Reading this article in The Durango Herald we started wondering, Is it even worth it for many folks to get health insurance at all?
Kelli Rose is 46 and healthy, with never a day in the hospital. But still, the only health insurance available to her has a $15,000 deductible and would cost up to $500 a month.
Asked if she has $15,000 in the bank in case of a medical emergency, Rose just laughs.
Health insurance has become so expensive that this Monument woman, like many other Coloradans, has decided it is just not worth the cost. So she lives without insurance.
“You’re paying money in the hope you don’t have to use it. So you’re throwing money away,” said Rose, a massage therapist who recently switched to sales and marketing. Her new employer doesn’t provide health insurance.
Self-employed painter Robert Dooher of Colorado Springs also decided health insurance was a bad bargain. He paid $360 a month for his family of two until his son finished high school. Now, at 57 and with the construction business ailing for several years, he’s decided to go without. He cites the high cost, and the huge gap before it would cover anything.
Rose said she’s heard too many stories of people who had insurance that didn’t cover their medical expenses when they became ill.
“Insurance is supposed to be there for you at the moment you need it most, but it seems to nail you when you are at your lowest point,” she said.
Health insurance for a family of four in Colorado now averages more than $13,300 a year – nearly as much as an annual income of $15,891 that a person would earn working full time at minimum wage.
Look there’s no right answer to the question of whether it makes sense for you to drop your health insurance, especially if it’s going to cost almost $15,000 a year. But if you are thinking of dropping your health insurance, please don’t forget that over 60% of bankruptcies have to do with unpaid medical bills and expenses. And even though over 75% of those filing for bankruptcy had health insurance coverage, you can still fall into a much bigger whole if you don’t have health insurance. The average unpaid debt of those filing for medical bankruptcy with health insurance was $17,749, whereas it was $26,971 for those without coverage.
If you are thinking of going without health insurance, we strongly suggest that you think about starting a medical emergency fund with the money that you’re not using to pay your health insurance premiums. If you have an emergency fund, it can help you from falling into a bankruptcy hole that you may never be able to climb out of.
Have you ever considered dropping your health insurance altogether? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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