If You Were Forced To Choose, Would You Pay Mortgage or Health Insurance?

If you had to choose, was really forced to choose between losing your home or losing your health insurance, what would you do and for how long?

Many are faced with the dilemma of, "Do I pay mortgage or health insurance?"

It's easy to pass judgment one way or the other when you're reading about this, but when you're sitting at the table looking at the bills, looking around your room, it becomes a little more complicated, a little burning in your chest, a little dizzying in the head.

I've met someone recently dealing with this question. It seems all too common of a question these past couple of years. This real estate market seems to have created 3 pools of people: those who can take advantage of the low prices and/or dire situations, those who are being taken advantage of, and those who can kind of coast or make it through.

There's always a debate about who caused the problem of a homeowner finding himself in the position of being taken advantage of situation in the first place. But the bottom line is, in many situations, after trying for loan modifications and/or getting help from family and friends; many find themselves faced with the dilemma of renting their home, getting a boarder (legally or illegally), doubling or tripling up with other family members, doing a short sale (selling your home for less than what you owe the lender when the lender agrees), going into foreclosure or walking away.

The other option some are able to take or are forced to take: bring money to the table. For example, if they owe $500,000 on the mortgage(s) and they net $480,000 after expenses, they decide (are able) to bring in $20,000 of their hard earned money to make up the difference. This stops their credit from being negatively affected the way the other options would hit it, enables them to meet their obligation which many want to do, and closes the chapter permanently on an issue that could linger. 

Regardless of the choice, it's a hard one. Regardless of why the decision has come up in the first place -- either because of a job loss, life loss, medical situation, job opportunity in another area, retirement, etc.-- it's a hard one.

The hardest I believe, though, is when someone is at the crossroad and has to choose between keeping the home they fought hard to take care of and created memories in or keeping health insurance. I'm not an expert on how many people are in this situation in our area, but I have heard of a couple of stories and met a few personally who are or have been at this crossroad. Whether you know it or not, in the past few years, you've met someone in this position, too. They just didn't tell you. It's not something many shout out to the world about.

It just makes me sit and ponder, though. If I had to choose, was really forced to choose between losing my home or losing my health insurance, what would I do and for how long?

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Beverly Meaux March 30, 2012 at 09:29 PM
You're right. I did forget. Thanks for adding.
Sanford Josephson March 31, 2012 at 05:25 PM
If you don't have health insurance, the expenses resulting from a serious illness could cause you to lose your home.
Beverly Meaux March 31, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Good point.
Beverly Meaux April 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Good morning, Someone who read this blog said she didn't understand the question because health insurance can't be as expensive as a mortgage, maybe more like a car payment. It made me realize if you have health insurance being paid by a spouse, partner or parent OR have corporate insurance OR are recently unemployed and still have some type of bridge insurance you may not understand the dilemma. So, let's see. Take a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) who has to come out of their own pocket to pay for health insurance because both adults are self-employed, unemployed; or work has a temp, contractor or with a small business that doesn't provide insurance, or some combination of the above. They are not a LLC or file a Schedule C to get discounted small business insurance. The typical cost, I believe, for a family of four is about $1,500 a month with a co-pay between $25 - $55 per visit. This doesn't include vision, medical or some prescription. If you add that in, it could be around $2,000 a month. If there's a hospital stay/visit or special medical condition, I can't even give begin to guess the costs. The dilemma deals with more than a car payment. I thank the person for reminding me not everyone knows this.


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