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Insurance: Mrs. Micah has a slow learning curve but she gets there

Good news, Mr. Micah and I are finally insured (no, not life insurance, but it’s a good pic!). We spent some time trying to sort it out, I got mentally overloaded, then I got scared and depressed, then I got on it again. I ended up in conversation with an insurance agent, per FrugalBabe’s suggestion. He was very helpful.

Yesterday, he got us set up with short-term health insurance which covers us from today until January 13th. One nice thing about short-term insurance is that I applied for it yesterday and it started coverage today.

This won’t cover doctors’ visits. It will, however, cover us if something bad happens and we end up incurring a lot of hospital costs. It’s a good starting point.

I’ve also applied for normal health insurance to cover us after that. It’ll cover well visits, OB-Gyn, etc for a copay. Then there’s a deductible…so we’ll be paying other medical expenses out of pocket, but it’s a start.

This is good, good, good. It’s something I’ve been needing to do for too long, since my old coverage expired.

Putting off getting insurance is one of those things I did because I was scared. Like plonkee (in her guest post @ GRS), I was scared about financial insecurity. It’s so strange–I was scared of spending money to buy a product which could save us from bankruptcy.

Finally, my fear of illness and some hint of rationality got through my thick skull.

You could definitely call this a financial mistake–but it has a good ending at least. The consequences could have been much worse. I’ve learned…I finally appreciate the value of insurance. And I think that’s what matters in the long run.

photo by leonid mamchenkov


plonkee December 13, 2007 at 4:57 am

I’m so relieved that you’ve got health insurance now. Living somewhere with socialised medical care means that I just don’t think I can contemplate being unable to access medical care for something as ridiculous as lack of money.

fluorophore December 13, 2007 at 7:14 am

So glad you did this! I can totally understand the balking though – there’s a reason why thisis universal in some countries – I think it IS hard to choose how to cover yourself, it feels like you’re forced to make uncomfortable compromises with your loved ones potential health. But having been without coverage sometimes myself, I also know that’s not a comfortable way to live, either.

wealthy_1 December 13, 2007 at 9:10 am

I, too, am so glad you finally got health insurance. Now, you’ll have peace of mind. That’s the best insurance.

Andrew Stevens December 13, 2007 at 11:01 am

I’m going to say this very softly because otherwise people will jump all over me. At your age and with your level of assets (i.e. not very many), not having health insurance isn’t likely to be a catastrophe since you have so little to protect. Worse comes to worst, you declare bankruptcy and you have plenty of time to start over. Emergency rooms and the like are not legally allowed to deny care. Note: I am not recommending that anyone do this. I’m just sayin’. Bankruptcy is awful, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re young and can live without credit cards and car loans. My wife never once had anyone look at her (non-existent) credit report until she was over 30.

mrsmicah December 13, 2007 at 11:06 am

Indeed, Andrew. I’ve had several people tell me that they made it through a few years without health insurance. At the same time, piece of mind is precious…

remodelingthislife December 13, 2007 at 11:56 am

I’m glad you did it! Health care is so hard to choose and it’s a whole nother post for how ridiculous and expensive and non-comprehensive the system is here but something is better than nothing!

Money Blue Book December 13, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Yes, you should definitely have catastrophe insurance at the very least. High deductibles will work for you guys because you are both relatively young and healthy!

mapgirl December 13, 2007 at 4:09 pm

I’m going to mildly jump all over Andrew because it is important to have catastropic care so you don’t have $900 ambulance rides to the hospital and another X thousands of dollars in treatment you can’t pay off.

One of the biggest reasons people go into bankruptcy is because of medical bills. So it’s better to have some that covers emergency trauma care than nothing. I can see how with your young age and reasonably good health (You don’t look to be suffering when we’ve met) that you don’t need other coverage, but it’s a balancing act.

FWIW, one of my good friends in retail management has no health insurance except for some catastrophic stuff that covers ER visits. It’s worked out well for her since she’s under 35 and has no serious issues. It has definitely saved her a lot of money.

frugal zeitgeist December 13, 2007 at 5:54 pm

A big ‘ol cancer scare as a grad student in my early 20’s was more than enough to make me a believer in insurance. It turned out to be unfounded (it’s a condition that is strongly linked with a particular cancer and turns up extremely rarely in benign form), but it took a heck of a lot of what I’m sure were very costly tests and talk of exploratory surgery to find out.

Christine December 13, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Aw, sheesh. Your healthcare system continues to boggle and outrage me. (Not that ours is perfect — but it’s better).

Still, glad you’ve got insurance 🙂

Andrew Stevens December 13, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Oh, I do agree with you, Mapgirl. An ethical case can be made for it as well. (Not sure I buy it, but it’s plausible.) But my point was that bankruptcy is not a catastrophe when you have no assets and you’re in your early 20’s. Plenty of time to start over while you wait for the bankruptcy to be purged from your credit report. It’s a highly unlikely event, anyway, and the financial consequences would probably just be a delay in buying a home. This doesn’t have to be terrible.

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