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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ten months later



Ten months ago I dropped my medical insurance when it reached $1000/month. That’s long enough to get some idea how that’s been working out for me. My out of pocket expenses for the whole ten months has been $500 for my wife’s medication. She’s on Medicare now and it doesn’t pay for her expensive medications as well as my old insurance did. That still leaves me $9500 ahead of the game.

I was taking the dog for a walk in the middle of the night and fell down a couple stairs off my daughter’s deck. My landing was really awkward and I broke a toe and ripped a flap of skin off the end of my right thumb. Did I go to the hospital? Of course not.

The thing is, if I’d still had insurance, I would not have gone. They really can’t do much for a broken toe. As for the thumb, a good cleaning and a bandage took care of that. The next day I happened to be visiting a paramedic friend of mine. He checked out my thumb, shrugged, and put a new bandage on it. It headed up just fine.

What if I’d broken a leg or something? Then the ER would have to patch me up. If I had to I’d set up a payment plan to pay them back -but at well under $1000/month.

People ask what would happen if I’d have a really major problem. Simple. It would bankrupt me, just like it bankrupted my parents when my mom had cancer. They had “good” insurance, but the copays, travel, and other expenses ruined them anyway.

By January my finances were in good enough shape that I decided to spend some of that money on better quality food. Since I started eating better I’ve lost 30 pounds without even trying. Maybe I’ll spend some of that insurance savings on new hiking boots or a bicycle. Probably both.

I’m feeling great and slowly catching up on my debt instead of making more.

-Sixbears

20 comments:

  1. One company I work for has "insurance" that is completely laughable: it has a $10,000 yearly limit for hospital stays.

    The whole point of insurance is to pay for the rare occurrences that you can't possibly afford, not cover every bump and sniffle.

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    Replies
    1. That is laughable. Insurance companies are in the business to make money, not to provide services.

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  2. I have long stated that for catastrophic illness Insurance is useless, other than the fact it gets you in the front door.
    Then you will still go bankrupt !
    All a major con game to bleed you until you bleed. Then it will go away...

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    Replies
    1. That pretty much sums up my thoughts.

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  3. Very good post, I agree that staying away from doctors for the 'small stuff' is good strategy for saving $$$. I don't see doctors when I get a cold - I'm sick just as long as without the visit anyway. Just deal and push on, it gets better on its own.

    Has anyone else noticed that the number of commercials pushing 'New and Improved medications - ask your Doctor now to see if you can switch' are now exceeded by the number of commercials from lawyers suing Big Pharma for the bad effects from these same meds? I think BP is just renaming the meds under new label and getting ahead of the game.

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    Replies
    1. I normally don't watch TV, so when I watch it at someone else's house, those med commercials just amaze me -along with the lawyer ones. Weird society we live in.

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  4. A long time ago I did some calculations and immediately dropped my health insurance. Best thing I ever did. When I pay the doc I figure he is working for me and has to do what I want.

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    Replies
    1. Being able to "fire" your doctor is a huge feeling of power.

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  5. Sixbears, Congratulations on your independence from the insurance companies!!! Most of all congratulations of 30 pounds down. You're right about the toe, they can only tape it up. As for the arm, if you need stitches use butterly tape!!!! The insurance companies get you coming and going. It's a monster all by it's self!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I know a fair amount of first aid, so that helps.

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  6. Six, I remember when you said you were going to drop the health insurance and at that time knew you were right. Looks like it has payed off well. Good for you and the weight loss, keep it up!

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    1. I thought it was time for an update to let people know I really did it and how it's been working out.

      I feel good and I'm enjoying myself.

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  7. I'm 38 years old and have had "insurance for exactly 9 years of my life. In the past year I've given up insurance, taxes, registrations of any sort, and all licenses. I've also quit debt. I'm doing better financially, spiritually and emotionally than I've ever been in my life.

    C'est la vie.

    BriarPatch

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful feeling of freedom, isn't it?

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    2. Amen Brother Bear.

      Only possible when one lets go of fear and accepts mortality. We all die anyways. If we didn't, it wouldn't be so beautiful a ride. When I go, be it today or 50 years from today, I will have lived on my terms.

      You're a wise man and a thinker. Keep sharing.

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    3. You are too kind. I'm plodding along and sharing.

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  8. I got a lab bill for $552.32 in the mail today. This was from when I first visited the doc here & made it very clear I had no insurance and no income of my own. Called that lab today & told them there's no way I can pay the bill so they may as well write it off. Was told "we turn deadbeats over to collection."

    Fine. I don't let that bother me anymore either.

    I worked for years & paid every bill I ever had and then some. I don't take any government assistance & do the best I can. A lab bill is not going to ruin my life at age 59. As my condition worsens I won't remember it anyway.

    Insurance is a huge waste and one part of the ponzi scheme called "health care."

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  9. Cancer is the only specialty insurance I carry for the reason you mentioned above. Cancer does not usually kill you quickly - it takes months, sometimes years. My FIL died of cancer, it took 10 years to do him in, age 52.

    Treesong, I'd try changing tactics. Instead of telling them to write it off, explain that the payment of your bill will occur, but it will take time to do so. It took me a year to clear all of my medical bills incurred during an 8 day hospital stay, but I did so, paying as I could.

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  10. I've had health insurance maybe a year out of my entire 20 + years after college. I don't want it, it's a ripoff. I also don't want to be made to pay NOT to have it.

    Each time I was on health insurance it did me no good at all.

    They can take their insurance and stuff it.

    They can take their fine and stuff it.

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