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What does it mean to not have health insurance in the US?

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Prinz Eugn    4418

Um, the health care system we have in the US is pretty terrible, I'm not saying it's not.

 

I'm just agreeing with what I think frob is trying to say, which is that even though your immediate out of pocket expense might be low or non-existent doesn't mean it's free, it means you and/or someone else is paying for it somewhere else. Which isn't incompatible with it also being a good idea (since our semi-private system is incredibly inefficient, as I said).

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921

Well first of all, US law is going to mandate health health insurance on January 1st, so this isn't exactly a long term question.

A $95/%1 fine isn't particularly daunting.

 

That fine increases every year, IIRC.

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breadroll    102

It means almost nothing... unless you get sick or run over by a car. My family skated by for years without health insurance. We even had two babies while uninsured. We lucked out and came out ahead. We saved far more by not paying insurance premiums than we paid on checkups, vaccinations and even the delivery of two babies. If my wife had to have a c-section or there were other complications things would have been quite different.

 

Edit: Also, if you just lost your insurance and you want continued coverage, look into COBRA coverage.

Wow, so it is really possible to not have an insurance coverage until you get old. I know without insurance is financially risky but then seeing this post makes me think that I can still live without insurance. The amount of insurance we avail these days is really something these days so I think if you're not an accident prone magnet, you can still live without having to pay for insurance.

Edited by breadroll

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frob    44916

Wow, so it is really possible to not have an insurance coverage until you get old. I know without insurance is financially risky but then seeing this post makes me think that I can still live without insurance. The cost of insurance is really something these days so I think if you're not an accident prone magnet, you can still live without having to pay for insurance.

Um, how about no.

 

Being an "accident prone magnet" has nothing to do with it.  You can be safely enclosed in your bunker where all objects are padded, and yet still develop cancer or other medical conditions.

 

There are some people who insist in never getting medical help because it is contrary to their religious beliefs.  If that person is an adult and they choose to ignore medical treatment, that is their choice.  If that person is a child, you better get medical help.

 

 

I know that as a late-teen and twenty-something single adult you are invincible.  Nothing will happen to you.  I lived through that age, too.   Then I grew up.

 

... Somebody ran a red light, t-boned my car, and put my wife in the hospital.  

 

... Or a few years ago when my dad had a headache and dizziness, his co-workers made him go to the hospital, and three hours later they were preparing for emergency surgery to try to remove the brain cancer that ultimately killed him.

 

 

 

You may think you are fine.  But kinda by definition you cannot predict medical health emergencies.  Those are also the most expensive, and the biggest benefit to having health insurance.

 

Not having health insurance is a terrible risk.  You can play the numbers game, but if you happen to lose the loss may be permanent.

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VladR    722

The cost of insurance is really something these days so I think if you're not an accident prone magnet, you can still live without having to pay for insurance.

In U.S., this is an incredible Russian roulette you are playing with your life. The inevitable bankruptcy (in case sh*t happens) is a pretty serious thing that has an impact on the rest of your life.

 

I really hope, that when you grow up and have kids, you won't play that game with your poor kids...

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tstrimp    1798

It means almost nothing... unless you get sick or run over by a car. My family skated by for years without health insurance. We even had two babies while uninsured. We lucked out and came out ahead. We saved far more by not paying insurance premiums than we paid on checkups, vaccinations and even the delivery of two babies. If my wife had to have a c-section or there were other complications things would have been quite different.

 

Edit: Also, if you just lost your insurance and you want continued coverage, look into COBRA coverage.

Wow, so it is really possible to not have an insurance coverage until you get old. I know without insurance is financially risky but then seeing this post makes me think that I can still live without insurance. The cost of insurance is really something these days so I think if you're not an accident prone magnet, you can still live without having to pay for insurance.

 

Sorry, that's not the point I wanted to get across. It's really going to be random. Even if you are the pinnacle of health, you can still be involved in an accident of some sort which can ruin you financially. There are a ton of things which could have gone wrong for us and put us in a very bad situation, but we got lucky. A friend of mine has three kids and all three of them had to be delivered via c-section. That alone could have added up to well over a hundred thousand dollars in medical bills. Fortunately he had some coverage but was still on the hook for close to $10k due to coinsurance. 

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VladR    722

A friend of mine has three kids and all three of them had to be delivered via c-section. That alone could have added up to well over a hundred thousand dollars in medical bills. Fortunately he had some coverage but was still on the hook for close to $10k due to coinsurance.

My former colleague had a million dollar baby. The complications in the delivery resulted in many complex and advanced procedures and prolonged (multi-month) stay in the hospital.

 

The bill was over $1,000,000

Thanks to insurance, he had to pay only about $7k...

 

 

Everybody thinks it can't happen to them. Till it actually does....

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