Buying Health Insurance

Another reason to do a startup now: the older you get, the more expensive it will be to purchase individual health insurance. As someone purchasing health insurance for the first time, I was shocked by the process. The cost is one thing, but the complexity of the fine print is even worse. I’m no longer surprised that so many Americans do not have health care. Given the average salary, there just isn’t an affordable option that provides security. The most reasonably priced options cover very little, and it is mind-numbing when signing up to figure out exactly what you are buying. Unless you can afford fully comprehensive insurance, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. No wonder so many choose to just pocket the money.

I’m lucky to be young – my requirements are minimal and I am not on any medications. I narrowed down my options to two choices, one being catastrophic insurance under $100/month, and the other appearing to be a more comprehensive policy at about $150/month (anything better was $250+/month). Offered by the same company, I poured over the details to find the catastrophic policy was actually better – both the price and the coverage. Sure, the more expensive plan covers a bit more (mainly prescriptions), but it also charges more for the services a person is more likely to need. My conclusion was you either get the most basic plan, or the most comprehensive which I could not afford; everything in-between seemed misleading, and did not provide security either.

We need health care reform. I don’t know if the bill currently being considered will fix the problem, but I’m glad the discussion is occurring. That’s if you can call it a discussion. Politicians always talk about small businesses being the life blood of the country, but without the most basic security to take a risk it is severely limited. If I wasn’t in good health, I wouldn’t be able to do this startup. If I had a family, I wouldn’t be able to consider it. We are supposed to be the land of the free, but we are indentured servants reliant on our masters to survive. Some people argue universal healthcare is socialist, but it’s a basic right. Can someone explain to me why public schools are not socialist, but healthcare is?

I consider myself fortunate to be in good health, but by doing a startup I am putting myself at risk. To start a business, I am forced to risk my health should an event occur. I don’t know how someone older does it, especially with a wife and kids. I hope this country can figure out a way to provide such basic security for its population. If small business is indeed the life blood of the country, then this would be a no-brainer. All I ask for is a genuine intelligent debate amongst elected officials trying to do what is best for the country. I find it sad that this is what I have to wish for.

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