Since the Obamacare penalty went into effect Jan 1, 2014, lots of people have tried to figure out whether it’s cheaper to buy health insurance or pay the penalty. As a health insurance agent, many of these people have asked me to help them figure it out. I answer their question with a question:
“Are you assuming that you’re not going to have any medical claims?”
I hate to be a buzzkill, but in 2018 an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.” – (National Cancer Institute). Fortunately, we’re recovering from cancer more and more these days. But if you don’t have health insurance and you’re financially ruined as a result, that’s not what I would call a ‘complete recovery’.
Thankfully, the penalty is going away in 2019 – so gone are the days of trying to figure out if you can save a few bucks buying health insurance vs paying the penalty. And the decision becomes much simpler… are you willing to take the risk of having to repay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars if you get sick or have an accident? Only you can answer that question.
If you’re even THINKING about going without health insurance, AT LEAST consider looking at a catastrophic plan – that is, a plan that covers ONLY the big stuff like hospital, surgery and emergency room. These plans are MUCH more affordable that full-blown health insurance, and you can buy them anytime – even outside of Open Enrollment! And if something unexpected happens, you can recover without losing the farm.
Click here for more info re: catastrophic plans.
Author: Neil Steinman
Neil Steinman is the principal of Orange County Health & Life Insurance in Orange County, CA – and has been serving the needs of California residents for nearly 20 years.