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Friday, October 28, 2016

Next Medical Sign-up



Pretty soon it'll be time to figure out what I'm going to do for medical coverage for the next year. That could be interesting.

First some background. I used to have medical insurance through my state retirement plan. It sucked. Even though the plan was subsidized by the state, my personal cost for individual insurance was $1000/month. That was a significant portion of my retirement income. There was no way to keep paying that and still eat.

Having become rather fond of eating over the years, I decided to let my insurance go. That's no small decision as once dropped, there is no way to get back on the state plan. For a couple years I went without insurance. During that time I had a few injuries. While gathering firewood I stuck a pickaroon in my leg. Later I broke a toe, and ripped the skin off my thumb in a fall. Also picked up my fair share of bumps and bruises.

The thumb was ugly, but I managed to keep it free from infection and it eventually healed perfectly. Doctors don't really do much for broken toes anyway so it was just something to live with. As for stabbing myself with a pickaroon; really should have gone to the hospital. If for nothing else than to get a tetanus shot. Eventually the leg healed, leaving an interesting scar.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed I almost did not get insurance. My income is just high enough to disqualify me for subsidies. At the last minute a new company came into the state, allowing me to purchase insurance for $350/month. With strong family encouragement I signed up. Last year my cost jumped to $400/month. During that time I used the insurance exactly once: for a checkup.

Early indications are that my insurance is going to jump up again -and maybe by a lot. Should that happen I'm very tempted to let it go. As it is, every month the money paid for insurance I don't use is bothering me. Last year was pretty expensive and I incurred more debt that I'm comfortable with. It's getting paid down, but ever so slowly.

It would be s a risk to get without insurance again. My life is active and accidents happen. I'm also 58 and fat. On the plus side, I did get a clean bill of health at the doctor's visit. While there they gave me a tetanus shot, so that's finally up to date.

Now some would think I could maybe hope to cruise along until I got old enough for Medicare. The problem is I'm not in the system. As a firefighter in a state retirement system we did not have pay into Social Security nor did we pay into Medicare. No hope for me there.

So what am I going to do? Accept my own mortality? Well, there's that. Emergency rooms will have to treat me if I show up at their door. That's fine in an emergency, but they won't give care for chronic conditions.

Medical expenses could bankrupt me, but I'm not all that afraid of that happening. My parents had good health insurance but medical expenses eventually caused them to file bankruptcy. Even good insurance won't save you from co-pays, travel costs, and other out of pocket expenses. They add up. The insurance I've been able to afford hasn't been nearly as good as the plan my parents' had. If I get really sick or injured, I'm financially ruined anyway.

Next month I'm going to figure out what to do. As for now I'm working on losing some weight and getting more exercise. That probably will do more for me in the long run than buying medical insurance.

Currently we have the worse of Capitalism and the worse of Socialism. If our medical system was truly open market there would be real competition to reduce costs. If it was fully socialized the government would pay for it.

Maybe I'll have to sneak across the border and pretend to be Canadian.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. it is a tough enough world but government idiotcy makes it worse

    maybe try a vetenarian?

    Wildflower

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  2. Remember that if you can't afford insurance, that you get fined for being poor.

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    Replies
    1. It's expensive to be poor; that is the truth.

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  3. Or learn to speak Spanish, Jose...

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    Replies
    1. Plenty of people get their meds and procedures done out of the country.

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  4. My insurance was $1,000. a month until I turned 65. Now I have Medicare but it still isn't cheap. Hope you have luck in finding a good inexpensive insurance. It's hell getting older and it definitely isn't for sissies.

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    Replies
    1. Even turning 65 won't help me, as I'm not in the system. Of course, there's no telling if there will be a system by then.

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  5. 1) Am familiar as my girlfriend had to get obamacare insurance at $350 monthly in between jobs. Once you get a job your subsidy can push the premium down to $150 per month, in states that elect to participate in medicaid supplemental (not republican states).

    2) There are several ways to avoid the need to buy including being too poor. if your insurance is more than 9% of your yearly income, you dont need to buy insurance
    3) If you are mobile and healthy you can shop in other countries. England, Canada, Mexico )dental) all have medical acre if you can pay.
    4) No one gets out alive. Talk to trauma and hospice nurses. Some try to elect for an expensive long comatose death process, and medical establishment wants you to do that. There are many famouse people who died early (Steve Jobs) and if its your time from nasty disease will you handle it or go bankrupt?

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    Replies
    1. "No one gets out alive." True enough.

      Even though my dad had insurance and went to the DR. they didn't catch his bladder cancer until it was last stage. After many months one would think that someone would have caught on that it wasn't just an infection -especially since that was the risk of one his regular meds.

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  6. "Currently we have the worse of Capitalism and the worse of Socialism. If our medical system was truly open market there would be real competition to reduce costs. If it was fully socialized the government would pay for it."
    Well said , and so true. I have to find my way through the Medicare maze for the first time, and I've been researching for 18 months! Finally called an Independent broker, but of course she only covers certain companies ... God Bless Us One and All.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck with your travels through the medical maze.

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  7. I must admit that when Obama care was launched I said the same thing. Our NHS might not always be the best but it is free at point of use and no one he's bankrupt for medical expenses. However you private medicine is certainly of a better standard but cold comfort if you cannot afford it. Obama care is just a weird hybrid though and I suspect it is doomed to expensive failure.

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