How Health Insurance Matters to Your Home Purchase

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- So you're thinking of buying a home? Congratulations! Here's how to start: Take a tour through the much-maligned Obamacare health insurance website.

That may not seem intuitive, but the your decision on what to spend for a home could be affected by the potential cost of health insurance -- a shocking cost for many.

Now that the site is running fairly well, it's pretty easy to get a rough idea of the cost of health care if you had to go it on your own. Most people probably won't bother to look, because most are insured through work.

But what if your employer canceled its health insurance program? Or what if you lost your job? A small family could easily end up spending $10,000 to $20,000 a year in monthly premiums and deductibles. If that happened, you might be sorry you'd taken on a big mortgage.

For a ballpark view of insurance costs, go to the Healthcare.gov site and click where it says "See Plans Before I Apply." You can get a list of available policies and prices by answering just a few questions on where you live and the ages of family members. It just takes a couple of minutes and does not require that you commit to sign up for a plan or even reveal your name.

You will see a range of options that generally come down to a paying a high monthly premium and having low out-of-pocket expenses, or having a low premium and potentially high expenses. A very healthy family might be wise to opt for a low premium, while a family facing ongoing medical issues could do the opposite.

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