above minimum wage but all I had to do was answer a phone.

You may wish to just take out hospitalization. That way you’ll be covered in hosptial only and these types of policies can be real cheap if you’re young and healthy.

As long as your appendix doesn’t burst while you’re sleeping, or you don’t get hit in the street by an uninsured motorist, or blow your knee out skiing (or playing volleyball, or running), or fall down the celler steps while doing laundry, or discover a previously-unknown food allergy, or get a hernia from lifting something heavy (i.e. over 25 lbs.), or get bitten by a rabid wild (or domesticated) animal, or get bitten by a non-rabid wild (or domestic) animal, or get a really bad dose of the flu, you should be fine.

That’s an interesting idea. I didn’t know you could do that.

Sure. But those things are not very likely to happen. Insurance is just betting the other way after all. While I probably will not get bitten by a rabid mongoose, I definitely will have to shell out a couple of hundred dollars every month. So far that investment has cost me well over ten grand over a few years, and I haven’t gotten anything out of it at all.

Well, I’m one of the people who got unlucky and ended up with a chronic disease (Type 1 diabetes) with no family history and no real warning, so I’m biased. I’m damn happy we had insurance when I was diagnosed, because caring for a chronic disease is pricey. Even considering my premium and high deductible (I’m self-employed, so I pay 100% of both of those), I come out ahead on a typical year. On an atypical year - like last year, the year I was diagnosed and had to go to many specialists and such in order to get a correct diagnosis and treatment plan - I ended up WAY ahead.

The problem with thinking through medical insurance the way you did is that you can’t anticipate all issues. I know when I searched around for my coverage, I was thinking “Oh, we’re healthy, we need something that will cover stuff like cancer or a bad accident, we don’t need coverage for doctor’s visits and all that.” My husband insisted on getting good prescription coverage, and that’s really come through for us.

So for me, I’d say keep the insurance. What else do you spend money on that is as important as your health? I know it seems like a lot of money, but heck, what if you do end up with MS/Diabetes/Parkinson’s/etc? Having no family history of something is no guarantee you won’t get it.

Ten grand will get you through a few days of hospitalization, or a few months of diagnosing/caring for a chronic disease, or maybe a week or two of dealing with cancer. It’s a drop in the bucket.

If you happen to need surgery $10k won’t cover all of it, maybe it will cover 50% if you are lucky.


But see I don’t have to spend any money to be healthy. I’m already healthy since I eat well, stay in shape, and apparently have good genes. (so far)

When I give that money to the insurance company. It goes away, gone. Now they SAY that they will cover what they are supposed to, but I’ve seen it not go that way too many times in my own family already. I don’t want to spend the money on something else, I just like the idea of having it available to pay for an emergency if all else fails. After all, if by some fell swoop something horrible happens financially, that several thousand a year might be all that’s keeping me from being foreclosed on evicted.

Do you not have the option for coverage through an employer? In your situation if you don’t have the option of getting on a group plan I highly recommend looking into an HSA plan if possible. It is a high deductible plan that you pay a pittance for (I know of plans as low as $150 a month in my area but I don’t know where you are or what they would cost for you) and you pay for the first $5000 or so worth of medical coverage you need at which point the insurance would pick up and pay the rest. This way in the event of an emergency or chronic illess that shows up out of nowhere you have to pay a bit out of pocket but you aren’t driven into bankruptcy.

Won’t matter anyway.

Lets say something horrible happens. My net worth is next to nothing. a 25k bill instead of a 50 k bill? doesn’t matter. either way it’s way more than I’d ever be able to pay. I’m not trying to be difficult, but I simply don’t have anything to take. i don’t have a lot of money, and I don’t own a home.

I do but the coverage is actually MORE expensive than my private policy. The rates you quoted is about what I was paying a few years ago. It’s doubled a few times since then.

Your employer must not pay any part of the premium because it’s very rare for a group policy to cost more than an individual plan. Or maybe your employer just has an expensive plan - possible if the employer is small.

Yeah, they are a small company.

I get that to you once the debt hits a certian point it doesn’t matter because you don’t have that much to give. That makes not having coverage pretty tempting. However as a health insurance agent I have spent many hours on the phone with doctors, hospitals, and other service providers who have a patient in their office and turn them away without service even if they can pay in cash because their insurance has terminated. The way medical service is set up in the US you might be damning yourself to only ever having the option of being treated in an emergency room setting ever again if you go without coverage. Preventative care can be really, really important and may be the difference between living and dying in some cases. Join a union or get a part time job at Starbucks or something if you need a group rate to be able to afford it but try as best as you can not to go without the coverage.

Places like Wal Mart, Walgreens and CVS are opening up clinics in their stores where you can visit a nurse practitioner and get a lot of basic health care for cheap. You can even get screenings and vaccines there. Heck, you could donate blood every 56 days and get your blood pressure, iron levels and pulse rate checked for free :slight_smile:

Paying for health insurance anymore is almost as risky as not paying for it. There’s a good chance you’ll need your insurance for something catastrophic, and there’s also a good chance you will end up paying a lot out-of-pocket for more minor things and/or catastrophic things.

According to what I’ve been reading in the current health care debates, insurance companies are getting antsy about the fact that healthy people are dropping coverage altogether and only sick people are insured, which lowers profits for the insurance companies. I know plenty of people who lack insurance, and they get by ok. Their situation is not IDEAL but going without coverage in America is not uncommon.

If you think it’s costing you too much, IMHO, drop it.

Small companies often cannot get the same rates as a big company , or they don’t bother to shop around for better rates. A big company will have lots of insurers who want their business which helps keep their rates down.

snip. Wait, What Really? Why?

There are places who are not fond of treating people without insurance. They get very nervous that they will be stuck with a big bill that goes unpaid.

I was at a Dr. once and the guy said he left his insurance card at home. They asked him to pay the $20 copay and he said he had no money so they told him to go home. He quickly “discovered” he had $20 so they let him see the Dr.

Surely that could be alleviated by paying up front. Further tests etc, could be done the same way. You have to consent after all.