ChooseFI Logo

153R | Navigating Health Insurance

Medical debt is a big financial burden for many people. Brad and Jonathan spoke with Craig and Jerry from RIP Medical Debt to find out more about their solution to this problem.

If we can continue to foster these kinds of conversation, not only do we win but also those around us and in our zone of awareness also benefit.

Check out the full episode here to find out more about medical debt collections and forgiveness.

Watch this episode on YouTube. 

Jonathan’s Experience

Earlier this year, Jonathan and his wife welcomed a new baby into their family. With that joyous occasion cam an expensive year in terms of healthcare. Jonathan and his family are on a self-employed health insurance plan that comes with a hefty price tag.

He pays $1,000/month for the plan. There is a $13,000/year deductible for the family and $6,500/year deductible for individuals within the family. This structure means that he is basically paying up to $27,000 per year for healthcare. After the $13,000 deductible, he has zero coinsurance so he is not responsible beyond that.

It is important, just like anything, to know the rules of how this works.

Based on the deductibles of the plan, he was expected to get a medical bill for $0 when his wife hit her deductible for the year. However, after the birth of their child, the hospital sent him a bill for $4,000.

He had to do quite a bit of legwork to find out that the OBGYN had not charged the insurance company for their services yet. Instead, they were sitting on $2,700 of Jonathan’s payments. He was able to get a refund for the $2,700 from the OBGYN. It took a lot of phone calls but he was able to get it sorted out.

Healthcare After FI

If you leave your W2 job, then you might lose your regular health insurance. Healthshares are a different option than healthcare insurance. Although they can be great for what they are, it comes down to your risk tolerance.

Find out what your risk tolerance is.

If $200,000 of medical expenses would break your financial future, then you might want to insure against that. You just never know what the future can hold.

If you are self-employed, then you might consider writing healthcare off as a tax deduction. If you are FI and have the ability to control your income, the ACA might have affordable options available to you.


Health insurance companies are able to negotiate rates in mass for better prices. The healthcare systems know the game, so they often charge higher than the market price. If you are on a healthshare plan or don’t have insurance, you can still negotiate for better prices.

You have the ability to negotiate discounts on your own.

Ask for a discount for paying upfront. If you paying current medical expenses, then you might be able to negotiate a 10% discount. However, if you are paying down medical debt baggage from years ago then you may be able to negotiate 50% off.

If you pay in full, in all likelihood, you can get at minimum at 10% discount I think just by asking the question.

As you go through the process, take notes and write down names. Let them know that you keep track of what is happening. Build a relationship with the person on the other end of the line. Make sure to get any debt resolutions in writing to avoid any problems down the line.

Community Feedback

Let’s hear what the community has to say this week.


Clayton wrote in to share their medical debt story. After a period of high medical expenses to battle an autoimmune disease, they had received over $150,000 in medical bills. With a healthshare plan, $5,000 in savings and no debt, they tackled the medical bills head-on.

They successfully negotiated their medical bills down 70% to around $50,000. This was all done without any collection agency interaction. Clayton found ways to avoid fees and avoid snags in the healthshare reimbursement process.

It is possible to negotiate your medical bills on your own without any prior experience. Clayton wishes anyone in this situation the best of luck.

Nadine- Military Credit Card Perks

Nadine wrote in to ask if there were credit cards that waive fees for active-duty military. Luckily, the answer is yes!

Find out more about our recommended cards for military members here.


Emily wrote in to let us know she is taking action on the tips she is learning in our new book, Your Blueprint to Financial Independence.

Great job Emily!

Frugal Tip From Jim

Jim wrote in to let everybody know about awesome holiday savings. Kroger is waiving the $4.99 pick up fee for groceries in November and December.

If you haven’t given online grocery shopping a try, it is worth an attempt. It might just save you time and money. This is the perfect chance to give it a try.

Making A Difference With RIP Medical Debt

ChooseFI is doing a campaign with RIP Medical Debt to wipe out medical debt. Donations have an incredible ROI, so we are excited to partner together.

Brad is donating $1,000 and Jonathan is donating $500. If you are interested in joining our campaign, then consider donating here. We are looking forward to making a difference together!

Related Articles:

Subscribe To The FI Weekly

Action, accountability, inspiration, and community. Join the movement. Get started on your Path to FI

More To Explore
Life Optimization
Life Optimization
Fees, Frugality, and 401K Fears | Ep 428

On what is considered a very personal journey, how do you handle changes that feel like setbacks? Whether its spending more when you feel you should be saving, or re-evaluating goals based on what needs immediate attention, do you feel equipped to handle it with confidence? This week we are having a weekly roundup, and are re-joined by Ginger to not only answer listener’s questions, but discuss travel rewards, retirement accounts, and breaking away from the ultra frugal caricature often depicted alongside FI. While saving is an important factor on this journey, the main purpose of FI is to learn and live your life with intention as it relates to your money, goals, and values. Remember that it’s okay if some of your goals and values will change along the way! Allowing yourself to be flexible as it relates to external factors, like market volatility and your investments, will give you more power and control to continue ahead with confidence and optimism! 

Read More »
You Might Be Interested in...
Share This Post
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pinterest