Tuesday, April 25, 2006


A growing number of small business owners and full-time workers make up about 80% of the America's 46 million people without health insurance.

According to this, only 20% of the uninsured population are unemployed or working part-time.

Nationwide, 16% of the population is uninsured, according to an October 2005 report from the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

Like those people, Wirthlin decided to risk it and forego health insurance coverage for him, his wife and their five children. Paying $180 for two doctor's office visits a year made much more sense to him than paying $400 to $500 a month in premiums.

You can see where this is going . . .

That logic worked until Wirthlin suffered a recent back injury. So far, he's paid $90 for an office visit and $600 for an MRI, which was about a 50% discount by the MRI provider when it learned Wirthlin was uninsured.

“The logic worked until . . .”

Too often people think health insurance is purchased to cover items you pay for on a regular basis. Yet this “logic” is not applied to other forms of insurance.

No one buys homeowners insurance to cover lawn maintenance or housecleaning. No one buys auto insurance to cover gasoline, tires & brakes. Why do we have people who think health insurance is bought to cover routine doctor visits?

The bills to date have been low because of a close friend who is an orthopedic surgeon, but if surgery is needed Wirthlin is looking at a bill in the tens of thousands of dollars. Right now he's waiting to see whether he'll have the surgery, which doctors have told him he needs.

Note to self. If you are going naked, make sure you have friends who are doctors that can treat you for free or at a discount.

"I wish I could have known that there would have been a catastrophic event so I could plan for it," Wirthlin said. "It's just one of those risks you take. In our case the risk didn't work out, but we were lucky for four years."

I wish I could have known . . .”

Thing is, you can’t PLAN for a catastrophic event. What are you going to do? Set aside an extra $100,000 or so you have laying around the house for emergencies?
Even if you HAD $100,000 to spend on your catastrophic event, would it not be better to have paid $400 a month or so and let the carrier assume the risk?
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