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Health Insurance: Can’t Afford It, Can’t Live Without It.

by Debt Destroyer on January 20, 2009

hospital-health-careI knew this was coming.

This summer when I lost my job, my former employer gave me a severance package that included paying my family’s health insurance premiums for the rest of the year.  Our current health insurance premium for our family of four is $1192.30 paid quarterly ($664.10 every month).

I knew this was coming.

It was due to this looming expense that I had doubts about whether or not going back to school was the best idea for me.  Back then there was an opening for a city garbageman. I grabbed the application but instead of filling it out, I registered for classes.

I knew this was coming.

This has been in the back of my mind constantly.  It’s a big reason why we decided that we needed to sell the van. It also played a major contributing factor in the decision to take out a student loan.

I knew this was coming.

So now that it’s here what am I going to do about it?

Pay it!

I know that it’s the simple answer, but I also know that it’s easier said than done.

I could choose to be like one of the millions of families who don’t have any coverage.  But that’s a risk I don’t feel like taking.  If it ever comes to that, then so be it.  But right now we’re not in that place yet. Plus with my family medical history, I need to do whatever I can to make sure we don’t get to that place.

We think we can get by until I get a teaching job (hopefully 2 years).  We’ve been very fortunate that at the same time that I lost my job that my wife’s business has started doing better.  So that is why we’ll try to do our best at controlling our other expenses then take advantage of employer heath care when I get a job.

It’s amazing how easily we took that benefit for granted.

Hopefully President Obama with the help of Health Sec. Tom Daschle (former South Dakotan) will be able actually introduce some “positive” reforms to our health care system.  But I’m not going to hold my breath.

I know I’m not the only one out there who has been in this boat.  So Happy Rock readers I turn to you once again. What did you do when presented with this situation?  Have any of you went without Health Insurance before? Any thoughts on Health Insurance in general?

Keep in mind that this is a family friendly environment :)

Until next time,

-DD

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Cell Phone Registry January 20, 2009 at 9:13 am

Your $664 monthly health insurance premium makes me feel not as bad about my $550 monthly insurance premium.

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Discover January 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

$664 seems like a high premium and it sounds like no one in your family has any current medical problems.

I would never drop health insurance, but in this situation I prefer a high deductible plan that is HSA eligible and perhaps without Rx.

ehealthinsurance.com is a good place to find alternatives.

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celticbuffy January 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I’ve been through good insurance, expensive insurance, and health insurance. There were several years where none us had coverage because, although my job offered it, $700/month was more than what we could scrape up each month. That was also at a point where we had to many business assets to even qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It’s scary and can through you for a loop if health problems occur, as they did for us in 2008. Thankfully the job I have now offers insurance for the four of us at a cost of about $250/month. Now that I’m divorced and also a college student again, I’ve applied once more for CHIP’s so that the kids will be covered by my insurance and anything left over is covered by CHIP’s (if we’re approved). All it takes is one large health event, or even several small ones, and you can wind up owing mucho deniero.

I would look into seeing if your kids would be covered by your state’s CHIP program. It may be possible then to find cheaper coverage for you and Mrs. DD, but hang on to what you’ve got until you know you are covered by another plan. An unexpected emergency, say an appendectomy, will set you back by thousands of dollars.

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Surviving A Recession January 20, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Wow nearly $700 a month that is crazy. Have you though about reworking your plan? For instance, my company pays for my insurance but not my daughters. She goes to the doctor maybe four or five times a year. To add her to the company policy would have been 300 a month. I went and got a major medical policy it costs 90 a month. I can pay the doctors visits and what not out of my own pocket. Just a thought.

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Annie January 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Thank God I am Canadian. And my B.C.Medical premium of $96 per month is paid by my employer

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Debt Destroyer January 20, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Thanks for the comments!

@Cell Phone Registry – Well I’m here to help :)

@Discover – Thanks for the site. I just did a quote, it was quick & easy.

Actually my wife did get diagnosed with Melanoma last year, which kinda limited my excitement for shopping around. Plus most of the plans I just found, don’t let the pre-natel coverage kick in for 18 months…and the Mrs wants to add another bundle of joy before then.

But this is something to think about after that.

@ celticbuffy – Yeah, I’ll make sure to hang on to what we got…knowing me, I’ll hold onto it way too long.

@ Surviving a Recesion – If I remember right the kids cost about $120 each. Most of this cost is the Mrs & Me. To save money I could raise my deductible, but then I’d also have to raise my emergency fund.

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Current account January 22, 2009 at 5:58 am

I guess it’s something one shouldn’t do without but must have.Like Discover said $664 seems like a high premium and it sounds like no one in your family has any current medical problems, but even if they do.I opted out from my health insurance for the first six months as well as my two daughters. Reassessed it again the following year ,had it included but without the kids. Your post at http://www.thehappyrock.com/2008/08/24/decisions-decisionsit-is-hard-to-chose-a-career/ does make sense for anyone deciding to make a new career move.

Thanks Mon

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Steve February 10, 2009 at 12:01 am

The other thing to watch out for when selecting the right health care insurance is balance billing, this is when the costs of health care are not fully met by an individual’s insurance policy and the HMO provider instructs the hospital to bill the client the outstanding balance. A fair few people are caught short with this, so do your research and chose carefully.

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Jeremy March 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Hopefully Obama will provide some relief for Americans and their health insurance. He already made a step in the right direction by giving the 65% subsidy so people can better afford their Cobra benefits.

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Mouli Cohen July 29, 2009 at 3:42 pm

These sorts of stories need to be headlines before the partisan bickering over health insurance. The coverage of the debate has shifted off of those who are most desperate to change their health care coverage and onto the politicians who are trying to make vested interests and lobbying groups happy. We need to subsidize family health insurance with as many people in the country out of work as quickly as possible!

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Susanna May 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

I can say that, if you can afford even moderate coverage, do so as soon as possible. Going without health insurance can save you a little money in the short-term, however in the future something serious may happen to you and if you aren’t covered you could be facing an extreme financial crisis. A sudden injury or serious illness could cost you the equivalent of many years worth of insurance payments out-of-pocket. Be safe rather than sorry.

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William September 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

Totally true. My sister recently broke her arm. Without insurance it cost her thousands and she had to skimp on the quality of medical care to meet her budget.

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