coverage 3 years ago. Now I am self insured.
I saved over $25,000 by not giving it to the company, and invested it and now I have over $30,000.
A two day stay in the hospital will wipe out your $30K+ and you will be the loser.
I spent one day in the hospital last month in NJ and the bill to my HMO was $17,000. My co-pay was $300, however the HMO only pays the hospital $1100 of the total bill. The hospital accepts the $1100 as total payment and writes the remainder as a loss. If I were not insured, I would be responsible for the total $17K. If I were poor, or an illegal alien, it would all be free.
To - Richie56-19
You write, "one of the intriguing aspects about insurance is that it's a gambling bet. Nothing more, nothing less."
There are 2 kinds of risk, speculative and pure. Gambling is speculative, e.g. you put down X and there's an expectation that you could earn X+, or more than your outlay.
Insurance - BY EVERY DEFINITION - is PURE risk. There is ZERO percent chance to win more than you spend. That's is, don't argue.
As for why you feel like you win ... it's because consumers, sadly, have the ability to micro-manage premium. That is, on the whole pool, good carriers predict with near 100% certainty that total premium collected will outpace total spend. When consumers drop out, premiums rise because there's a finite amount of collected cash but a potentially infinite amount of expense & claim spend.
Trust me, when "shirllem" saved $25k over 3-years, and grew it to $30k, it WILL evaporate because there's no pool of healthy payers to cover Shirllem's $1M claim that WILL eventually occur.
And that's our system today. Frankly, insurers need to contracturally need to hold consumers feet closer to the fire. E.g., we'll cover you and your family for 10-15% LESS, but you need to commit to 3-yrs. Or, you need to pledge assets against billed premium ... just like your mortgage :). E.g., you don;t pay the note, we own your house, your car.
Anyway, insurance is NOT gambling. It is pure risk. Nothing more, nothing less.
Here is good suggestion. Take some of your savings and buy a catastrophic policy with a large deductible, say $25,000. Then, if you ever have a major illness, you won't have to worry about being wiped out. Remember, if you have no insurance, hospitals are going to charge you full retail, not the reduced contracted rate from your insurance company. My brother was "healthy as a horse" in great shape, ate well, etc, etc. He suddenly had an aortic anuerysm and luckily was one of the 10% who survived. His bills totalled over $400,000 of which he was responsible for $250 and his HMO paid the rest.
As other posters said, it is called insurance for a reason. Buy some and hope you don't need it.
Perhaps better still... take out the catastrophic policy with an HSA. While you're capped at how much you can put into it (I think it's $2,850 for 2008), it's tax free money. As long as you spend it on 213 items, you spend it tax free -- even what you earn in interest/investing the HSA money.
Think of it like a 401k only for healthcare, but it's never ever taxed.
In my mind, health insurance should only be for catastrophic coverage -- things like the flu and normal-type doctor's visits shouldn't be included -- just like oil changes and new tires aren't in auto policies... and painting and fixing creaking steps aren't included in home owner's.
I know, perhaps bad examples, but the point is there. Insurance should exist as a hedge against unforeseen loss -- with the loss being catastrophic in nature.
This sounds like the people who dropped their flood coverage because they never used only to watch their home float away and lost everything. There is a reason its called insurance, you pay an insurance premium to offset some huge liability that could possibly bankrupt you if the event occured.
If you want to save and protect your assests, enroll in a very high deductible plan that will insure you against a huge lost.
And how much did you save by dropping auto, home and life insurance. I am writing this as my child is having brain surgery. The insurance company has paid over $4 million to date for the care and repair of my little girl. How much would we have saved if we did not have insurance. Would she still be alive if the government ran the medical community?
One of the intriguing aspects about insurance is
that it's a gambling bet. Nothing more, nothing
The Company is betting that you won't get sick, and
you are betting that you will.
I don't have anything against insurance companies,
or those who buy insurance. I had insurance all my
working life, so did my wife. And I had claims
that were paid immediately by the company. And
I'm glad I had that insurance coverage.
But there are many who are fortunate enough to
be healthy all of their lives, never needing to
claim for coverage. But they were still sold
a medical policy that they never would use.
As the saying goes - Hind-sight is better than
fore-sight, and in any particular case, the
benefit of medical insurance cannot be determined
ahead. But there's one very distinct benefit to
medical insurance, and that is, if you have it, it
gives you some peace of mind, and one less thing
you have to worry about.