Over the past 21 months, my family has participated in a wild ride with health insurance. The experience has been enlightening, incredibly frustrating, annoying, confusing and intimidating. Can I get an Amen! and a witness?!?! In this series on health insurance, I am going to share my experience AND some helpful tips on saving money on health insurance.
Part Five The COST of not carrying health insurance
This series started out with me sharing my story of dropping maternity insurance coverage only to discover 16 days later that our baby boy was already on the way. I got the joy of paying about $7,500 extra.
There are several COSTS to not carrying health insurance, some are obvious – others not so much:
- Monetary penalty This is obvious, of course. I only had to pay $7,500 extra for my debacle. I say “only” because I have seen SO MUCH WORSE! A heart attack costs many multiples of what I had to pay. Accidents do happen. My twin brother is an ER doc – and every single day he sees people that are experiencing a life-altering health care crisis. With a 100% mortality rate, I would say the chances of you or a family member experiencing a large health-care bill in the next ten years is very high.
- Emotional Stress I meet with people in 1-on-1 financial coaching session all of the time. One of most common causes of unbelievable stress is unpaid medical bills that were incurred without insurance coverage. In some cases, the stress has become so great that people begin to lose hope and despair of ever winning with their finances – and it ALL could have been avoided if they had just carried health insurance.
- Avoid necessary care/Delay visits to doctor When a person does not carry insurance (or do not have money to cover their deductible), they will avoid going to the doctor or emergency room. Now, in some cases, this is a good thing. The financial penalty has reduced the number of people going to the doctor for a hangnail. But in many other cases, people have avoided a doctor’s care for necessary and sometimes urgent care.
What are some other costs you can think of that are a result of NOT carrying health insurance?