Open Enrollment ends February 15: Are You Covered?


This post is sponsored by United Healthcare. All opinions are my own.

Here’s the thing: medical costs can destroy you, and your plans to take control of your money. Especially with this new round of old illnesses that are becoming resistant to vaccines because not everyone is vaccinated, and the un-vaccinated kids are getting the vaccinated kids sick.

Oops, I went there. We can talk about vaccines another time (you know what? let’s not, actually) but we do need to talk about health care. Insurance, specifically.

Health Care Reform is a Good Thing

I’m not exactly sure why we can’t talk about health care without talking politics, and I loathe talking politics in this space. But increasing access to healthcare is good for all of us. So many things can be prevented (or minimized) with early detection. If you don’t have insurance, you avoid going to the doctor until the problem that was slightly bothering you six months ago is all of a sudden a real problem today.

My Experience Without Insurance

I didn’t have health insurance in my twenties. For way too long in my twenties. I had it at my first job out of college, then when I left there, I used COBRA until it ran out, then my next job didn’t offer it at all, and since I never used the COBRA insurance I was paying for, I foolishly thought that by avoiding private insurance I would be able to simply save myself some money.

Then, I got into a car accident.

It wasn’t my fault, so I didn’t have to pay the hospital bill, but my personal injury attorney tried to scare some sense into me. He showed me the hospital bill for an x-ray and an exam (plus the trip to the hospital in the ambulance since my little car got smushed). It was somewhere around $10,000.

“What if you didn’t have someone else paying this bill?” he asked.

I was scared, but I still didn’t do anything.

Two years later, I moved back to Portland. I was still uninsured, but that didn’t bother me. I was one accident away from financial ruin, says 33-year old me with 20-20 hindsight.

I bought private insurance at one point, and it cost me $500 a month.

I didn’t do that for long.

I went all the way down to the $50/mo catastrophe insurance, which probably didn’t do much for me. It wasn’t until one year ago that I actually got to choose my own healthcare option.

Then I married into a fancy health plan (thanks, Brent, for working at a giant company!) and for the first time since I left home, I am covered.

Let’s not talk about how risky it was to be uninsured for that long. I don’t even want to think about it!

Open Enrollment Ends Soon

If you want to change your health care, you only have a week to check out other options on the exchange.

As the video explains, think about what’s going on this year. Having a baby? Maybe you want a higher premium, but lower deductible plan. Babies get sick more often than 25-year-old healthy people.

So check it out, make the switch.

And if you’re anything like past Kathleen, honestly, what are you waiting for? Get some insurance, and not the kind with a $20,000 deductible! What were you thinking, dum dum?