Until recently my wife and I paid over $2,000 a month for medical insurance. We each had a $6,000 deductible. One year we both had procedures which meant we had $12,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. There were also some other “uncovered” medical costs throughout the year which resulted in over $40,000 in medical insurance and out of pocket costs. The procedures themselves, of course, cost far and above what our out-of-pocket expenses were. Most likely if we had not had health insurance the doctors and medical facilities would not have performed them. In America, you have to have medical insurance or the means to cover the costs of your healthcare.
For the average American $40,000 in medical costs in one year means an eternity of debt. The prospects of such makes average Americans shy away from medical care they need. Unaffordable medical care is not an American dream. Honestly, for too many Americans it’s a nightmare.
A business owner recently told me, “I pay for insurance for my employees but it’s barely enough insurance to meet the legal requirements for our business. It’s terrible insurance. It pays for almost nothing and no one with our insurance would ever want to go to the hospital.” This is tragic as all Americans need good medical care. However, the insurance companies in America are making billions in profit. The way they make profit is by denying to pay for something you need. The health insurance industry had a “net” profit of $22 billion in 2019. Businesses need to make profit, but Americans need medical care, not denial and medical debt that lead only to serious anxiety for Americans.
According to ehealthinsurance.com: “If you are buying an ACA (Obamacare) plan, as non-subsidized health insurance for a family of four, you can expect to pay about $25,000 for the year in premiums and deductibles. That breaks down to an average of $17,244 in annual premium cost for health insurance for families of 4 and $7,767 in deductible expenses. If you qualify for a subsidy this will certainly help but just the out of pocket deductible can make healthcare daunting for most.”
Healthcare is a major component of financial security. Financial devastation is lurking around the corner for any American who does not have a good medical care safety net. Any hospital stay today amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.
You must make medical insurance a priority for you and your family. Also, our government is still a long way from solving our medical insurance dilemma. Obamacare has not fixed our problem. It’s a step but we have a long journey ahead of us. We must have access to good and affordable medical care in this country and we must not give up on making it good for all Americans.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books including Uncommon Sense. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.