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Why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

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Shemp
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Why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Shemp »

Since quitting my job at a big corporation in 1995 (I ran my own business for a few years after that, then retired completely), I haven't had health insurance. This article shows why health insurance doesn't necessarily help pay big bills:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... citis-pain
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Cornfed
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Cornfed »

The American healthcare system seems to be a way to implement communism. It’s free for the poor and the now largely affirmative action government people, the rich can afford it, but anyone who has the temerity to try and make something of himself is eventually ruined by it.
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Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Contrarian Expatriate »

If you are a man of means and without the obligations of a family, health insurance is unnecessary and undesirable even. I pay about $2000 a year for worldwide coverage and there are times when I want to just drop it.

Over the years, I have paid far more in premiums than I get in claims. And when I do have medical claims to make, the insurance company denies certain things.

I am however, and advocate of Health or Flexible Savings Accounts permit you to spend your dollars on ANY health costs. The issue is the government caps the account at about $2000 a year or so and that is not enough for many to want do the paperwork each year.

About the only thing my insurance covers is catastrophic coverage which includes helicopter evacuation from abroad if need be. Other than that, it is barely worth it.
gsjackson
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by gsjackson »

I didn't have any health insurance between ages 55 and 64. Think I spent about $400-500 on medical services during that time. If you think you're healthy, roll the dice. It will help you stay away from doctors, which is one of the best things you can do for your health (assuming you do have healthy habits and are well-informed about health matters).
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Neo
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Neo »

Many years ago I wanted to buy my own health insurance (pre 2009), and the quote was over $500 a month (closer to $600). I thought things would be easier after having gotten a job with a career. Health insurance decreased one job's monthly rate by four dollars per hour.

Who knows where all the money goes?

I don't bother now. I've been fined the last few years for not having it though.

For some reason, I doubt other countries are being charged this much for health ins.

Also now I don't take pills, don't get checkups (unless paid by an employer or for a prescreening or something), and I don't bother with anything medical.
Salvation is the free gift of God simply for believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and it can't be lost; the only repentance necessary is the change of mind from unbelief to belief, because salvation is not about turning from sin because it is without works. Jesus, the Savior kept all the commandments in absolute perfection for us, ∴ salvation is without works, and He died for our sins, taking the eternal penalty for us.
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by gsjackson »

Neo wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 10:05 am
Many years ago I wanted to buy my own health insurance (pre 2009), and the quote was over $500 a month (closer to $600). I thought things would be easier after having gotten a job with a career. Health insurance decreased one job's monthly rate by four dollars per hour.

Who knows where all the money goes?

I don't bother now. I've been fined the last few years for not having it though.

For some reason, I doubt other countries are being charged this much for health ins.

Also now I don't take pills, don't get checkups (unless paid by an employer or for a prescreening or something), and I don't bother with anything medical.
You shouldn't have to be paying fines now. I thought Trump got rid of the Obamacare mandate.

Absolutely health insurance costs less outside the U.S. -- typically somewhere around 10-20 percent of costs in the U.S. But you don't necessarily need it because market prices are charged for medical services and if you have any money at all usually you can pay out of pocket. Unlike the U.S. "system" -- completely distorted away from market values by profiteering middle men -- where some sort of medical emergency can run up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs in no time. People in sane countries may not know what I mean by "rolling the dice," because they're unfamiliar with the concept of getting completely destroyed financially by medical costs.

If you enter middle age with some well established good health habits you'll probably find your way into a sort of healthy equilibrium, because you've developed immunity to a lot of bugs and you know your own body well. Example of the latter: About half of the money I spent on medical costs between 55 and 64 was getting an antibiotic from a doctor for strep throat. In late 2010 I was living in the St Louis area, where they hadn't yet banned smoking from night spots, and I know I got the strep throat from spending too much time in such places. I had known beforehand that I was susceptible to throat infections and should have intuited that I was more vulnerable to them in cigarette smoke. Another lesson learned. The health lessons stack up if you're paying attention. By middle age you should have learned what food and drink works for you and what doesn't. And what kind of exercise, though that will vary as you age.
Last edited by gsjackson on February 1st, 2020, 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Contrarian Expatriate »

gsjackson wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 9:07 am
I didn't have any health insurance between ages 55 and 64. Think I spent about $400-500 on medical services during that time. If you think you're healthy, roll the dice. It will help you stay away from doctors, which is one of the best things you can do for your health (assuming you do have healthy habits and are well-informed about health matters).
You gambled and won. I respect that and wish I had the balls to do the same because I was 100% healthy for decades until I had to address a few minor things in the last couple of years. However, as much as I want to drop my health insurance, I am getting to be at the age where people get cancer which is extremely expensive to treat and long term. 40% of American men will have some form of cancer in their lives according to the American Cancer Society. The cancer fighting drugs alone can cost between $10,000 and $30,000 per month, Chemotherapy $6000 per month, Radiation $9000 per month, and Immunotherapy around $10,000 per month. That and only that is why I begrudgingly keep the insurance.
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Cornfed
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Cornfed »

The American healthcare system actually worked out really well for me for a while. For almost three years I was working for an American company as a contractor and being paid at the American rate which assumes extortionate health insurance, but I was living in NZ and benefiting from largely socialised medicine, so I didn’t need insurance. This discrepancy accounts for almost all my savings.
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Neo
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Neo »

gsjackson wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 10:45 am
Neo wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 10:05 am
Many years ago I wanted to buy my own health insurance (pre 2009), and the quote was over $500 a month (closer to $600). I thought things would be easier after having gotten a job with a career. Health insurance decreased one job's monthly rate by four dollars per hour.

