A good argument for not buying health insurance


This post is really targeted to the self-employed and non-insured among you. (You lucky still-employed workers with health benefits, you're excused for now.) I just want to offer this interesting op-ed piece by Chicago-based health care writer J. Duncan Moore, Jr. as food for thought, because he gives good reasons for why it's not worth having health insurance -- and how it's possible to profit without it.

I have individual coverage by Anthem Blue Cross, who, without any notice, just upped my monthly premium 21 percent. To afford the payments, I moved from a $2,500 deductible to a $5,000 deductible last year. A month after that move, Blue Cross upped my premium 15 percent. My "who needs this crap" attitude was stoked after reading Moore's point of view.

After losing his job and seeing his $447-a-month COBRA coverage about to expire, Moore decided not to get an individual plan. His reasoning: he's a healthy person who eats right, sleeps enough and has no family history of major diseases. So, Moore decides, "Why shouldn't I create my own network and find providers who would give me a discount for paying cash?" Putting his plan into practice, he went to his doctor for a checkup. His visit was billed at $100 but discounted to $65, and routine cholesterol tests were marked down from $195 to $110. "I wrote two checks on the spot. There was no paperwork, no correspondence, no phone calls, no arguing about deductibles or co-pays, for me or for the doctor's office. And the doctor got his money immediately."

This is where he tips into a part of U.S. health care that is changing and needs to change: patients knowing the price of medical treatments upfront. " Most doctors don't like to cite a price in advance, but as the U.S. health system moves toward asking patients to pay a greater share of the bill, doctors are going to have to become more responsive to their patients' cost sensitivities."