In the past year, I accrued a lovely little debt of $1,200 for a sudden illness that I had that sent me to the Emergency Room for about 4 hours. I could have kicked myself in the butt for not having health insurance — until I realized how easy it is to settle my debt.
Currently I pay $20 a month toward my bill. When I got to the Emergency Room they sent me home with a packet to fill out regarding my monthly wage versus my bills and monthly cost of living. After sending my paperwork back into the hospital, they figured out my monthly bill to be a meager $20 a month to settle my bill.
Which got me thinking- if I had a basic health insurance plan for just me at just $60 a month, I would be paying $720 a year for something I may or may not utilize. Granted, had I had insurance I wouldn’t be paying $20 a month for one single Emergency Room bill, but weighing the costs I’m actually coming out ahead. Instead of paying $60 a month for health insurance I may or may not use and having to worry about a co-pay before my insurance kicks in, I get to pay far less for just one single bill every single month.
In fact, I don’t have any incentive now to get health insurance than I did before I thought I really wished I had it. Instead, I simply set aside that $60 a month to use “just in case”, and I utilize my local health clinic which allows me to get a full checkup for $15, and birth control for $5 a month, based on my income. I even went to the clinic for bronchitis recently, paid $15 for my visit, and went to the nearest pharmacy to pick up my $8 prescription. I even get Pap smears for free.
A lot cheaper than paying butt loads for health insurance, in my opinion. In fact, my sister, who works in the medical field, said having health insurance is only necessary if you have a chronic illness. She said if I broke my arm and ended back up in the Emergency Room at the same hospital, they’d just tack on my new bill to my old one and have me paying the same amount to pay it off as before ($20), and I wouldn’t be any more in debt than I am now. She says many of the patients at the hospital have thousands of dollars they pay off with small monthly payments since they are in the hospital so much and don’t have insurance. She told me I’d be basically throwing money away getting insurance.
I’m beginning to think she’s right. Even for every time I hit the eye doctor I pay out of pocket, roughly around $200 if I’m getting new glasses. That’s about the equivalent of setting aside 4 months of $60 a month, which I do anyway. If I have to get a tooth pulled or filled, the local clinic does that as well, and has payment plans to pay it off. I’m literally saving money by forgoing health insurance and opting to set aside emergency funds just in case I need them instead.
My dad has even canceled his family’s health insurance, which he was paying $300 a month for, and just saves that money for just in case he needs it. Since nobody ever gets hurt, he figured he was wasting funds as well, and when one of the kids ended up in the Emergency Room with strep throat, he paid the bill upfront with the money he had saved not having insurance. He saves $3600 a year that he sets aside, and is currently at around $6000 for emergencies, which he will use to pay around $35 a month or just pay outright if something drastic happens to anyone. It just seems logical to do.
I choose not to have health insurance, since the few opportunities insurance would have come in handy have worked out better for me financially than had I had insurance to help cover my costs. Since I set aside $720 a year, I had enough money to pay outright for getting my wisdom teeth pulled at a dentist of my choosing, and didn’t even dent my pocketbook in doing so.
See if not having health insurance can actually save you money, too. Works out great for me.