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Health Insurance Question & Answers

2016 February 7
by Sarah Fields

Steven asks…

How has linking health insurance to employment had an impact on ordinary Americans?

I mean besides worrying that if the company you work for goes bankrupt there goes your health insurance and the COBRA extension; Also, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could work the job you *want* rather than the one that offers the best benefits. Why do we still have this system as it limits self employment, small business growth and creates “job lock”? Ever tried buying insurance independently outside of an office pool with two pre-existing conditions? Even if you cut back on absolutely everything, it’s still unaffordable.

Sarah Fields answers:

1) It means that most working Americans (fulltime) do have health insurance through their companies.

2) It means that most Americans have absolutely no idea as to how much their health insurance REALLY costs: about $12,500-13,000/year for family coverage.

I am with you, we are on COBRA and spend 25% of our income on health insurance. Next year we will be uninsurable because my husband has had prostate cancer–not exactly his fault.

My feeling is we will never have universal health coverage until ALL Americans understand how much health insurance really costs by having to pay for it themselves rather than getting it at a reduced cost thru their employers.

Chris asks…

What is the best type of health insurance for getting kids ready for school?

What is the best type of health insurance I can get to help my kids go to the doctor, get checkups and vaccines, and have them ready for school? Or like if they break their arm on the playground or something? Anything else I should be thinking of as to why I should get insurance for my kids before they go back to school? Sorry, lot of questions but I appreciate your help. Thanks

Sarah Fields answers:

What have they had up until now for health insurance? They should have had insurance since birth, not just at age 5 for school.

There is no “best insurance”. It’s all indicative of what you are willing, or can spend. There are free or low cost publicly funded state health plans if you’re low income, that have their own stipulations and rules on where you go, what they pay for etc. In many states, the care is low to average at best. Then there are top notch and expensive private insurance plans. Does your employer off health care benefits? That’s usually the way to go.

Maria asks…

How can I afored health insurance on a fixed income?It will cost me a thired of my income ?

I am on a very fixed income with no health insurance. Even the government subsidized is to much, and my income won’t let me get medicade. So what are the people in my case suppose to do for health care? What can you do when a third of your income has to pay for your insurance.

Sarah Fields answers:

Honey, 99% of Americans are on a very fixed income. Most of us haven’t seen raises in years. A huge chunk of us have gotten laid off.

What you do for health care, is buy it. Sell your stuff, to pay for your medical care. When you don’t have enough assets any more, or when your income is low enough, then you’ll qualify for welfare health insurance.

Alternatively, do some research about whatever your health conditions are, and take whatever steps YOU can take, without even seeing a doctor, to make yourself healthier. As 70% of our population over 60 is seriously overweight, it’s not a stretch to say that if any of your conditions are weight related, losing weight will make them go away. You don’t need a doctor to tell you that.

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