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Health Insurance: Are We Fools to Drop It?
Total Views: 1617 - Total Replies: 44
Aug 02 2011, 7:28 pm - By LiveWorkDream

Ah, just got our latest premium increase letter for our crappy so-called health insurance policy (it's really insulting to call anything with a $13,000 deductible "insurance"!). I fell on the floor when I saw the increase. Geez! Meanwhile, our dog has better coverage than we do!

I've always believed that anyone who dumps health insurance when they can afford the coverage is a fool, but now we might be wearing the dunce cap.

It's not a question of if we can afford the increase...sure, we can afford it if we cut back on other aspects, like oh, food, fuel, you know, those frivolous expenditures. I know we would find a way to deal if we kept the policy, but it would HURT and it's just so frustrating to pay hundreds for something we can't even afford to use unless we're half-dead.

We are healthy (knock wood) and rarely see doctors unless it's a holistic one. Because nothing in our policy is covered until the deductible is met, we avoid going to the doctor at all costs. I've looked into every available option for a new policy and so far none are cheaper than what we've got now.

So my question to you guys is, are you covered? If not, how do you sleep at night? Have you ever had a hugely expensive incident when you weren't insured? What did you do?

Any feedback greatly appreciated. We are so torn right now about what to do.

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Aug 03 2011, 12:25 am - Replied by: Technomadia

I feel your pain.  I've not been to a doctor in years as a result of my high deductible - despite rationalizing the lower premiums (versus my old HMO plan) could be put towards paying out of pocket for routine care. I definitely let concerns go longer to see if they resolve themselves than risking the expense and frustration of finding healthcare on the road. 

And I'm dreading my policy renewal later this year and am bracing for an increase. 

All I can say is...  there doesn't seem to be a week go by these days where someone in my social circles hasn't experienced some major medical event.  Life threatening diagnosis, accident, illness, etc. that involved tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of treatment.  This reminds me constantly that despite my good health today, that can change in an instance. 

Sure, there are low cost quality options for health care - such as going across the border. Or flying to Thailand, India, etc.  And that's fine for the stuff you can plan out (even if you do have insurance in the US, it may be a worthwhile effort for those of us with high deductibles to seek these options). 

And there are charity social programs that one could approach in the event of a major incident to help cover the costs.  But I just can't justify that when people who are far far FAR less fortunate & able than I who really and truly need those programs.  

As a childfree, non disadvantaged, able bodied, dual income earner household with a pet family member - I feel I have every ability to hold up my responsibility to make sure I don't become a medical burden to my society, community or family.   

That doesn't change the fact that the health industry is royally screwed up and makes that more and more difficult to do all the time. 

So no, letting my insurance lapse is not an option I consider (not to mention, once you let it lapse, it becomes even more difficult to obtain it again.. at least until the next round of health reform comes to manifest and health insurance becomes mandatory for everyone). 

 - Cherie
Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Aug 03 2011, 2:14 am - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

C, I hear ya and totally agree.

In fact, right after I posted this, my friend told me about how her 40-something hubby just had a major bike accident and shattered his arm. A 5 hour surgery might have repaired it but he's incapacitated and can't work now.

Jim and I both feel that that email from our friend is a sign that we shouldn't cancel.

But OH it drives me NUTS knowing that we aren't going to get anything from this increase! AGGGGH!

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Aug 03 2011, 11:01 am - Replied by: blars

If I have a major medical expence, I am bankrupt or dead.   (If I still had insurance, I'd be bankrupt or dead already.)  The doctor apointments and drugs for my pre-existing condition are much cheaper than my cobra payments were.  The politions have let the insurance companies dicatate this, and in most ways the "compromise" Obama plan is worse.

Aug 03 2011, 3:05 pm - Replied by: KevsKnight

We have coverage through the small business I work for. I am sure our premiums are relatively low (compared to having total private insurance), they are a bit high, and we rarely use it. I have seen the doctor once since arriving in Texas, and went to a Doc in a Box and paid cash instead of using my insurance. Seems silly, but with the deductible and other BS, it was easier/cheaper to go to a clinic.

At one time I started to look into starting a group insurance buy for us nomadic types. I found out why groups like Escapees and such don't offer this. Such BS.

I think if we were on our own to buy insurance, I would get a catastrophic policy to cover the real bad stuff, and hope the Doc in a Box would get me through the other times.

Good luck!


