Most companies I have worked for as an IT person or dev have paid the majority share of health coverage, but I usually paid some. Despite having a family, I have mostly had single coverage for various reasons. So it has not been that expensive.
What I paid was certainly not a debilitating amount like you have to pay. At that point, it seems like it would be cheaper to pay the hospital directly. Except, hospital rates tend to be insanely over-inflated because they are expecting to get negotiated down by insurance companies, and doubly so by medicare/medicaid. I wonder if an insurance negotiating service exists that could fill that gap for you?
There is one other kind of "insurance" that I'm aware of, but it seems only available on a religious basis. I'm referring to medical-bill-sharing services (not technically insurance), such as MediShare. They are considered a stand-in for insurance, probably through the same legislative exemptions for Amish communities, who generally provide for their own health care as part of their way of life. Anyway, if eligible for one of those organizations, that is probably a cheaper option to get medical bills paid.
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