Everyone Hates Health Insurance, That is Until They Need It

August 09, 2012

It’s easy for anyone, who has never needed serious medical treatment, to say something like that. A person in their 20’s or 30’s normally has only experienced health insurance to handle an occasional doctor’s office visit and possible prescription medication. Even if you are only contributing $50-$60 (the actual cost of that plan is more like $200-$300) a month for your health benefits through work, that is still a significant amount of money to be paying if you don’t know what you are paying for.

What am I Paying For?

First, lets hope you never have to know what you are paying for, because that means you are laid up in a hospital bed somewhere. However if you do, what you are paying for, and what it's important to be aware of is the extensive amount of money that is needed to cover the cost of common major medical procedures. It is entirely possible to run up a $10,000 hospital bill within a few hours after being admitted.

If you are truly unhappy paying that $50-$60 contribution each month, drop off your employer's plan. It will only take you 15 year to save $10,000, that is, if you put every penny of that $60 in the bank. If you are self-employed and have your own individual or family plan, cancel it. Those plans, for a single person, can cost as little as the $50-$60 contribution my friend is paying, to as much as $700-$1,000 a month for a family of four.

Again, even if that self-employed family canceled their health insurance and saved every nickel of that $1,000 payment for a year, they would still have just enough ($12,000) to cover that one bill from our brief hospital visit earlier. And that is just for one family member, what about the other three people in the family?

So I’m Not Getting Ripped Off?

Yes and No.

Yes, if you feel paying small monthly installments in exchange for almost limitless protection against major financial loss as a result of medical treatment is a rip off.

No, because you understand the value in protecting you and/or your family from catastrophic financial loss.

Sure, depending on your risk tolerance, you can come out ahead of the game early on in life if you wanted to roll the dice and be uninsured. However young, healthy people paying into the “pool” help keep health insurance costs down for everyone.

The bottom line - you are protecting yourself from the unknown. If you are a police officer, you can wear a bulletproof vest every day on the job, however unless you get shot you will never know if it saved your life.

Do you think you are still hate your health insurance? If so why?