Health insurance is a real sore spot for me. When a friend's dad was switching jobs, he had a heart attack the day after he quit first job and 2 days before he was supposed to start his second one. That was “pre-Cobra.” He died and subsequently bankrupted the family—so there's that.
ATTENTION HEALTHY MILLENNIALS: You need health insurance. Your roommate needs it. Your kids need it. Your spouse needs it. You need it.
You need it more than brunch, a vacation, a new car or pretty much anything you can think of (besides food and shelter).
So you’re healthy and under 30? Good for you. You’re too old to be on your parent’s plan and your job doesn’t offer it. No big deal right? No. When you have a 20 lb. dumbbell fall at the gym and break your foot, that’s about $25k out of pocket. You good with that? Or you find a teeny little mole that starts to itch and its Melanoma from your surfing days. That’s $50k. Are you paying that? Hell no. You’re making one call: “Hello Dad…”.
Paying out-of-pocket with your health is the dumbest, most expensive way you can possibly live today. And when you avoid buying health insurance, you put yourself and your family at risk of going into debt or even facing bankruptcy.
Here’s a dirty little secret: no matter how bad your insurance is, it is better than not having any because the insurance companies have ALL of the power when it comes to pricing at hospitals, clinics, and with doctors and drugs.
An actuary would tell a healthy 30 year-old to take the lowest cost policy with the highest deductible. Odds are that unless you have some sort of chronic medical condition or need expensive meds, you’re not going to use the insurance (barring an accident or blatant stupidity of falling off the sidewalk drunk at 2 in the morning and breaking a knee...not that it's ever happened to anyone I know . . . ahem . . .).
The only problem with high deductibles is . . . well, the high deductibles. One trip to the emergency room (for stitches on the finger you cut with a knife while slicing tomatoes, or the champagne cork that popped right into your eye, or the concussion from picking up your dental floss under the sink and smashing your head coming back up) can cost $10,000 . . .and that's not even if you stay overnight and have jello.
Some policies include annual wellness visits and some things you might actually use . . . like birth control. But do the research. Take time to shop policies. They’re confusing. They’re boring. But so was Physics in high school and you passed that.
I don’t know you. I don’t know your finances. But what I do know if you don’t have health insurance you need to shift your attitude because walking around without insurance is like having sex without a condom. You’re rolling the dice on something that could affect you and your family for a lifetime.