I'm in the same shoes-well, not yet but plenty worried. If I get RIFed, I'm not likely to find another teaching job nearby when every other district is also letting people go. I just turned 61 so in a worst-case scenario, I could ride my unemployment to social security at age 62-pitiful as it is-but no insurance for 3 more years until Medicare. If it still exists! With my health conditions, private insurance isn't an option and I have too many assets to qualify for medicaid.
Have you checked to see if you are qualified to use the People's Clinic in Austin, TX? If not, call 211 and see if they can help you. We refer people in the library to 211 often to find out what help is available to them. Don't give up.
Health insurance is a must because you never know what can happen. My husband just had a stroke, then broke his leg. Even with insurance it will cost us thousands. Without it would be crushing. Insurance has the "negotiated" price, which is much lower than the uninsured have to pay. For years we didn't need it, but in December, we needed it. Insurance is about protecting yourself from the disasters that just happen sometimes.
Nell Reston, Virginia (DC suburbs)
No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.
Basically, we asked if we could pay cash at the same rate he gets paid from insurance. It's called the usual customary rate for an insurance company. Even though the dentist office bills $200 for an x-ray, the insurance company has pre-approved a rate of $23 for that service, so that's all the dentist gets for those x-rays with that insurance company.
Our dentist charges us the highest paying insurance company rates and we just pay him cash on the spot, with no forms to send in. We are saving about 85% of what other dentists charge for the same services.
If that's something you feel like you could arrange, I would suggest an older established office. One with only a staff member or two only. Plus, be willing to be "on call" for helping to fill up their calendar at their convenience.
The dentist clinics here are for extractions ONLY & have really low income requirements. Basically anyone who has a job won't qualify.
The other option would be if you have a dental college. The colleges here are so much more expensive than the other dentists though!
Thanks for the replies! Our budget is cut to the bone as it is so there is no way I can cut it any more. I am struggling to save money so I sure don't want to eat into that.
As for health issues, we both have been healthy so we rarely need a doctor. Right now my hubby needs a dentist. I don't know if Austin has free clinics but it's something I can look into so thanks for the suggestion!
Do you or your husband have a lot or specific health issues?
Do you know if there is a free clinic near you? We have one here & unfortunately most people who need it, don't know about it. The drawback would be a total wait and visit time of several hours, BUT it's completely free. I can no longer afford both the doctor and a prescription, so I might end up using this service at some point. There is no way I could afford $400 a month either.
If it were me, I'd redo the budget to force it to fit and cut something else. I know I don't qualify for outside independent insurance and have done without it for 3 years-and have done without needed medical care and that is creating more issues.
You could check independent companies, but at 63, I'm betting, even if your health is good, the cost would be too high if you could even get it.
Medical insurance through my husband's job would cost us $400 per month and we can't pay our bills without that $400. Yes, our budget is THAT tight! Any suggestions? I'm currently looking for a job but at 63, there aren't very many.
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