Another year has gone by and I have once again been badgered by physicians, nurses and various government entities to sign up for health insurance via the marketplace. Every doctor visit, every hospital bill I have to pay, every call from billing has some sort of suggestion or query as to whether I have considered getting insurance, or why I don’t currently have insurance, and what I should do about it.
Let me tell you why I don’t, complete with pictures.
Logging on and inputting the numbers for this year, which includes my oldest son’s income as he’s living at home, I am presented with a bevy of options, from bronze to gold. Let’s see what we’re offered, yeah? I’ve attached a few screenshots just to give you an idea of some of my “options”.
The lowest premium I could pay monthly, after the applied tax discount, was $922.39 per month for a family of 5. That comes with a deductible of $10,200 which would need to be met before I could take advantage of the savings. Fortunately, after I pay that, my maximum out of pocket expense is only $17,400. Not bad. In one year, assuming I cap my deductible out, I’m looking at $21,268.68-$28,468.68 out of pocket before insurance really kicks in.
On the other hand, if I can swing the money, I can always pay a higher premium in exchange for a better deductible. The highest premium per month is $2101.33 with a $1500 deductible and a max of $17,400 out of pocket. So for $26,715.96-42,615.96 a year, I can get that deductible down to something a bit more manageable. Yay me.
The numbers above represent roughly somewhere between 25%-65% of my after tax yearly income. By comparison, my mortgage runs about $21,000 a year.
What good does it do me to spend enough money to quite literally buy myself a 2nd home before I see any real benefit? Instead, I end up paying near full price for most doctor visits, etc., out of pocket and on payment plans, in order to finance my care, because at least then I’m actually paying for my care instead of paying the company that may eventually, if I spend enough, start to pay for my care.
Our healthcare system is irretrievably and deliberately broken. Every other 1st world country, and many 2nd world ones, have a better system in place than we do, and they do it without spending near our resources. Time after time I have seen the results of the American system first hand. Crushing medical debt, a lifetime of hard work wiped away in less than year, with no hope of ever seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
To be honest, year after year, this never ending situation has made me saltier and saltier.
So take your MAGA and put it where the sun don’t shine. Take your consensus, your reaching across the aisle, your bi-partisan support and serve it up with your thoughts and prayers because they have about the same amount of impact. We need real change, not platitudes and sound bites. We’ve had 50+ years of doing it this way and things have not improved for the vast majority of Americans on any side of the aisle. The way forward isn’t by keeping things the same, or by pretending that the past was magically better, it’s by making new policy, learning from our mistakes and be willing to learn new things from people and countries other than our own.