So the story I heard from a retiring nurse, is that a saleswoman from one of our local "HMO"s retired early at 60, never picked up health insurance, and then gets breast cancer at 62.
Funny thing about insurance, you pay the premiums for peace of mind and the hope you never really need the coverage. ACA did create marketplaces in some states, and they aren't a bad stop to make ,and are required if you are going out before 65, not on disability. You have to maintain major medical , as it could wipe some of us out w/o insurance. Easier to shop than before, but still not truly easy with all the permutations available.
Personally, what I've never been able to afford is LT health insurance. The premiums have gotten really stiff and we still have dependents ( cash flow liabilities) . Not poor enough to qual for medicaid if one of us gets badly disabled or ill, so without any sort of national LTC safety net, its no surprise that most bankruptcy filings by individuals are caused by medical bills, often accrued by their spouse. This risk to retirement I haven't checked off yet. **
Point is: Health insurance; not the place to skrimp too much, or at all.
** to avoid LTC bills, a client of mine advised giving myself a grenade wired in a box for my next birthday. The Birthday I forget what it is exactly , and OPEN IT, was the right time to "exit stage left". Too bad I would likely not be alone, its a joke of course. Yet, I like the simplicity of it. Is it a sin if you have no cognition left?