I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
Aug 04 2011, 3:48 pm - Replied by: travelfables

I have the Cover Florida plan with Blue Cross. And I a few years back was a healthy full-time RVer. The plan came in handy when I had to have a tumor removed (better now).

It was a high-deductible policy, but having that card was like saying "Bruno sent me". It was the password to get me in the door (the first thing asked for every-time).
The hospital had contract-deals with the insurance company that help reduce the bill (which helped alot), even though I went over my deductible a couple of grand and the insurance company found some way out of paying that part. In a proper revolution, the entire lot of modern insurance companies (and their pets in Washington) need to be thrown into a wood-chipper and fed to the pigs.
But in the mean time, due to the huge scams our nation's congressional- criminals love to perpetuate, I'll just have to deal with Bruno; So , I can get in the door when I need health-care.
Aug 04 2011, 4:56 pm - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

"Bruno Sent Me..."

I love it, that's funny. Tumors are not. I'm glad you're OK now.

Sheeeeyet. We are biting the bullet and keeping it, our pants have been thoroughly scared off so we're putting them back on and doing the only logical thing we can do.

I agree....to the wood chipper!

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Aug 05 2011, 4:30 am - Replied by: AstraeaLunaAvani

If I may chime in (not an RVer yet, but have been without insurance for 3 years due to a layoff and not having enough money)...isn't it cheaper to go without, even if you DO have to go to the doctor? When I lost my job and was unable to pay insurance, I had no choice but to go without. If I had kept it, paying it all out of pocket, I would have spent $14,400 over the last 3 years. I figure if something happens, it probably won't cost as much as I would have already spent.

And also, I don't know if this is true but this is what I've heard...if you can't afford to pay your medical bills, as long as you send them SOMETHING, even if it's $5 a month, they can't do anything about it. And if I'm not mistaken, they can't confiscate your vehicles or house (in this case your RV) because it's unrelated. Unlike if you get a DWI and don't pay your fines, they can take your car because that was directly related to your offense. Does anyone know if this is correct?
Aug 05 2011, 4:38 am - Replied by: hitek_homeless

We have catastrophic health insurance with a deductible that is 1/4 of yours (each). Our total premiums are 1/3 of our monthly expenses. We got it three years ago. They have raised it annually. Mine premium is currently 50% more than it was when I signed up. At this rate, I have no idea how I am going to pay it in 15yrs. I guess I will have to bite the bullet and return to "the real world". Dropping it doesn't seem like an option to me as I have always had this thing called personal responsibility nagging at me.
A couple of 30-sometings on an ultimate adventure.
Aug 05 2011, 9:27 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

Without health insurance, yes for routine things you may very well come out ahead.  It's the big stuff that is scary to me. 


I currently pay about $140/month for my policy, which has a $5000 deductible that diminishes by $500 each 6 months (currently it's at $3000). This basically means a good chunk of my premium is going towards meeting my deductible.   It then pays 100% after that (assuming it's a covered expense).   Basically, unless something major happens, I pay out of pocket for routine stuff.   My policy renews this coming November, and I'm bracing myself for impact of increased rates. 


But what if you get in an accident? Have a major diagnosis?  


Point of reference - I needed a hysterctomy a few years ago. The hospital bill without insurance would have been $25k plus. With negotiated insurance rates, it was about $10k... and my previous policy covered all but $1000 of it.   Even if I had my current plan with a higher deductable, I would still be way ahead - premiums included. 


As stated above (LOVE the 'Bruno sent me' analogy btw...  that's perfect!!).. insurance not only covers the big stuff, but it also gets you access to negotiated rates within your network for the stuff you would pay. 


I don't know if it's true about making payments or not.  My previous primary care doc was a huge health care reform activist (he actually ran for US congress to try to help change things for the positive, and lost), and wrote a book on being Uninsured in America (look it up, by Dr. Stephen Blythe - http://www.amazon.com/Uninsured-America-survival-Stephen-Blythe/dp/1432743791/ref=sr_1_1?ie=U TF8&qid=1312579253&sr=8-1).   He offered a lot of tips on navigating the health care system to negotiate on rates and such.  It's really eye opening to see things from the perspective of a health care provider.  


 - Cherie 


Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Aug 09 2011, 4:33 pm - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

Technomadia wrote:

I currently pay about $140/month for my policy, which has a $5000 deductible that diminishes by $500 each 6 months (currently it's at $3000).

Cherie, who is your provider? We pay $210 for both of us with a $12k deductible that does not diminish  one penny!

Working and Living Our Dream Life
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