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Health Insurance, Money & Health

I’m never one to promote the notion that there is 'one size fits all' with regards to the 'health insurance conversation', but it certainly is worthy to be very intentional about this touchy topic.  Here are some things to consider as you decide what is appropriate for you and your family.

            According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the typical American family buying health insurance spent approximately $10,880 per year for health insurance in 2005.  This is up 71% from $6,348 in 2000.  As of 2009, the numbers are even higher and I nearly choked on that number when I reviewed the original ones!  In addition to health insurance, for those that actually needed medical care, there are the additional expenses associated with co-pays and the ugly ‘non-covered’ medical conditions and procedures that occur more often than anyone would care to admit.  It’s interesting to contemplate the fact that the perceived ‘need’ for health insurance is slid into the minds of so many as an automatic necessity....a presupposition for existence almost as many proponents would have us believe.  It’s a presupposition that is very worthy of careful examination.  What other options are there?  What financial models may exist that would preclude the need to purchase health insurance? What sort of beliefs would one have to have in order to see health insurance as possibly a drain on the economic viability of the American family?  In my many conversations with many people of varied backgrounds, beliefs and habits, I’ve found a coterie of people that have gone against the grain and don’t purchase health insurance. Enjoy meeting a couple of these people.

            Several years ago, as I engaged my acupuncturist, Doug D. in a conversation about his interest in and entry into the fields of Naturopathy and Accupuncture, he relayed a story about his father in law who had been proscribed a veritable death sentence due to cancer from the medical establishment.  It was shortly after the father in law went against the grain of conventional medicine by refusing the radiation and instead putting to good use a very natural, non-patentable herbal tea formulated by the Ojibwa Indians of North America that he completely overcame his cancer and went on to live another number of healthy, productive years.  This epic and seemingly miraculous cure compelled  Doug D. to question the disease model of medicine and begin on a path of studying natural healing modalities.

            Jim B. was a sickly young police officer and family man in his late 20’s living in Queens, New York when his wife introduced him to her Uncle Pat who was a Naturopathic counselor and Chiropractor in Brooklyn, NY.  After a number of treatments, Jim B. was healed of his previously pervasive ailments. He witnessed countless other successful healings and health transformations in Uncle Pat’s patients that he too was compelled to enroll in Chiropractor school and became a Chiropractor and Naturopathic Doctor as well.  Dr. Jim B.’s is well into his 70’s and is still a practitioner.  Uncle Pat is in his 90’s and still is a practitioner and lecturer on health and wellness matters.  Dr. Jim’s three children are now grown and have never received vaccinations or visited ‘conventional medicine’ doctors and are healthy, well adjusted adults with great careers and families.  In light of these stories, I must pose the questions:  is health insurance as necessary as we thought it was?  What if the ‘reality tunnels’ that we were unconsciously buying into were somehow flawed?  Is there merit to non-conventional medicinal cures and practices?  Dr. Jim says:  “Many a man has the eyesight of a hawk and the vision of a clam.  Expand your mind and look to new avenues for health and wellness.” 

            For sake of brevity, we’ll not endeavor to answer all of these questions in this brief article.  For your convenience, at the end of this article, I’ve included some additional reading resources for your benefit.  I would like to, however, investigate some of the financial implications of opting out of the health insurance ‘model.’

            If you consider the average health consumers’ expenditure of roughly $900/month, consider that:


1)    Invested for 5 years at 9% yield, $900 /month blossoms to: $67,800

2)    Invested for 7 years at 9% yield, $900/month blossoms to $104,784

3)    Invested for 10 years at 9% yield, $900/month blossoms to $174,162


             We could investigate a number of creative possibilities such as combining this with leverage in real estate for compounded returns that could possibly dwarf what is represented here.  Another consideration is the fact that there are alternative programs for people that are ‘half way’ between insurance and ‘no-insurance’ such as discount fee for service programs that, for a nominal fee ($89/month for example) give a family access to discounted medical fees in conjunction with a medical savings account.

            In short, there are several worthwhile possibilities that exist for one to examine a potentially healthier financial (and physical) existence without health insurance and the conventional models of medicine.  To be sure, it’s well worth the examination and consideration of the various options that don’t get publicized as much.



by Eric Johnson – The Financial Independence Project, Inc. &  Expanse Financial, Inc. 941.713.9307   - Financial Independence and Mortgage Strategies