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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Keep in mind this is a homesteading board rooted in responsibility and self reliance usually based on physical labor and frugality.

I don't think anyone in this country is unaware of the cost of medical treatment. I also don't think many could afford much medical treatment if they were paying out of pocket. That said do you think it's irresponsible for an individual or a family to go without some form of health insurance? Of course insurance is expensive too but there are lower priced catastrophic policies available. Or is it Ok to knowingly go without understanding the costs and risks involved and also knowing if something happened you couldn't or wouldn't pay.
 

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I don't think it is, because honestly, a lot of people really can't afford the monthly premiums. For those where it makes a difference if they, for example, pay the premium and then can't afford to pay all of their rent, etc.- I don't think that's irresponsible- I think that's very low income.
 

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I don't know that I'd call it irresponsible to not have insurance coverage, but I'd call it irresponsible to not pay ones' medical bills and expect the charges to be passed on to other people (other hospital patients, taxpayers, etc). Catastrophic coverage would be a wise idea.
 

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This is an interesting question that should draw equally interesting responses.

When I worked in the city, I had health insurance that was offered by my employer. When I moved to the country and worked for a small company that consisted of the owner, the office manager (me) and 4 independent contractors there was no health insurance offered. At the hourly wage of $7.50, I could hardly afford to purchase it. I worked at that company for 7 years without any type of insurance and just handled medical things as they came up during that time.

I have always believed that I should take a more active role in protecting my health and as such, I make a concerted effort to eat well and get sufficient exercise. Nonetheless, "accidents" happen as well as life-threatening illnesses that can not be prevented. I've been fortunate to have been blessed with pretty good health, but looking back I may have just been lucky. In hindsight, I think having a catastrophic policy would have probably been a prudent choice to protect myself and my family.

RVcook
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think part of the problem is people's understanding of insurance. I don't mean a full pay platinum policy. I don't think many couldn't afford a catastrophic policy of some sort.
 

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I don't know that I'd call it irresponsible to not have insurance coverage, but I'd call it irresponsible to not pay ones' medical bills and expect the charges to be passed on to other people (other hospital patients, taxpayers, etc). Catastrophic coverage would be a wise idea.
I agree with this. Not ever intending to pay back the bills you incur would be irresponsible.

Do whatever you want to avoid that scenario, whether it is purchasing insurance or planning on sending every single penny you earn for the rest of your life to pay those bills.

Kayleigh
 

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I don't know that I'd call it irresponsible to not have insurance coverage, but I'd call it irresponsible to not pay ones' medical bills and expect the charges to be passed on to other people (other hospital patients, taxpayers, etc). Catastrophic coverage would be a wise idea.

My thoughts as well. We pay a significant part of our monthly budget to cover the cost of catastrophic, high deductible insurance. Which of course means that anything less than emergency surgery of some sort, we still have to pay out of pocket.

I truly don't appreciate the fact that my premiums continue to go up primarily for the fact that people don't pay their bills! :flame:
 

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I don't think it is! We are growing our own food, being educated on knowing how to care for ourself. We do know Dr.s too that don't take insurance. They are willing to help you, but they also are very affordable.

My dad hasn't seen a Dr. for 20 years. He takes care of himself and he is 74 years old.
 

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I've been having this discussion (ahem, argument!) with my 23YO daughter recently. She is out on her own and works FT with a very good employer who offers health benefits to her for $60 per pay period, and she chooses NOT to have it! Because she smokes, drinks, etc., and works in a pharmacy around lots of germs she gets sick at least 3-4 times a year and then complains that she can't pay the doctor bills or get prescriptions because she "has no extra money!" Well.....you certainly have enough money to pay for cigarettes and such, and with cigarettes here in NY being about $6.25/pk.....(sorry for the rant LOL). It's people who act in this manner that really upset me.
 

