If you were like me in your 20s (or maybe you’re in your 20s now), you would have little health insurance. I remember thinking I’d be paying $33 a week off my paycheck just in case, but if they raise the price more than that, I won’t give them another penny. It just so happened that I worked for a big bank and during my 6 year career with them they were able to keep the premiums quite high. Yet I have paid (and paid much more) more than I have paid over the years. To be honest, I don’t believe I went to 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 would sell health insurance on my own instead of selling investments and insurance through the bank. I knew I would need health insurance, “just in case”, heck, that was my primary product. However, in my past experience with health insurance, I was in no rush to get a new policy. After about 2 weeks at my new job, I applied for health insurance. This was before Obama Care (ACA) and it usually took 1 to 3 weeks to get approval for new health insurance. About a week after applying, I had a terrible accident. All I remember in the ambulance is the doctor asking if I have health insurance. After I said no, they took me to the district hospital where I stayed for 4 and a half days. After 2 months, 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. I really needed health insurance once and I didn’t have it.
I may not have met my medical bills, but one thing I always tell my clients about is how well my crash plan has worked out for me. I paid $4.80 on the policy. Two weeks after I got out of the hospital, I received a check for over $10,000. If my health policy had been approved, I could have paid the deductions and left a few thousand in my pocket to continue “putting food on the table” and paying 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 off both to you and the doctor. Don’t wait too long to apply for health insurance, you don’t want a gap in coverage.
Even if you’re just between errands, expect group coverage to take charge, or haven’t been on that front in the past, pick something up. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. A high deductible could be the $60 futures plan. I’d rather pay for 7,500 deductible futures plans rather than a $72,000 hospital bill. Don’t go a day without health insurance.