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Are You Avoiding Health Insurance to Save Money What is the Cost of This


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You know it's a bit like Russian roulette, but since you don't want to shell out hundreds a month for health insurance, you are postponing it with thoughts that you see a doctor twice a year, never go to emergency room and seem to be healthy. Each month you congratulate yourself for saving the money, but there is a sense of being a gambler the same time. You may even do this with homeowners or rental insurance too, if you like to live on the edge.

As a social worker, sadly I've seen people have this approach end suddenly and unhappily a few times. You may not have that happen to you, but I want to give a few examples of how this lifestyle can backfire. I'm not trying to scare you but just show that as John Lennon says, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans".

My client Joe was mid-fifties and a cab driver. He was healthy, single and goes once or twice a year to a doctor. He had a little rash and saw a doctor. Was told it was contact dermatitis. It continued to spread and itched him like crazy at night. Joe went to a dermatologist who told him it was an allergic reaction and gave him two prescriptions. All this was out of pocket for him. The rash continued and he sought out another dermatologist who said it looked like scabies. This led to him needing to get a pesticide cream, strong steroid medications and antibacterial agents to deal with the infections from scratching. A few weeks later he saw what he thought were new infestations of the scabies and returned for a follow up visit , requiring another treatment and additional prescription creams and anti-inflammatory meds. All of this was out of pocket for him.

Joe actually was lucky as he did not have to deal with hospitalization. This is what happened to another client I had who had a mini stroke and spent several days in the hospital without insurance. Fortunately she is getting back capabilities in her hand but she has no idea how she'll cover the hospital charges.

Hospitalization is an important reason to have some type of coverage, even if it's a very high deductible. This can be due to a car accident, heart problem, stroke, food poisoning , problem with ulcers or many other unforeseen situations. Protect yourself by getting a high deductible plan and sleep better at night.

Dee Cohen is a licensed social worker and runs at a blog at Health Insurance Plans Compared where you can visit and learn more about taking care of yourself at


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