Who knows where all the money goes?

I don't bother now. I've been fined the last few years for not having it though.

For some reason, I doubt other countries are being charged this much for health ins.

Also now I don't take pills, don't get checkups (unless paid by an employer or for a prescreening or something), and I don't bother with anything medical.
You shouldn't have to be paying fines now. I thought Trump got rid of the Obamacare mandate.

Absolutely health insurance costs less outside the U.S. -- typically somewhere around 10-20 percent of costs in the U.S. But you don't necessarily need it because market prices are charged for medical services and if you have any money at all usually you can pay out of pocket. Unlike the U.S. "system" -- completely distorted away from market values by profiteering middle men -- where some sort of medical emergency can run up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs in no time. People in sane countries may not know what I mean by "rolling the dice," because they're unfamiliar with the concept of getting completely destroyed financially by medical costs.

If you enter middle age with some well established good health habits you'll probably find your way into a sort of healthy equilibrium, because you've developed immunity to a lot of bugs and you know your own body well. Example of the latter: About half of the money I spent on medical costs between 55 and 64 was getting an antibiotic from a doctor for strep throat. In late 2010 I was living in the St Louis area, where they hadn't yet banned smoking from night spots, and I know I got the strep throat from spending too much time in such places. I had known beforehand that I was susceptible to throat infections and should have intuited that I was more vulnerable to them in cigarette smoke. Another lesson learned. The health lessons stack up if you're paying attention. By middle age you should have learned what food and drink works for you and what doesn't. And what kind of exercise, though that will vary as you age.
I don't think those Trump changes are effective until this tax season (Jan-Apr 2020).
Salvation is the free gift of God simply for believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and it can't be lost; the only repentance necessary is the change of mind from unbelief to belief, because salvation is not about turning from sin because it is without works. Jesus, the Savior kept all the commandments in absolute perfection for us, ∴ salvation is without works, and He died for our sins, taking the eternal penalty for us.
gsjackson
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by gsjackson »

Contrarian Expatriate wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 11:55 am
gsjackson wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 9:07 am
I didn't have any health insurance between ages 55 and 64. Think I spent about $400-500 on medical services during that time. If you think you're healthy, roll the dice. It will help you stay away from doctors, which is one of the best things you can do for your health (assuming you do have healthy habits and are well-informed about health matters).
You gambled and won. I respect that and wish I had the balls to do the same because I was 100% healthy for decades until I had to address a few minor things in the last couple of years. However, as much as I want to drop my health insurance, I am getting to be at the age where people get cancer which is extremely expensive to treat and long term. 40% of American men will have some form of cancer in their lives according to the American Cancer Society. The cancer fighting drugs alone can cost between $10,000 and $30,000 per month, Chemotherapy $6000 per month, Radiation $9000 per month, and Immunotherapy around $10,000 per month. That and only that is why I begrudgingly keep the insurance.
It's the right play in your case. You had a lot to lose if the roll came up snake eyes, enough that bankruptcy wouldn't have been an option. And you've been able to accumulate as much money as you needed even though incurring the insurance cost.

As for cancer, I've been trying to figure that disease out since my mother died of it when I was 8. One thing I'm absolutely certain of is that the mind plays a significant role, as was widely assumed in the 19th century before the AMA started running the show and the materialist model of human functioning became prevalent. Don't dwell on disease. Focus your attention on good health, changing your body for the better. Get the cells plenty of oxygenization and the mind plenty of down time from neurosis with exercise. My younger sister has had two types of cancer, fortunately neither fatal. When she told her closest friend about the first episode with endometrial cancer the immediate response was: "You are so lucky!" The point being that they both bizarrely expected she would get cancer, and was lucky to get a non-lethal form. Indeed, her husband told me there hadn't been a day he had known her (30-some years at that point, 45 now) when she didn't dwell in mortal fear of cancer. I've ignored it, and -- knock on wood, don't want to tempt fate with hubris -- it hasn't come calling.
MrPeabody
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by MrPeabody »

I didn’t have health insurance for 10 years in Mexico. I had excellent doctors and paid out of pocket since it isn’t that expensive. I could get a doctor many times the same day, unlike America where you may have to wait for weeks. Also, if you become a permanent resident of Mexico you can get the government health insurance or buy inexpensive insurance to supplement.
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Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: why I haven't had health insurance in 25 years

Post by Contrarian Expatriate »

I think paying out of pocket for decades is the best route. If you get sick, enroll in some health care plan since pre-existing conditions can no longer be a bar to coverage in the United States.

Had I invested the $150 per month I was spending over the decades, I would have six figures more to my net worth. But it was very good to use for preventative things like check ups, routine visits, massage, chiropractic, and accupuncture also.
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