Ok folks, listen up, this is important: The idea that you need health insurance for routine medical care is a big ole bunch of hooey. We have all been hypnotized to think we need it and the truth is that the health insurance racket is what is making everything medical so damned expensive. We need health care – yes. We need health care insurance? I don’t think so. Of course, the incidence of major illnesses or accidents might present an exception; I think there used to be something called “major medical insurance” for these. I’m talking here about routine health/medical care, and I would almost guarantee the plan I’m about to suggest. Here it is: Take whatever you are paying (or would pay) for health insurance and put it in a savings account instead. Then tell your doctors, pharmacists, dentists, eye doctor, etc. that you do not have insurance and ask what kinds of discounts, or less expensive prescriptions are available. Pay for it all out of that savings account, and I betcha you end up with money still in that account at the end of the year.
After I got laid off (2009), I had 15 months of government subsidized COBRA coverage. With the subsidy, I could just afford to keep it, so I did – because “You GOTTA have insurance!”) I paid $130 a month for it (35% of the total premium.) Most of those 15 months went by without me visiting the doctor’s office, but when I did, it cost me $20. When I had to fill my migraine medication it cost me $25, and my blood pressure medication was $4.
Then, about 10 months ago, the subsidy ran out and I couldn’t afford to pay the whole premium, so I cancelled the insurance and held my breath waiting to go completely broke because “EEK, I don’t have medical insurance!” I made a point in those last few months of visiting every doctor and specialist I have “one last time” to make sure everything was as ok as I could get it before losing my coverage (gasp!)
Ok, so now I do not spend that $130 every month for insurance premiums. That’s $1,560 a year less going out, right? Right.
Doctor’s visits: Because I am now a “fee for service” (instead of insurance billed) customer, I pay $55 to see my doctor, instead of $20. That’s $35 more than it would cost me with insurance.
My migraine medication: Very expensive. $25 for 6 doses with insurance, over $200 without insurance. EXCEPT – the drug manufacturer has a deal on their website that allows me to get it for $55. Doooo ya REALLY think they are selling it to me at a loss now? No – they were just making ungodly amounts of profit off my insurance company before. So I pay $30 more for my migraine medication now. ($35 + $30 = $65)
Update: This discount was from Phizer for Relpax; I later was able to get Maxalt, another medication that works for me, from Merck, completely free through their patient assistance program.
Blood pressure medicine: It now costs me a whopping $11 instead of $4. There goes another $7. ($65 + $7 = $72)
Ok, so that’s $72 more I had to pay because of the fact that I DIDN’T pay $130 for insurance. Hmmm . . . $130 – $72 = $58. <– That’s how much LESS I spent without insurance – and that’s just in a month where I went to the doctor and filled both my prescriptions. I don’t do that every month. Most months, all I do is NOT give $130 to an insurance company. Correct me if I’m wrong, but so far I think I’m duh, winning.
Then yesterday, I went to the eye doctor (to pay plain old money for an eye exam.) The lady asked me if I wanted this optional test they offer (some kind of retina camera exam.) A year or two ago, (when I had vision insurance) I paid significantly more to have this optional test done. Remembering that fee, I said “No, I guess not this time.” As the lady walked me back to the exam room, she noticed my chart and said, “Oh you don’t have insurance.” I said, “Right, I don’t.” She said, “Well in that case the retina camera test is free.” What? Yeah that’s right. Not just discounted – free. If they bill insurance they “have to” charge you a certain amount, but if not – not.
Update: I also found out how to save a bundle on the actual eyeglasses – around $60 instead of between $300 and $400. I used Zenni Optical online, and there are some other sites as well.
Who is brave enough to try out my plan with me? I would not have been if I hadn’t been sort of forced into it, but now I am REALLY regretting all the money I have paid in insurance premiums in the past. Even when employed, I still had to pay part of it. I know I could have a car wreck, a heart attack, or come down with a major illness – anyone could. But let’s face it – hospitals are not allowed to turn you away in an emergency, something really major is going to break you anyway, and for semi-major things, maybe if you’ve been saving all that insurance premium money, you’ll be able to pay the hospital bill – WHICH remember will not be nearly as high in the first place, because “OH! You don’t have insurance!
I’m proud of you for writing blogs.
Thank you Darlin’!
Wow! I’m glad your brave enough to “do the math”. I don’t think I’m brave enough to not have insurance. I wish you the best of luck on your “no insurance” journey!
Thanks Darla. Well, like I said I wouldn’t have been brave enough to volunteer for it either. I didn’t have a lot of choice. Thanks for commenting.
I like your pictures. Ace looks like a sweetie. I need to experiment with putting some more pictures on my blog.
All the best,
Donna, You are “spot” on about the health insurance racket. Health insurance and Big Pharmaceuticals have pushed all of our health care expenses up. Not doctors. All you have to do is look at what the CEO’s of hospitals make. For example Texas Health. The CEO there makes $3 million a year plus $24 million in bonuses. The best paid physician on staff is a neurosurgeon who makes approximately $600,000 a year. How many lives did the CEO have in his hand? How much malpractice insurance and staff does he have to pay? Thank goodness there are some people noticing what is going on rather than being “chicken little.” Excellent thoughts, because they agree with mine, of course. Thanks! Helen
Thank you Helen! I thought it made sense! And of course, great minds think alike!
I’m on that plan! I have been for nearly 10 years.
Works pretty well, right? I haven’t been on it that long yet.
March 12, 2014. I’ve added a bit more information to the above article – updates in italics. And here is some more: I still do not have medical insurance and so far I am still seeing only advantages.
I did have to go to the emergency room and had surgery and a 2 day hospital stay last year. It cost me $100. Period. That is all. Because I qualified for and was already signed up for JPS Connection (not insurance, a discount plan/membership in JPS Health System) due to my financial situation and not having insurance.
You have to renew it every year. I’m not sure when the year I’m on now would have run out, but I’m sure I wouldn’t have qualified again due to my improved employment status/income. And it turns out that it doesn’t matter when the year of my last qualification runs out anyway; I recently received a notice from them informing me that if I qualify for any of the “Affordable Care” policies and do not sign up for them, I will lose my JPS Connection membership at the end of this month. Oh well – haven’t used it this time anyway. I’m still seeing my regular doctors and paying for that and my medications out of the money I’m not throwing away on insurance premiums. But the forcing to purchase engine is revving up its engines.
I have a good full-time job now, but the insurance offered through it is pointless – again unless something major happens (and even then I’m not so sure.). I would pay $88 a month just so I can lose all my discounts and pay for everything myself until I’ve paid $2,400 in a year. That is not a benefit, so I declined it. I don’t think there will be a tax penalty this year; so far I think they are threatening 2014 taxes as the time it will hit me if I don’t straighten up and play the game according to their rules. We’ll see what happens. Come next open enrollment time (August, assuming I am still employed where I am now) I may not have much choice left. Isn’t freedom just the best?