It’s open enrollment for 2023 health insurance for lots of folks , a time when you might find yourself asking: what good is health insurance anyway?
One listener wrote to us about his son, a student with no income. Dad asks, If the son could get charity care (financial assistance) at his local hospital. should he bother getting health insurance?
The big picture question: If you’re broke, and can’t get insurance from work, what are your best options?
The big picture answer: It totally depends!
- Do you live in a state that expanded Medicaid?
- What are the financial-assistance policies like at the hospitals around you?
- What kind of health care do you know you’re going to need?
We had expert help here: Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Jared Walker, founder of Dollar For, and a super-expert on charity care.
If you want to go deeper:
- We did a three-part series on picking health insurance in our First Aid Kit newsletter. Start here.
- An episode from last year explored some more dos and don’ts for picking health insurance.
- In a 2018 episode, we talked with another listener , a “financial therapist” , who had her own deep questions about health insurance.
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