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I don't think it is, because honestly, a lot of people really can't afford the monthly premiums. For those where it makes a difference if they, for example, pay the premium and then can't afford to pay all of their rent, etc.- I don't think that's irresponsible- I think that's very low income.
I think that a lot of people who say they cannot afford their insurance premiums spend their money on other "necessities" like their car payment (more vehicle(s) than they could afford), cell phone(s), cable, internet, restaurant meals, movies, prepared foods, big wardrobe, etc.
 

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I remember that a touch over 40 years ago, health insurance wasn't all that common. If an employeer offered insurance, that was really nice, but not expected.

What was expected was that the bill would be paid, maybe slowly, but paid. Businesses/hospitals/doctors weren't as quick to turn unpaid amounts over to collection agencies...maybe the people who did not expect to pay their medical bills (or try to) contributed to this?

Just thoughts....

Mon
 

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I can share of couple of life experiences that illustrate the need for , at the minimum, catastrophic coverage.

My son developed appendicitis when he was 21. Because he was so strong and healthy, he put up with the symptoms for most of the day, so that it had ruptured by the time he was in the ER. That complicated and lengthened the hospital stay. He was covered, thankfully.

Then there was the time the piece of metal flew off the axe while clearing a fallen tree, and pierced dear son's eye .......

A few years ago my husband was found to have a brain tumor (he's fine now, praise be to God!) You can imagine how much treatment, including neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, cost. We had good insurance, and reached the out of pocket cap in a matter of days.

Being fit, eating healthy, and "learning to take care of ourselves" just doesn't cut it in situations like this, and situations like this DO happen. And no kindly country doctor can handle them in barter for bushel of taters, either.

So in answer to the original question, yes, I think it is irresponsible to forgo insurance if there is any level of coverage that you can afford, even if it means sacrificing in other areas.
 

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Its no more irresponsible than medical service providers (including dentists and even veterinarians are catching up) and medical insurance companies pricing their product where average wage earner cant afford it. Now they are lobbying our legislators to MANDATE that we buy their overpriced services/products. Or at worst case they want to dip into public budgets extracting their pound of gold from the public trough and forced taxes to pay for it. I dont hear any of them suggesting we pay for medical education of doctors and set a wage they get paid.

What happened? In 40s and 50s and even 60s very few people had medical coverage, but medical service providers priced their services to where the average local worker could pay off the bill in a few months upto maybe couple years in extrreme situations. In modern world its not that hard to run up a bill higher than the average worker earns in a lifetime. But even simple procedures are priced like we were are all Bill Gates clones.

So are wages and salaries artificially low in comparison to wages and salaries earned in past? Or are medical service providers and drug companies just that much more greedy than they were in past.

The real way to deal with gold plated pricing is to ban all insurance. Wont happen, but anybody wanting to sell their medical expertise would then have to come back down to earth with their pricing, or starve, or find another occupation.
 

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My own parents used to pay huge amounts for the MediGap insurance that you needed to cover what Medicare did not. My mother was disabled but only went to a doctor once a year for renewal of her prescriptions. Blue Cross and Blue Shield kept raising the cost for the MediGap. My father had started going to the VA. So she canceled the MediGap, took the money they were paying every 3 months previously for the MediGap and kept putting it away.

When she finally did die, my father was able to pay with that money what medical bills left that Medicare did not completely cover. At the funeral home, the director asked him how he wanted to pay for it.....he said "Do you take cash?" So he paid for both of their funerals (his in advance, he hasn't needed it yet) and cemetary plots and even later.....a beautiful stone with that insurance money. Mom reasoned that her doctor's appointments were about $100. at the time and she was paying out over $2000 a year on her Medigap alone.

A hosptial will accept payments even if it is alot of money. My cousin had a $40,000 bill as she had just left her husband and moved to Montana and they let her pay it in installments. She finally got a divorce settlement where her husband had to pay her a lump sum and it finished off her bill.

