First Person: I Switched My Health Insurance to Catastrophic Coverage to Save Money

Yahoo Contributor Network

With an economy that is still in question and prices that seem to be going up everywhere, my family has been forced to cut back on a few things. One of the items I had to address personally was my own health insurance. While I used to have pretty decent coverage, the premiums I was paying became too much. Since I am in good health I opted to save money on my health insurance by getting a more risky type of policy called a catastrophic policy.

Insurance Rates Climb Steadily

My wife and kids are fully covered under a great insurance plan through my wife's place of employment, but for some reason, the affordability factor with that plan stopped with me. Even so, we were paying the additional $500 per month for my coverage when my wife started her job, but over the course of just a couple years my premium has climbed to almost double for the same coverage. Before we knew it, we were paying $918 per month just for my portion of health care. It simply became too much of a financial burden for my family so I decided to make a change.

Looked Everywhere, Found Little

My wife also happens to be my independent insurance agent so she got to work looking for a new policy for me. However, what she found was either a price that was just slightly less or even higher no matter which company she quoted for my health care coverage. It seemed my choices were very limited.

No Coverage Not an Option

I contemplated having no coverage at all, but that was too big of a step for me. Then I thought of another option: a catastrophic health insurance plan. I had known of these types of policies before and even knew a few friends who had them. So, with that in mind, my wife did all the work and found me a catastrophic policy that I could live with.

Catastrophic Plan, Risky But I'm Saving

Basically, a catastrophic plan works much the same as a regular health insurance plan, only my deductible is now at $3,000 where it used to be only $500. In addition, once my deductible is met my plan only covers 80% of the costs until I hit my additional out of pocket limit of $2,000, then it will pay 100%. So, it is risky to say the least and in all honesty I'm really only covered for the worst of circumstances, but I did it to save money and feel okay about my decision as I am in good health and hardly ever go to the doctor.

Now my premiums are only around $425 per month, which means I am saving almost $500 per month versus my previous health insurance coverage. While this is not the way I wish to go about my health insurance coverage forever, until my small business picks up and can keep up with all the various price increases I deal with daily, I am left with little choice in the matter. While it may not be ideal coverage, I feel that at least the little bit of coverage I do have is better than no coverage at all.

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