There’s a reason that I never purchased a Yugo. There’s something about having air conditioning, power brakes and a steering wheel that made me think that the savings weren’t worth the lost benefits.

The same goes for health insurance. I frequently get asked about sharing ministries and discount plans which are all over the airwaves and television ads.

While “sharing ministries” have a good concept – they fall way short of insurance. There are details in the religious tenets that you must abide by such as: no smoking, no drinking, no maternity out of wedlock, etc. You also must attest that you attend a place of worship regularly, take care of your body and exercise regularly. There are also pre-existing conditions with these plans.

Discount plans require you to pay a monthly fee and services are discounted for something that could happen anyway. Since this does not meet with the scope of the Affordable Care Act, the penalty still applies (the penalty for not having insurance is still in effect for 2018 – $695 or 2.5% of your gross income, whichever is greater).

On top of that, those plans do not have preventative care covered at 100% or annual max out of pockets.

In essence, you could end up paying a whole lot more in the long run than the monthly payment of another fully insured plan.

The bigger picture too is when something is not covered or the claims that are promised do not come to fruition. The Nevada Department of Insurance gets inundated with complaints that they can do nothing about because their duty is to enforce insurance companies.

My Mom used to say: “The proof’s in the pudding!” which meant that some folks purchased these products only to find that it wasn’t all that good.

So whether you understand cars or food (or sometimes both) be sure that you have a good car maintenance plan or grandma’s elixir on hand.

Until next month,