In part 1 I talked about the problem of having so many different people involved in your healthcare. Often these are offered as benefits but as you get deeper involved with them you find that you lose so much control that it can hardly be considered a benefit.
I also talked about the problem of using insurance for general healthcare. The stuff that you do on a regular basis. This is also called maintenance. It’s not the crisis event that can break the bank but the every day stuff that you are supposed to do. It doesn’t make sense to have insurance for something that you expect to happen. If you expect it to happen you should plan to pay for it. So that is how I am addressing the problem of health insurance.
How about working with your physician to make sure that you aren’t ordering unnecessary tests?
First off, I’m planning on paying for what we expect to do to stay healthy. Wellness checkups and getting prescriptions for the sinus infection. Those sorts of things should just be paid for out of our pocket. And as I mentioned in part 1, high deductible insurance sort of does that but eventually it starts covering those things for you. The tendency then is to think about meeting your deductible so that everything else is paid for. Not a good plan. Spend more to save?
How about working with your physician to make sure that you aren’t ordering unnecessary tests? Or to make sure that his rates are competitive and not making up for differences in other areas of his practice. Don’t get me wrong. I want my doctor to make a reasonable living. But I don’t want to pay to make up the difference for other areas that are using the services inappropriately.
I still need a way to plan for the unexpected. The type of expense that would bankrupt me if it happened. I think insurance makes sense here but so does other plans. The one I’m considering is Samaritan Ministries. It is a way that we can help others or they can help us when the medical expenses are beyond the expectation of regular maintenance care. It’s not an insurance but a community of believers sharing with others in need. And it is an approved “insurance” under Obamacare.
So recapping where I am at. I have replaced traditional insurance with a medical cost sharing and having full control over my care decisions. I have eliminated the need for employer provided health care and being locked into a plan that I didn’t get to choose. But I haven’t totally addressed the government issue. I won’t be in one of their exchanges and they aren’t forcing me to buy insurance for regular healthcare so that’s a win. But I still have this shady business of the IRS to deal with.
Have an emergency fund. Be self insured. Use good financial discipline to take care of yourself.
I don’t want to tell them a thing. I don’t need the NSA, the IRS or any other SOB’s looking into my health history or anything else. I haven’t seen the IRS form yet. But I have seen samples that indicate they will be asking all sorts of questions that are frankly none of their business. Especially since I won’t be using their services. I’ll be looking in to that in the next few months and updating you on how I’m going to deal with it. Forgive me if I sound angry on this one!
Finally, there’s the short term and long term disability insurance. The short term is easy. Have an emergency fund. Be self insured. Use good financial discipline to take care of yourself. I didn’t have a fully funded emergency fund when I left work in March but we were able to make it 6 months with out too much trouble. You don’t need AFLAC either. Do it yourself.
The long term disability is a little more complicated. I still don’t like insurance but if you truly qualify under their terms for disability it is very helpful. The problem is that not everyone fits their criteria. Sometimes we need to make the decision ourselves not to go to work for a certain amount of time while we get healthy again.
So that pretty much covers my health care plan. But I hinted at a part 3 of this series. I am going to take a couple of more paragraphs in the next post to describe how I am taking this same philosophy into other areas of my life.