Let's talk about health insurance coverage
This is NP/NR Daily, meant to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the markets and economy, and what you can do about it — if anything.
Get ready for Friday’s job report
Everybody’s waiting for March’s job report, which will be released tomorrow morning. After we got the weekly report last week, showing an increase of 3 million jobless claims, all eyes are on the monthly report.
There’s no getting around it: It’s going to be bad. But what we all need to keep in mind is that it won’t actually tell us how bad the situation really is, because the timing of the survey won’t capture the number of people who have lost their jobs over the past couple of weeks. We’ll have to wait a month, until April’s report comes out, to get a real sense of the unemployment picture.
Until then, the weekly reports will suffice. But when that report comes out tomorrow, expect a bit of panic, shock, and awe. But who knows? We had a bad weekly report last week and the markets ignored it. So, here’s hoping for the best.
One thing we can all do right now, hopefully as a proactive measure, is to make sure we have some kind of health care coverage. We’re starting to see how much coronavirus treatments cost, and for those without insurance, it’s a backbreaker — hospitalization can tally up to $75,000.
Even with insurance, using in-network providers, out-of-pocket costs can range from $21,936 to $38,755, according to a recent analysis by independent nonprofit FAIR Health. So, yeah, in case you forgot, the cost of medical treatment in the U.S. is completely out of step with what people can actually pay.
Aside from costs, a lot of people are losing their health insurance right now because they’re losing their jobs. Obviously, that’s not great during a viral outbreak. But there are some choices out there that I wrote about last week. Your best bet? Jump on a family member’s plan, if you’re able to. Your second-best bet is to buy a new policy on the marketplace — a bunch of states have reopened the ACA exchanges, allowing people to shop around. But steer clear of “short-term plans,” as they don’t actually provide much coverage.
Just make sure you’re covered, though. Because as one financial advisor told me: “It’s stupid to go without insurance.”