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Ron Simms Jr.
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Ask MISSter Simms – Should I Get Married For Health Insurance?

Sometimes you have to take drastic measures to ensure you stay healthy

Sometimes you have to take drastic measures to ensure you stay healthy

Dear MISSter Simms,

I was let go from my job around a year ago and have not had health insurance since.  I suffer from adult ADHD and find it extremely hard to concentrate without my medication.  I’ve also started developing a bunch of other issues that are affecting my overall health.  While I’d love to get these problems taken care of immediately, unfortunately every viable option is either out of my price range or would require a long wait and being seen by a social worker before being able to be seen by a doctor. Getting meds to treat my ADHD would require even more effort and is something that may not work out anyway.  

I’m engaged, so that gives me another option.  I could secretly marry my fiance and get his health insurance.  We were supposed to get married a year from now, but we could speed that up and get married this weekend via court.  It’s not my first choice, though.  I don’t really want to hide my marriage  and I want to have a traditional wedding ceremony with both our families present.  Should I  suck it up and jump through hoops trying to manage my health issues?  Or should I marry my fiance ahead of schedule and jump on his insurance?

Healthiness Equals Happiness

Dear HEH,

Healthcare in America in 2013 is no joke.  Someone I know fell off their roof the other day and broke both legs, their pelvis, and a couple of ribs.  Fixing those injuries will require an extended hospital stay, multiple surgeries, and eventually rehab.  If this person did not have insurance, they would have been screwed as I’m sure they don’t have several hundred thousand dollars stashed under the mattress or in an off-shore bank account somewhere.  Instead they can rest comfortably knowing that their provider will be handling the majority of the costs.

Even if nothing like that happens to you, you already have more minor (in comparison) health issues that need to be dealt with now.  You mentioned that you can’t currently afford your medication without insurance and need to wait to see a social worker before seeing a doctor, who I’m guessing would hopefully hook you up with free or cheap meds.  But…what if you wait and wait and wait and don’t get to see that social worker?  What if you see the social worker and they don’t refer you to a doctor?  What if you see the doctor, but they don’t deem you worthy of free or cheap medicine?  Can you really afford to live with all of these issues being untreated?

I say all that to say that, yes, I totally think you should marry your fiance now and jump on his insurance because you never know what can happen to you in life.  But, who says you have to keep it a secret or that you can’t have a traditional ceremony with both your families present.  You could have a small ceremony at the courthouse with a few close family members and friends present, sign some papers, and be married.  Then, later on down the road, you could still have that big, traditional ceremony you’ve always dreamed of.  It’s not necessarily going to be less meaningful because you already signed your papers earlier.  And who wants to be deprived of booze and wedding cake?



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