NEW YORK (MainStreet) — At the last minute before the period for open enrollment ended in 2013, Darren Hall, a 45-year-old Sacramento swimming pool contractor bought his health insurance plan grudgingly.
Although Hall has full medical and dental coverage through Blue Cross now, he is shelling out $413 each month.
“That is a truck payment,” he said. “I watch the $413 going out each month. It’s like flushing it down the toilet and I hate having it. ”
Hall considered foregoing health insurance and just paying the penalty instead. Unwilling to take the chance that without any coverage, he could easily wind up racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills that he could not afford, Hall bought the silver plan.
“I’m just one of these people that if I don’t have insurance, I predict something will happen,” he said. “The thought crossed my mind to just pay the penalty since it is peanuts compared to what I am paying, and I go to the doctor maybe once a year.”
Gen X-ers are facing increased costs for health insurance in 2014 like their counterparts. The coverage they are receiving is better than what was offered in 2013, but since many of them are now insuring children while also paying their mortgages and paying down old student debt, Gen X-ers may “feel the pinch rather acutely,” said Carrie McLean, director of customer care at eHealth.com, an online health insurance exchange based in Mountain View, Calif.
“Since many of them are in their prime earning years, they may be less likely than younger persons to qualify for government subsidies designed to lower the cost of coverage,” she said. “Earning just 1% too much to qualify for government subsidies can increase what you need to pay for coverage by double digits.”