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Is Health Insurance Premium a waste of Money?

by Ravi Sharma

Having health insurance can be a great tool to provide peace of mind for many people. However, with the constant changes in the healthcare industry and premiums constantly on the rise, it might be worth taking a closer look at whether or not having health insurance is really in your best interests. That’s why we’ve put together this detailed article of reasons why you may want to rethink your need for health insurance while exploring some alternatives that could put more money in your pocket each month.

Sickness and Disability

First, let’s address the obvious. Even if you don’t need health insurance, you still may want to get it to protect yourself from sickness or disability. Unfortunately, this is where most people start losing money by going for health insurance instead of something simpler, however the benefits of getting health insurance can be difficult to compare with a simple savings account if you don’t fully understand the needs of your situation. For example, we mentioned earlier on how there were 7 states in which our resident insured had higher out-of-pocket costs than their non-insured counterparts in spite of having lower incomes. So the question is: what happens to you when you get sick?

When you get sick, there are two major expenses that arise; the first being your medical bills. If you’re fortunate enough to have savings, then you can use them to pay off your medical bills until they are all paid off. However if that doesn’t work out, then you still have the option of using credit cards to pay off those medical bills until they are also paid off. In this case, while it might be an inconvenient situation, it’s not as catastrophic as it would be if you had no money saved up at all.

Another expense that can arise is if you become disabled and can no longer work. If you have no savings to fall back on, then the option of going without food and shelter until you qualify for disability payments will be in your best interest unless your disability means that you’re completely unable to work. If this starts to become a necessity, then it’s likely that diabetes or something similar would be the cause of your disability (or the initial cause) which is why we talked about it earlier on in the article.

Premiums vs. Savings

So now that we’ve established that you’re probably going to need savings to pay for both your medical bills and a potential disability, the question is whether or not having health insurance is worth it. After all, it’s only a matter of paying monthly premiums versus having no insurance and paying for everything out of pocket if you do need to visit the hospital. Unfortunately, there are several factors at play here as well.

For starters, let’s take a look at premiums themselves. In 2014 alone, the average worker with employer-sponsored health insurance will pay $4,129 annually for their plan. If we assume that the employee is single and lives in a state with average cost of living then this amount should be reduced by $3,039. After all, if you’re paying healthcare insurance but are still spending more money than you would have spent if you were uninsured, then the only thing it’s preventing is for you to pay for your medical bills until they’re paid off. In fact, since many hospitals charge top dollar for their services and since many people choose to go to doctors that are specialists or healers then they can afford to charge higher prices even without insurance. For example, we will use one of the most common medical services (emergency room visits) to make the comparison.

For starters, let’s say that you go to the ER with a broken arm. The cost of treatment depends on where you live but in general it averages out to $1,300.00. If you don’t have insurance, you would have to pay this amount right away in order for your treatment to be continued and completed since skipping out on it means that doctors will be less likely to treat you or even take you seriously if something worse happens later on.

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