Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Health care rabbit hole
On November 15 the sign up period for health care will open up again. I haven't had health insurance for a couple years now. When the cost rose to almost $1000/month it was no longer affordable. The money saved on health insurance went into things like buying good healthy food. I also got myself a good bicycle.
Since then we've had the roll out of Obama Care. Big woop. Last year there was exactly one provider in my state. They weren't good when my employer used them so there was little incentive to sign up. This year it looks like there will be at least half a dozen providers. That part looks encouraging.
I'm actually going to take a look at having insurance this year. That doesn't mean I'm going to sign up. The numbers will have to make sense.
How have I managed in the years since I let my medical insurance go? I've stayed out the hospital, but that doesn't mean nothing bad happened. I did take a nasty fall off a porch onto a brick walkway. A toe was broken and the skin torn off the end of my thumb. Hospitals don't really do much for broken toes. Took care of it myself. Good self care of the thumb prevented infection and it healed up nicely.
The thing I probably should have gone to the hospital for was when I drove a pulp hook into my leg. In retrospect I should have at least gotten my tetanus shot updated. Fortunately that wasn't a problem. The leg healed up and left a nice scar, but it doesn't bother me.
My lungs were damaged when I was a Firefighter and since then I've been on a c-pap machine. Those things are expensive, there are ways to cope. I've been able to buy replacement parts on-line at a tenth the cost my insurance was paying. A couple almost new machines made their way into my possession.
Another problem is with the health care industry itself. Let's just say doctors and I don't get along. After my work injury doctors did very little good and some did serious harm. That leaves a bad memory. My health improved thanks to alternative medicine.
Some things modern medicine does really really well. If I ever get a broken leg or rupture a spleen, by all means take me to a hospital. We'll sort out the bills later.
If the numbers make sense I'll get insurance. If not, I guess I'll have to really take better care of myself. At the very least I should probably lose weight.
Not having insurance has made me a bit more concerned about safety. These days I'm much more likely to wear my safety glasses, gloves, ear protectors and steel toe boots.
What about the penalty for not having insurance? Yeah, what about that? There isn't much they can do if you don't pay. They can take it out of your tax return, but no return, no penalty. I don't even pay taxes so it's not a concern.
In short, I'm going to look it over, but I don't feel any strong compulsion to do something about it. That's probably not the wisest attitude for a fat 56 year old, but there you go.