Health Inc.

One Man's Decision To Go Without Health Insurance

How much is health insurance worth? Not enough for one 53-year-old freelance writer to pay for it out of his own pocket.

Freelance writer Duncan Moore is gambling without health insurance. i i

Freelance writer Duncan Moore is an unlikely insurance daredevil. Duncan Moore hide caption

itoggle caption Duncan Moore
Freelance writer Duncan Moore is gambling without health insurance.

Freelance writer Duncan Moore is an unlikely insurance daredevil.

Duncan Moore

Duncan Moore, a reporter who has covered the ups and downs of health care for years, explains his surprising decision in the Los Angeles Times. "I'm the last person I would have imagined living without a safety net between me and the medical risks of early middle age," he writes.

But after Moore left his last full-time job and no longer qualified to continue his coverage by paying $447.12 a month, he figured he was better off taking his chances.

Moore is healthy and has a good family history, so he thought he wasn't taking a huge gamble.

But just as important, he didn't see real advantages to insurance anyway. He has negotiated discounts directly with doctors for his regular care and has enough salted away to cover bigger expenses, up to about $50,000.

For the really catastrophic stuff, he's not confident insurers would pay. Ever hear of rescission? That's the euphemism for insurers canceling coverage after the fact to avoid paying big claims. "To a person like me, who is on the margin," Moore writes, "rescissions are the deciding factor between purchasing and not purchasing insurance."

He'd like to be insured again some day, but expects to go without coverage until it's more affordable and regulated to protect him better from companies' arbitrary decisions. Until then, he says, he'll pocket the money that otherwise would have padded the profits of some insurer.

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