Do you have health insurance? eHealth Insurance is basically an online insurance store, offering you the chance to select the type of affordable health insurance you want and customize it for your needs and budget.

Now, why would I start talking about health insurance? One, by now many of you know that I’m a healthcare finance consultant. One of the biggest problems in America today is that many families and individuals still don’t have health insurance coverage. As much as we’ve been hearing about the big financial crisis as it’s affecting banks and the housing market, the fastest growing debt load in America right now is the defaulting of paying back medical claims.

Even as far back as 10 years ago, not paying outstanding hospital bills pretty much meant nothing to your credit rating. For whatever reason, creditors didn’t seem to count outstanding hospital bills against you. But about that time things started to change, and by this decade outstanding hospital bills were counting big time against your credit rating.

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Truthfully, there’s no excuse for not paying your hospital bill, as most hospitals have some kind of charity care applications or will set up payment plans to help you along. Something many hospitals might not want me to tell you is that even if you only sent $20, most hospital computer systems can’t tell the difference between a payment that’s supposed to be for $100 and one for $20, and will just continue your account along, without sending it to a collection agency, as long as some kind of payment is being received. Don’t try to sneak $1 by someone, though; that will make even cashiers suspicious, since someone actually does look at checks first.

How serious can medical debt be? Suze Orman, on Oprah a few weeks ago, said that she’d rather people give up eating and go on a water diet than to not have health insurance or pay on their medical bills. Truth be told, if there’s only one hospital in your area and you’re not paying your bills, they can legally withhold medical services to you across the board, except for emergency situations; who wants to deal with that?

So, if you don’t have an employer who’s giving you some kind of option on health insurance, and you need either an individual or family plan of some sort, why not take a look at eHealth Insurance to see if there’s an option for you there.


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