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Living Without Health Insurance


I don't have health insurance. While I am overweight, I am healthy and get regular exercise. (I tried to get COBRA, but Obamacare drove the cost into a prohibitive territory.)

Earlier this year, the cap on my front tooth broke off and couldn't be fixed, so I've needed to have my tooth worked on. First, to be completely removed and then to be replaced by a titanium screw.

I called the oral surgeon recommended to me and was told that the cost of the tooth's removal would be $700 when I asked.

"Hmm... that's kinda steep."
"Do you have dental insurance?"
"No, I don't."
"Oh - well, then we can do it for $300."

I showed up, paid the $300, and an hour later I was fine. As soon as I save up the money for my titanium replacement, I'll get that done. Not sure yet what it will cost, but I'm learning that I can negotiate with the provider directly when they're not bound by a contract with a health insurance company. No forms to fill out, no waiting for their payment - direct payment is actually pretty desirable.

I recently read online recently an analogy that caught my attention and that I had not considered:

What would happen if you sought a claim on your home insurance for every light bulb to be replaced, every room to be painted, every little home improvement that you make...? Why, your home insurance would become far more expensive.

Obamacare will bring coverage for every little thing to health insurance. Given my experience and the analogy above, how in the world does Obamacare - or any mandated health care plan - bring down cost? It can't. So far, for my health needs this year, I've paid $365. That's far less expensive than the $1,000 a month that COBRA would have required of me, not to mention the deductible that I would have had to pay out first.

I understand that if something catastrophic happens to my health, I'm at risk. I should be able to get insurance for that, and that alone if that is my choice. But I can't do that any longer.

At the end of the year I have to make a choice - how do I afford mandated and severely expensive health insurance? The law's individual mandate kicks in in 2014 and I am self-employed. For anyone who thinks that Obamacare is not negatively impacting the economy and the jobs market, that person is woefully and painfully ignorant to the harm of the rest of us.

In the meantime, I get to enjoy sometime this fall my negotiated payment for the replacement of my tooth. Best to do it while I can still afford it. Because next year, instead of paying for my own health care, I'll have the onus of paying exorbitant money to an insurance company and the government for a service that I don't use.


by Brett Rogers, 8/23/2013 4:40:18 AM


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