Three years ago, I posted about my health insurance. I knew that going forward I’d likely be doing a mix of working for myself (renovating properties), and contract work as a technical writer / web producer / project manager. In other words, I’d be providing my own health insurance.
All the details and the math are in the original post. In this post, I want to update you on how my health insurance has been working for me.
The short answer: more expensive than I like, but otherwise it’s been great.
The long answer: my first year of self-insuring, I bought a plan with a $197 premium, with the $10,000 annual max for out-of pocket (OOP) and deductible. Obamacare went into effect my second year. My premium went up to $299. At first glance, that took my breath away. With Obamacare, though, insurance companies were given strict ceilings as to how much OOP and deductible they could ask customers to pay. So, my annual max for OOP and deductible fell significantly to $5,750. That means that even with a higher premium, if I’d gotten quite sick, or had a bad accident, I’d end up paying less in any calendar year than prior to our new health care system.
This, my third year of self-insuring, my premium has risen to $315, and my annual max for OOP and deductible rose a bit to $6,000. Not bad.
The thing is, when I originally decided on a lower premium / higher annual max for OOP and deductible plan, I made the bet that in an average year, it just wasn’t likely I’d use the max. I don’t see the doctor much. But I know something could happen. That’s why we have insurance, right? It’s a kind of gambling.
So I decided to bet that one out of every three years, I’d have to pay the max. And the other two years, about $1800 a year on top of my premium. With my current policy, that would come to $20,940 over three years:
$11,340 (3 yrs of premiums) + $1800 (yr 1) +$1800 (yr 2) + $6,000 (yr 3, max OOP + deduct.) = $20,940
If I made the same bet with the higher premium / lower annual max for OOP and deductible, three years of that same formula would be several thousand dollars more.
I’ve had a lucky three years (knock on wood) health-wise—no broken bones, no unexpected surgery, no unpredictable disease. That means I’ve paid thousands of $$ in premiums without using any healthcare services. I’m OK with that—I know others in the system benefitted from the pool of insured, and I bet one day I’ll benefit from it.