Prime Directive: You need healthcare

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Healthcare is expensive, there’s no way around it. Unless you’re a financially independent multimillionaire who can afford to pay tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars without blinking an eye if you or your family’s health takes a hit, you need health insurance. Period. 

Sure, if you’re a young, single 20-something you may feel invincible. You argue you’re trying to build a new business or work as a contractor or at a small firm that doesn’t offer health insurance and are thinking about going without. DO NOT DO IT. Just don’t. 

Accidents happen. Unfortunate surprises pop up. An ambulance ride alone can cost $1000 – even with people with insurance! God forbid you’re diagnosed with a new chronic medical condition. 

Healthcare premiums are about $3000-4000 per year for young folk – you can get your estimate here –  Kaiser’s Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator.  That’s a small price to pay to mitigate a possible looming financial disaster if anything happens to your health. 

Yes, yes, it’s expensive. We get it. Yet, it’s definitely worth it. 

ER visit? With insurance, it’s at least $100 just to walk in the door. Then the lab work, imaging studies, etc. Insurance usually will pick up 60% or more of that cost. Without insurance? ER visit for a minor problem (e.g. have a small laceration) will cost you at least $1000 out of pocket. Annual check up? Usually free or only a small co pay $40-60 per visit. Without insurance? Try at least $200-300. 

Now if you’re healthy, just go for annual check-ups, does a few episodes of care make up for that $3000-4000 / year price tag for health insurance? Yes. Again, you don’t know when bad luck will strike, so going without is not a good idea. This is a prime directive. 

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