If you feel comfortable using the medical professionals there are ways to pay for a big bill. Most of the time they will work with you but you have to ask. They do charge you a fee for not having insurance.

katlupe
 

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If a person truely cannot afford health insurance then it is not irresponsible, but is incredibly unfortunate. However, if a person has a cell phone, cable, internet, a fancy car (or ANY car in cases where there is adequate public transportation available), etc and THEN says they can't afford insurance that is an entirely different story--that is a matter of people making choices in their life that are not responsible. Too many people today are putting money into "necessities" that are NOT--I have no cable, no land line phone (only a cell phone with basic service--if I lived in an area without good cell coverage then I would only have a land line and no cell phone), a basic car, etc--people need to be smart and consider what is truly NEEDED for life.
 

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My inability to afford health insurance is most certainly NOT irresponsible.
Oh, I would love to have insurance... omg!! I would love to go to the dentist. I would love new glasses. I would love to have some precancerous looking moles removed. Oh, the list goes on and on.
But just for me.. not even DH, because I am a woman of childbearing years with a C-section history.. Just for ME.. over $1,500 a month! That's like what??/ 18k a year or something!
No, I am not irresponsible!
 

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If a person truely cannot afford health insurance then it is not irresponsible, but is incredibly unfortunate. However, if a person has a cell phone, cable, internet, a fancy car (or ANY car in cases where there is adequate public transportation available), etc and THEN says they can't afford insurance that is an entirely different story--that is a matter of people making choices in their life that are not responsible. Too many people today are putting money into "necessities" that are NOT--I have no cable, no land line phone (only a cell phone with basic service--if I lived in an area without good cell coverage then I would only have a land line and no cell phone), a basic car, etc--people need to be smart and consider what is truly NEEDED for life.
Lets see, my emergency cell phone is pay as you go and works out to $10 a month. My internet is dialup and costs $3.34 a month. My car is an old 4wd Ford Ranger I bought for $600 at an auction. So thats lets see about $760 though truck will go many years so lets say I sold the truck for $600 and put that money into a bank CD and get a whopping 1% interest (thank you Bill Clinton and George Bush for the cheap interest rates) or about $6 a year. So what insurance or medical bills will this $166 a year pay off??? Show me any kind of usefull medical policy for $166 a year and I'll gladly do it since you say this is possible and socially responsible. And think of all that excercise of walking 20 miles to town and packing supplies 20 miles back home in a backpack cause it would take several trips each month to do this.

This brings me back to medical pricing being so much out of realm of most people's reality that there just isnt any comparison. Should I sell all this off, become homeless living in a cardboard box so I can be socially responsible and buy maybe a month of medical insurance?

Its still simple those worried about a penny of their earnings going to pay for somebody else should get laws passed so hospitals and other medical providers can refuse service even to those bleeding and dieing if check on their financial status shows they arent worth saving. Obviously somebody who will never earn enough to pay the bill plus interest isnt worth the cost to fix them. But since we are a humane Christian nation, we should splurge to pay for the shot to put them down like livestock too old to be worth their keep. And thinking about it, maybe the body can be sold to the glue factory to pay for the shot to put them down. We'd want to pay full suggested retail price to the drug company making the shot though instead of negotiating a wholesale price. Wouldnt want to short change any honorable corporate citizen.
 

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My inability to afford health insurance is most certainly NOT irresponsible.
Oh, I would love to have insurance... omg!! I would love to go to the dentist. I would love new glasses. I would love to have some precancerous looking moles removed. Oh, the list goes on and on.
But just for me.. not even DH, because I am a woman of childbearing years with a C-section history.. Just for ME.. over $1,500 a month! That's like what??/ 18k a year or something!
No, I am not irresponsible!
I don't think anyone is talking full coverage insurance. Definitely not something that would include dental! (I haven't had dental coverage in nearly 20 years)
For that matter, maternity coverage is an additional, significant, cost...

Just catastrophic.
And that's no where near $1,500 per month. More like $2-400 :shrug:
 
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