Insure Adequately Now, Be Grateful Later

“Insure adequately” is listed as one of the four money habits that will make you rich for good reason. Having good insurance can save you a bundle, and protect you from huge, unexpected financial blows.

It’s easy to think that you don’t need insurance, especially if you’re young and healthy, but that is most definitely not the case.

Just ask my son, who had to have an emergency appendectomy last Thursday.

Now we don’t know what the bill will be for that yet, but a quick search online says that the average price of an appendectomy is $15,850. Plus the charges for the urgent care visit, the ER visit, the tests, and the medications.

Imagine waking up a healthy 18 year old one day and going to bed the next day minus your appendix and with a huge medical bill. Thankfully, kids are now allowed to stay on (or be added to) their parent’s policy until they are age 26, so that’s not the scenario. But it could be, for people without health insurance.

Of course, an emergency fund comes in handy too. While my son was in surgery, the hospital called my cell phone to see if we would be able to make a payment before we left.

“How much do you want?” I asked.

“Well, we’re supposed to ask for at least two thousand dollars,” was the reply.

Since my son does have insurance, I told them I’d rather wait and see what the bill is first, and what we are expected to pay. They were fine with that, but I wonder if they would have been as easy-going if he hadn’t had insurance.

The bottom line is that you don’t want to worry about how to pay for things when you should be concentrating on getting well or on caring about a family member. Get good insurance, and build up that emergency fund.

(Thankfully, my son seems to be recovering just fine. That was scary!)


  • That does sound scary! Good thing he’s all right now. As for having health insurance, that’s a must. When I was in my 20’s, I went a couple of years without it and looking back on it, that was so stupid. Anything could have happened. There are lots of plans to choose from, so even if a younger person can’t afford full coverage, they can afford a plan that would cover accidents and surgeries. Definitely a necessity!

    • Yes, there are often student health plans and high-deductible policies that can fill the gap. I know I was grateful for a high-deductible policy when I was unemployed — because that’s when I needed surgery for the first time in my life.

  • Even as someone in my 20s, I couldn’t imagine going without health insurance. It can be so hard to get good coverage after being without it that it’s just not worth the risk. I’d spend the money and get catastrophic coverage with a very high deductible at the very least.

  • I hope your son is okay!

    In between college and when the health insurance benefits kicked in at my first job (three months later), I was wary about getting insurance. Then my friend told me that her boyfriend at the time had decided to get emergency insurance…and three days later he had to have surgery from his appendix. Talk about good timing! The next day I signed up for emergency insurance for about $61 a month–talk about peace of mind. Ofcourse I dropped it when my own insurance kicked in.

  • Glad he’s doing better, and glad there’s insurance to cover that. Goes to show just how expensive health care can be out of pocket, and how critical good health insurance really is.

  • The hospital called BEFORE you left? Wow! That seems a little intense. Glad your son is doing well. Praying for a speedy recovery.

    • Thanks. And yeah, I was a tiny bit freaked out to get a call while he was in surgery (since they’d asked for my phone number in the pre-op area) but then was glad it was just about money!

  • I can’t believe people go without some type of insurance coverage. Talk about playing Russian roulette. You are the second person I have heard who had the hospital ask for money before they left. I can’t believe this is the new trend!

    • Unfortunately, a lot of people either don’t qualify for insurance at all for stupid reasons (I didn’t qualify for private insurance last time I tried) or are on very tight budgets. High deductible policies can be more affordable than many people realize though.

  • Jackie, this is why I’ve been nervous in the past when one of my kids wasn’t covered by health insurance!

    I’m surprised the hospital asked you to pay when there’s an insurance policy. That hasn’t happened to me previously.

    • Hm, I hadn’t been to the hospital in a long time before this, but I thought they usually at least asked for a copay or something.

  • I go to the hospital frequently with my kids. I usually make a $50 copayment in the ER.