Affordable Health Insurance?!?
Affordable health insurance?!? In keeping with the Texas educators theme, last fall I spoke with a local high school teacher who told me that she and her high school coach husband were paying $1,540 a month for the Active Care 3 family policy which I detailed in the last few posts. I did the math and quickly figured that for 2014, these folks will pay $18,480 – out of their own pockets – in premiums just to have health insurance coverage for themselves and their two children.
I wanted to paraphrase an old chili commercial and say “Neighbor, how much are you paying for your health insurance? Well, that’s too much!” I didn’t get to though, because when I told her what I pay for my health insurance, she almost threw up.
But then in January I was horrified to learn that my premium would be going up. I mean, it’s not like my policy had changed – I’ve had the same $2,500 deductible with 25% coinsurance for years. I’m 45, I’ve had asthma my whole life, and I also take cholesterol medication. But since my policy was “grandfathered” in under the Affordable Care Act, and pre-existing conditions aren’t supposed to matter any more, I felt like I was immune to any rate hikes.
So when Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas decided to raise my premiums from $150 a month to $157 a month (or from $450 to $471 a quarter), it made me blink. Twice.
All sarcasm aside, my point is that affordable health insurance exists. You can find it. I did. But I focused my search on a reasonable health insurance policy that only covers major expenses. It never even crossed my mind to buy a plan that covers, well, everything. And yes, although I do realize that my high deductible and coinsurance might put me on the hook for a lot of money in any given year, I would emphasize the word might.
I might win the lottery this year too. But I’m not betting on it (literally), and neither will I put good money down just to ensure that all my healthcare expenses will be paid by someone else. Instead, I’ll assume that risk myself, thank you, set aside a portion of the substantial money saved to fund my pre-tax, Health Savings Account, and pocket the rest.
You can, too. It just requires a change of attitude, say to something like this:
“There are some things health insurance should buy. For everything else, there’s credit cards.”
Remember, It’s not the COSTS of healthcare that are outrageous…it’s the CHARGES.