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Would you ever be tempted to not have health insurance
Old 07-21-2009, 10:15 PM   #1
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Would you ever be tempted to not have health insurance

I have a situation where I have a retirement health insurance benefit that I can enroll in, no underwriting, guaranteed, at any time. There are no conditions such as having insurance before enrolling, etc. I can even go in an out of it at will. (Yes I confirmed all of this today, they said I have the most generous plan ever)

The insurance will cost about $670/month for both my DW and I and will cover major medical up to $1MM each with a $2000 deduct

With that said, and with those options, would you opt to go without health insurance, save on the monthly premiums and just enroll if you see a large bill/issue coming or enroll later as we get older.

I am 56, wife 59 so we would have if for awhile.

Know it seems a crazy question, but we have few problems, knock on wood, and just wondering if it is perhaps a worthwhile option to take to save a great deal on premiums.

My issue is accidents or finding something that needs immediate attention before I could get enrolled. Takes about a month to get enrolled.

But it is a interesting situation that I would be interested in some thoughts around.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You want to take the risk of being self insured with none of the downside. Take what you heard over the phone with a grain of salt. Get and read the SPD yourself 1st to validate. Call your insurance agent and price out a catastrophic policy with a 10K deductible 1st.

I would only do what you are contemplating after doing the above due diligence and having a catastrophic high deductable plan in place. Or you can get a McJob with health insurance in place 1st.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:27 PM   #3
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We were in pretty much the same situation you are in now. However our premium is not as high as yours, but the coverage is about the same.

We enrolled as soon we were able because the retirement medical benefits can change at anytime (we read the documentation). The Mega Corp is great about grandfathering, so we wanted to be on board in case there are any changes made in the future.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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I think it would really depend on your overall financial situation. Roughly speaking between now and Medicare as couple you'd save $70,000 in premium which may or may not be a large amount of money to you.

While it is great that you can enroll at anytime, you do need to be extremely careful that the insurance will actually pay for treatments associated with pre existing conditions. It obviously would be a disaster if they let you enroll, but than wouldn't pay for any treatments associated with say cancer that was found before enrollment.
In which case you'd have a medical plan that would pay for you broken leg from an accident but not radiation treatment for your wife's breast cancer.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:28 PM   #5
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I cannot think of any circumstance where my spouse or I would ever voluntarily go without health insurance. I'd never be comfortable with a commitment by any former employer that we could get coverage at any time we felt the need - promises are broken every day.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:30 PM   #6
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concurr with REWahoo
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
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Never.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:10 AM   #8
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I went without insurance for a few years after college (while not working).

Got lucky, didnt need it. Wouldnt risk it again tho.




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Old 07-22-2009, 02:55 AM   #9
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BTDT, bad idea, was lucky.

At age 56, and 59, you gotta be kidding.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:29 AM   #10
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So this insurance can be subscribed to when you need it and not subscribed to when you dont need it?

As for going with out health insurance? may save you some money as long as you are healthy and not need it but could prove problematic if something sudden and unexpected occurs, its a gamble i wouldnt take if i were in your place.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:10 AM   #11
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Everyone above has given you good answers re: the enrollment/timing and going without aspect, but IMO there is a significant moral issue as well.
  • What is insurance fundamentally?
  • What if all the participants in your plan went in and out?
  • Knowing the answer to that question, if you choose to go in and out you're basically a parasite in the system. You're not taking advantage of the provider as much as you're taking advantage of all the other policy holders.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replys. I know I will sign up as it is like home insurance, you pay thru the nose and hope to never us it. So it goes with health insurance.

I agree with never trust any promises as they are like campaign promises, just hot air.

So I have everything ready to enroll.

Thanks
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Everyone above has given you good answers re: the enrollment/timing and going without aspect, but IMO there is a significant moral issue as well.
  • What is insurance fundamentally?
  • What if all the participants in your plan went in and out?
  • Knowing the answer to that question, if you choose to go in and out you're basically a parasite in the system. You're not taking advantage of the provider as much as you're taking advantage of all the other policy holders.
If the company set the rules this way, they should not be surprised if people use the rules to their advantage.

If "everybody did that", they would need to change the rules. This is no different than some of the subsidy and rebate programs from the govt. I don't agree with them, but that does not change the fact that they are out there. If I can take advantage of them I will. That's what they are there for.

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Old 07-22-2009, 12:24 PM   #14
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The rules can change in a flash. Better to be in and not need coverage than to be out but not be able to get in.

It may be that the company believes that their folks know better than to not have coverage and understand that the door could be closed on re-entry just when you need coverage the most.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:13 PM   #15
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Do you have a written contract which guarantees this benefit?
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:14 PM   #16
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Never would do without it for the same reason I willingly pay for house insurance. Hope I never need it, but the fact is I cannot afford another house like this one again.

Consider this: An uninsured driver with a net worth of $5.98 runs a red light and hits you. A week in ICU is well over six figures. Got that in your pocket?
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:26 PM   #17
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I am a retired HR professional. Employee benefits can me modified with no notice. I would never take the risk that the plan would let me in if I wanted to use it at some time in the future. Usually employee health plans require continuous coverage by the participants. If, for example, an employee had heath insurance through a spouse's employer the employee can enroll if the spouse insurance was no longer available or at the time of 'open season' when they can choose between policies offered by two different employers.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:40 PM   #18
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At age 56 and 59 there is no way I would go without health insurance . Things happen when you least expect them . If you want to save some money go for Catastrophic coverage .
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:23 PM   #19
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Don't you have a similar option for Cobra benefits? Seems like I remember hearing that you can put off taking out the Cobra insurance for like 90 days. If something happens during that period you could just pay the premium and pick it right up.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:49 PM   #20
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My niece who was around 25 at the time had a three-week-gap between jobs, leaving one three weeks before the new one started, which she had already lined up; passed up an interim one-month policy (not Cobra--something the former employer's insurance co. offered); and had to have emergency gall bladder surgery during that time. On the hook for thousands that took her 3 years to pay off. You never know.
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