As a self-employed individual, one of the questions I get asked the most is what I do about healthcare costs.
At first, I got lucky. The Affordable Care Act went into effect before I turned 26, so I was covered under my father’s plan for almost a year. Then, things got more complicated.
This post was written by Amanda Abella, a talented speaker and writer of personal finance.
How I’m Saving $2,400 a Year on Healthcare Costs
Over the course of the next three years, I would try different ACA plans to manage my healthcare costs. Then, at the end of 2016 I ended up at the urgent care and decided the ACA plans weren’t worth the headaches.
Here’s a rundown of all the headaches in 2016:
- My premiums for 2017 would have been in the $350 a month range for a Silver plan with a $6000+ deductible. At this point you wonder why you should even bother and just pay the tax penalty.
- When I got the flu, the plan I paid $250 a month for wouldn’t cover the generic meds ($150 full price) and my co-payment for the name brand was $125.
- Aside from the urgent care, the providers available under my ACA plan were terrible and I didn’t have many options.
- It would have been cheaper for me to pay for my healthcare costs in 2016 out of pocket. The urgent care has affordable rates for the uninsured. Since I had to get the generic medication anyway because the brand name version of the medication was nowhere to be found in my county, I would have paid $370. Instead, I paid $300 out of pocket plus $250 for my premium in healthcare costs that month. I forked over $3,000 in premiums throughout the year for a Silver plan and never used my insurance.
Now, I won’t completely knock the ACA because it helped me when I was broke. It was also a moral and valiant effort to fix our healthcare system. However, it gets to a point where it no longer makes sense. It’s simply too expensive for the self-employed once they start making money.
So what’s the solution?
For me, the solution for managing my healthcare costs has become to join a health sharing ministry. These organizations are typically run by religious groups and the premise is simple. Everyone gives to the pot and then when a member gets sick the ministry pays for the expenses from said pot.
I first heard about this from Catholic school friends and then I saw my financial expert friends rave about them as well, so I decided to look into it.
After some research, I went with Liberty Healthshare. Here’s why:
- There’s no church requirement. You just have to sign a code of ethics that states you’re a decent person. Despite my Catholic upbringing I am not religious so this was good news for me.
- After my sharing amount of $500, I am 100% covered for healthcare costs up to a million dollars.
- I can go to whatever doctor I want.
- I’m only paying $150 a month for their most expensive option for individuals. That means I’m saving $200 a month in 2017 for a total of $2,400 in savings!
- It’s ACA compliant.
Do you know what someone can do with an extra $2,400? In my case, I’m investing into my business, but for others it could look like boosting their savings or taking a decent vacation.
Not only that, but I now have more peace of mind as it pertains to future healthcare costs because I have less hoops to jump through. I’ll be content with my health sharing group while the government decides whether or not they want to fix our broken healthcare system.
Are you ready to save thousands of dollars on healthcare costs?