Perhaps one of the biggest successes of the Affordable Care Act in the United States (also known as “Obama-Care”) is now you can afford insurance should you ever lose, or quit, your job. You do not have to stay in a position you hate solely out of fear that you would lose your insurance. “Job-locked” is a term coined to express how one becomes so dependent on group insurance that they become trapped in a dreadful job solely for the benefits. Doesn’t sound like much of a benefit anymore, does it? With all the talk of healthcare the last few years, employment benefits are at the forefront of our minds. So, let’s discuss available options to avoid becoming job-locked in a position you despise!
Avoid Becoming Reliant … Starting Now
For starters, the absolute best way to not become job-locked is to not become dependent on insurance in the first place. It is a known fact that insurance premiums are invested in the markets and that is where insurance companies receive the monies to pay for your health claim. Therefore, the system is using your money to keep the market going and in exchange you get cheaper, if not almost free, healthcare costs. Also by feeding the system, it causes healthcare costs to rise which is a game to make you even more dependent on insurance.
Ever looked up the definition of Ponzi scheme? A false investment. That will get into another story entirely though.
So, how does one go about not becoming dependent on insurance? First, consider self-pay. It usually isn’t too much more to see your family practitioner without insurance. Some may even give you a family discount if you see them regularly. One person said he could afford to self-pay for his healthcare with all the money that he saved by not having insurance.
To go with that last idea, the next question is “so what about all those medical bills from the hospitals and clinics?” The answer is simple. Did you ever notice that unpaid medical bills don’t affect your credit score as much? Also, they are quite simple to settle if you don’t have all the money. In many cases all you have to have is 50%, or less, to actually settle out the entire medical debt. These are easier to negotiate than any product that you buy and later default on because we are talking about your actual health.
Side note: the money you spend settling your debt may not be too much more than the money you spend on those pesky insurance premiums; possibly, even, well under.
Of course, one way that you can become less dependent on insurance is to go with alternative medicine. This is not as new as it is grounded in centuries old medicine techniques that originated in the Orient. Some examples are herbs, supplements, mindful meditation, acupressure, and acupuncture. For meditation, you can take up Yoga and do some relaxation stretches for free or you can pay a small fee to join a class and actually receive some socialization out of it. For a “how-to” on mediation check out How to Practice Deep Meditation and Benefits Of Meditation and Positive Imagery.
With the world of alternative medicine, you will be trading your family physician in for a holistic practitioner. Guess what? Insurance doesn’t cover these types of doctors anyway! They are usually more holistic which simply means “treating the whole person” as opposed to treating every single symptom which is quite common in western medicine; also known as “allopathic” medicine which doesn’t acknowledge the mind-body connection. Once you understand this connection, medicine generally becomes less effective and your insurance is no longer useful anyway.
Find What You Love and Make a Living From It
Should you decide to quit and avoid becoming job-locked into that dreadful job, you can also look for a job you love that does offers insurance, or one that pays well enough so you can buy your own policy. In addition, currently, if your income is low enough you can acquire a subsidy to cover half or more of your insurance costs. Another option is to start a small business and then purchase insurance in order to get a tax break. By hiring associates and covering on a group policy, you get a bigger tax break. For small business or family, you can usually pay less if you buy the entire policy up front and some insurance companies may even give you a rebate if a certain percentage is not used for your personal healthcare. Lastly, another way to keep your insurance premiums down is to get the highest deductible and co-pay that you can afford.
In conclusion, there is no reason to just stay at a job for just the benefits. As the old saying goes, “do what you love and the money will flow”. Perhaps enough money to purchase your own personal insurance if you do not find way to live independent of insurance altogether. Plus, if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
For more discussion regarding U.S. Health Insurance Cost, Statistics, and Prescription Practices, please watch: