I liked my comment on Green’s post that I decided to repost it here. My views on healthcare [or lack thereof] and why HSAs [Health Savings Accounts] are NOT the answer. This is edited to be stand alone.
I have to warn everyone off the grand experiment of the HSA. We did it last year and got screwed royally. Not only does NO ONE understand it, but you pay a premium each month (ours was $250 or so) for absolutely nothing. You get no coverage of anything. Which means that YOU get to pay insurance rates for all your healthcare. YOU get to pay the $150 bill for a Dr visit. YOU get to pay for the $652.33 blood work. YOU get to pay $22 PER PILL for your prescription. (Real numbers. MINE.)
You see, there are no discounts in the healthcare industry for people who dare to pay cash. NONE. As a matter of fact, most Dr offices will look at you funny if you don’t have insurance and some have no idea how to bill you. Since all the prices are jacked up anywhere from 50-infinity% to ensure that the provider gets their money when the insurance company pays out approximately 30% of the billed price, YOU get to pay the inflated insurance prices. Niiiiice.
So, you end up paying for “insurance” that does not exist AND you get to pay inflated insurance rates for your healthcare. Then they will churn you out of the program in 6 months. ASSurant (caps mine) took our money for 6 months, then raised our rate 50%. When I called about it, the rude assed beeyoch on the phone informed me that “too many people in GA used it” so the rates had to go up. (I’d NEVER used it and I’m pretty sure the other 5 people who had it didn’t, either, since it has a $5000 deductible.) When I protested further, she got even ruder and I canceled the account on the spot.
That folly cost us $1500. When I went to file a complaint, I read that “churn” is desired by insurance companies, especially HSA providers because it’s guaranteed income without having to pay out a dime.
Well, I can tell you, it worked on us. They got their $1500 and we got bupkus. It is NOT NOT NOT worth it for the “benefit” of putting the money in savings pre-tax. BFD, pretax, that won’t offset $250/mo.
We have lots of credit and a savings account. That is our healthcare plan. If EVERYONE would bow up and refuse to participate in the maniacally crazed system we have, then the system would collapse and we could create something better, but everyone has been SO bullied into believing that if they don’t have insurance, it’s a death sentence that they acquiesce. It’s just not true that you won’t be treated!!
You WILL be treated at a hospital if you need it, period. If you are paying on your bill, very few judges will allow a health provider to take your assets. That is extremely rare and only happens when nothing is paid. A friend of mine had a $15k bill for an accident and has been paying $20/mo forever. No one has come after him (D, do I have that right?). Generally, if you stay on top of it and make sure all the details are clear, you’ll be fine. It appears to be non regulated, state by state rule for not pursuing medical bills – naturally it’s non-regulated – so read up on your state and know your rights. Example: Illinois; scroll down a bit to see that section.
So, I say nut up and tell the healthcare system to FUCK OFF. If it went back to paying Drs directly, without the insurance racket in the middle, we’d all be in better shape. Do you think our mothers paid $30k for our births? Hell no. More like $500. For everything. Why? No insurance companies getting their cut, that’s why. You can thank the Unions for starting up the whole idea of insurance… That’s a whole ‘nother soapbox…