How can that be you may ask? It is really just basic math and common sense, but at first it was scary and seemed strange. Most people complain here and there about all of the changes in health care over the years but it isn’t until you find yourself without coverage and you need to start purchasing it that you really become aware of just how broken the system really is. I must have been living in a dream world to think the “Affordable Health Care Act” was designed for people like us who needed insurance at an affordable price. As I started to look for healthcare coverage for our family, I was so wrong and had the shock of my life!
Thinking we had no other option, I enrolled our family through the Marketplace or “Obamacare” for our health care coverage. Through the Marketplace, we had to pay $1,200 per month and had a looming $16,000 deductible for our family for the year. This was essentially like paying $1,200 per month for catastrophic coverage that we may never use. Best case scenario (meaning we stay healthy and don’t need to use any of our benefits): We pay $14,400 per year. Worst case scenario (catastrophic): We pay $30,400. Who calls this affordable?!?
We had coverage through the Marketplace for about 2 weeks when I was numbingly sharing our story with another mom. She told me about healthcare coverage through Healthcare Sharing Organizations and when I checked in to it the following day, it was a complete answer to prayer! There are several healthcare sharing organizations where you have a ‘monthly share’ instead of a premium and you offer to pay an ‘annual personal responsibility’ rather than a deductible. They will tell you up front, this is NOT insurance, but it did meet the mandate at that time put in place by the federal government for healthcare coverage. It also had a proven track record which helped ease my mind. After crunching the numbers, I was pleasantly surprised!!
Through the healthcare sharing organization, we agreed to share $265 per month and pay up to $10,000 of our expenses before asking for any help with our bills. Best case scenario: We would pay $3,180 for the year. Worst case scenario: We would pay $13,180. Strictly dollars and cents, this made A LOT more sense to me and we were able to stay within our monthly budget and not dig a hole of debt we would never recover from. Seemed like a win!
Ok, so we figured out how to save some money, but where does the “wealthier and healthier” part come in to the picture, right?! We opened an HSA account (Healthcare Spending Account) at our bank and now deposit money in there on a weekly basis. By setting aside money each week to deposit in to that account, we have funds available for such things as dental visits, eyeglasses, contacts, massages, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and the occasional x-rays or doctor visits. Because we use our HSA dollars for medical purposes, we do not pay tax on that money which is a nice help during tax season. As we continue to contribute more to this account, the surplus on a monthly basis stays there for the future medical needs. Pretty smart, don’t you agree?
We can contribute up to $575 per month in to that account according to the tax rules and combining that with the $265 we pay to our sharing organization, this is a total of $840 per month, which is still $360 cheaper than our original quote through the Marketplace (remember that would have been $1200 per month). The best part of all of this? A majority of it is going back in to an account for OUR family to use the way WE see fit. I would call that a WEARLTHY move, wouldn’t you? That money goes toward our personal medical expenses and not to some insurance company. Because let’s face it—even though you are paying a high deductible, you STILL have expenses, right?! You still have to pay for glasses and dental fees and co-pays and prescriptions, right?! And going to get a massage or acupuncture?! That would be unaffordable!! Not the way we are doing it. Without paying the high premiums of traditional insurance, we opt to use the money instead to pay ourselves (and it is tax free) up front for all of the medical expenses we incur both now and in the future. And that is where the HEALTHIER part of this equation comes in to play.
When you are paying cash for all of your medical expenses, all of a sudden you pay VERY CLOSE attention to where your money is going. You research, read, ask questions, and get referrals from trusted sources as to the most cost effective and beneficial products and services available. It is an empowering feeling to know you can go ANY where you want for care and don’t have to depend on your insurance company to tell you where you can and cannot go. Interestingly enough too, when you offer to pay cash there are many places who offer a discount! We use our natural remedies still whenever possible (by the way, if you have never tried essential oils, you MUST reach out to me today—it has saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year on medical expenses) so we do not have to seek medical attention very often. When we do though, we go to the places that make sense to us and not where we are told to go by our insurance company. Not only does this feel very empowering, we have discovered a healthier lifestyle in the process with like-minded health care professionals who have our best interest in mind.
Interested in learning more? Come to one of two FREE seminars being hosted to learn all about HSA’s and Integrative Health. I will be there sharing my story along with other professionals who can help you navigate to a HEALTHIER and WEALTHIER healthcare system!! Register for either Sylvania: https://hsa-sylvania.eventbrite.com
or Perrysburg: https://hsa-perrysburg.eventbrite.com