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Young and uninsured in America

I know what this guy is talking about. For the past four years I, too, was one of America's young invincibles:

Andrew Kuo, a 29-year-old painter, told me he made a vow to be insured by the time he turned 30. “But that was when 30 seemed like a ways away,” he added. “Now I find myself making all these stupid calculations. Like, it would cost me around $3,000 a year to have insurance, right? Okay, isn’t that about what it would cost out of pocket if I broke my wrist? Chances are I’m not going to break my wrist once a year, so why not save the money for that onetime emergency?” Like many I spoke with, Kuo said he’d happily pay for insurance, if only the cost-benefit analysis tilted more in its favor. “What’s ironic is that I would never live without my cell phone, but I won’t consider buying health insurance. It sounds ridiculous to say that out loud, but the fact is insurance is just too expensive. If it was the same price as my phone”—$150 a month sounded reasonable to him—“I’d buy it in a second.”


Dear Carey,

It's great to see that people care about this issue! It's so hard to balance needs as young professional, a lot of people are too disillusioned to even think about healthcare.

I guess it's pretty understandable, considering all the red tape and bureaucracy that goes with it. I've always felt that for people to concern themselves with healthcare pricing, they had to have really easy access to the information and alternatives.

I'm trying to figure out how to get the younger generations to care about healthcare- what made you make the transition?


I actually didn't make any transition at all. I just got a job that had health care benefits. For all I know, if I was still in school and they were still demanding two thousand dollars a semester for health insurance, I'd still be a "young invincible."

Which points up the problem.

Andrew Kuo was smart in his calulations. And, especially as a young person, if he does yoga, eats right, meditates or prays, leads a sane life, he takes care of his own health. If he owns a car, he has accident insurance in case of a car accident. Otherwise, what does he need health insurance for. I have the minimum in case of something catastrophic because I have kids. But I never go to medical doctors anyway because I don't need to. Might visit a chiropracter or acupuncturist or natural doctor once in awhile but I can pay for that because insurance probably wouldn't pay anyway.

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