George has been saying, why aren't we just putting the money that we spend on premiums every month in an account--we'd probably come out ahead. Read what Tom says on Health Savings Accounts. I need to learn more and I will by reading some of Tom's links. Tom gives a good summary here:
One thing I'm looking at is Health Savings Accounts - HSAs. The US Government thinks it's ok for us to deduct money we spend on healthcare from our incomes, similar to deductible IRA contributions. But you have to have a healthcare policy that offers the HSA option -- high deductible policies. (I don't see why we can't just have the accounts without the policies, but Blue Cross probably thinks that's a commie idea.) The good part is, the premiums are lower.
The thing is, as someone who has had four surgeries of varying seriousness over the last seven years, one alone that would have cost narly $20K without insurance, I'm afraid to NOT have health insurance. BUT I think what Tom is saying--and what might be a good combo--is to have a catastrophic policy that you pay for (they're much cheaper), which would cover "emergencies" like hospitalization and surgery, and you use your HSA for every day drugs and doctors appts.
That makes sense. But what if you get cancer? Or your kid develops some rare illness that requires lots of ongoing care ($) but doesn't land anyone in the hospital? Hospitals are known for keeping folks out, not in, these days. Which is generally good for us, the patients, since secondary problems can kill you quicker.
Is that a third kind of policy?
And, now what?