Right now, I'm W2 and the $50/mo is company insurance (I get paid bi-monthly, maybe it is $100/mo and $50 per paycheck? One or the other.
I preferred when I was doing 1099 work, that I got a high deductible insurance account only for emergencies (in the old days they called it "major medical"). I had like a $1200 deductible....monthly was about $200/mo or so (and I have pre-existing conditions too).
But with that, I could also open a HSA (Health Savings Account) into which I could sock away about $3K a year pre-tax, which I used for routine health needs (checkups, contacts, etc). The nice thing about those are...they are not use it or lose it like the employer offered FSA's. So, I was building year after year of my health dollars up.
If I had a balance (which hopefully I would) at retirement, those funds convert to retirement funds.
I liked this situation much better as that I was in charge of my medical dollars, it didn't break the bank, and I also found that when I went to many Drs or for exams (like one MRI) and I told them I didn't have insurance and was paying for it, they gave me like %15 cut right off what they originally were going to charge me.
I'd much prefer health care to not be tied to jobs/employment, and let people save like I described and shop with their medical dollars.
Before the bean counters and HMO's got into the scene, you did shop around for doctors that hung their shingle out as indie businessmen....and when I was growing up, it seemed to work and prices weren't nearly so bad as they are now.
I figure I save monthly for my basic needs (food, shelter.etc)...why should we not save also for health needs, at least the routine ones just like we save parts of our money for the basic necessities?
I have no problem with people deciding on their healthcare coverage and costs, so long as they are able to pay for bypass surgery or a bone marrow transplant and don't become, essentially, wards of the state when they can't pay. Anyone who can post a $1,000,000 bond should be exempt. Same thing with motorcycle helmets. Put up the million if you want to go without a helmet. That way I don't pay for your care when you become a walking moron after closed head trauma.
So the $50-100/ month is your contribution, and it's employer sponsored.
I also used to do high deductible insurance. It was disaster insurance essentially.
Unfortunately, we got caught in a plethora of issues, one of which is genetic, and causes me to be at "high risk" the rest of my life. It's easily treatable, but that doesn't matter to insurance company actuaries. Two of my three children also have the gene but have never had symptoms, and likely never will. At least 95% never do. I was one of the unlucky ones, and it came about because of an unlikely and odd sequence of events. Fortunately I have access to some excellent specialists and my life expectancy is essentially normal.
This, however, is why I buy such good insurance. As long as I'm paying for the pre-existing stuff the costs will be high anyway. It's been beneficial to buy better coverage that has no "provider lists" or deductibles. If I have a complex cancer, I plan to do my homework and go to the place that has access to the most promising protocols, be it Duke, Johns Hopkins, Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, or Harborview. If I need a bone marrow transplant, I want to go to a place that does a dozen a month, not a dozen a year. When they were talking to me at one time about some specialized pulmonary artery surgery (which thankfully I wound up not needing) I was planning to go to UCSD and specifically to Dr. Stuart Jamieson because that is the
place for it and he is the
man. I'm covered for that. Most people are locked into wherever their insurance has a contract. I'm paying for that. It's a choice. We all make them.
Each of the last few years I've considered reducing the coverage and taking the risk. Something usually comes up. My wife had two unexpected gyn surgeries this year. If I'd gone with a low cost/high deductible option I'd be about the same amount out of pocket and still exposed to more.