If you were like me in your twenties (or maybe twenties now), you had little recourse to health insurance. I remember thinking I would pay the $ 33 per week deduction on my paycheck just in case, but if they raise the price much more than that, I don’t give them another dime.
I happened to work for a big bank and they were able to maintain pretty high premiums throughout my 6 year career with them. Yet I have paid more (and they have paid a lot more) over the years than I got. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen the doctor more than twice in my six years of group coverage.
When I was 30 I decided I wanted more freedom in my work schedule and instead of selling investments and insurance through the bank I was going to sell health insurance by myself- even. I knew I was going to need health insurance, “just in case”, heck, that was my main product now. However, given my past experiences with health insurance, I was in no rush to get a new policy.
After about 2 weeks in my new job, I applied for health insurance. This was before Obama Care (ACA) and it typically took 1 to 3 weeks to get approval for new health insurance. About a week after I applied, I had a terrible accident. The only thing I remember in the ambulance was the doctor who asked me if I had health insurance.
After saying no, they took me to the county hospital where I stayed for 4 and a half days. 2 months later, with lost commissions and a $ 72,000 hospital bill, I was ready to start working again with a story to warn others of the dangers of not having health insurance. The only time I really needed health insurance and didn’t have it.
I may not have covered my medical bills, but one thing I always mention to my clients is how my accident plan paid off for me. I had made a payment of $ 4.80 on the policy. Two weeks after I was released from the hospital, I received a check for over $ 10,000. If my health policy had been approved, I could have paid my deductible and left several thousand in my pocket to continue to “put food on the table” and pay the daily bills.
I am very grateful for the accident policy, but the moral of the story is that a good health plan is something that will pay both you and the doctor. Don’t wait too long to apply for health coverage, you don’t want gaps in coverage.
Even if you’re just in between jobs, waiting for group coverage to start, or just haven’t been responsible for it in the past, get something. It doesn’t have to be expensive. This can be a $ 60 high deductible term plan. I’d rather have to work on payments for a 7,500-deductible term plan than a $ 72,000 hospital bill. Do not leave a day without health coverage.