we paid zero out of pocket - but imagine the overhead with the workers at the insurance company and both billing offices, filing, denying, re-filing, denying. Plus the phone calls my husband made (at least a dozen) "did you bill insurance company A?" "Oh, no, we didn't." "Well, that's the primary, here's the info". Ad nauseum.On behalf of the civilised world - can we point out that there is an efficient solution to providing health care cheaply and universally with everyone paying zero out of pocket ;-)
you do pay out of pocket, every single time you pay your taxes. Health care is never free. collect it in beginning with taxes, or afterwards with insurance or out of pocket. I'm actually not against socialized medicine, but you have to socialize the educational aspect of it, too, not just the payment portion.
one of my FIRE goals is to move to a super LCOL area and open up a free/cheap mobile medical office in an RV, travel small town to town and treat people cheaply.
If that's what you want to do, look into Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).
I'll have to do that. One of the things that struck me recently was how slow everyone is to respond to a small/local disaster. My neighbors about an hour away were hit by 11 tornados the night after christmas, a lot of people were hurt and something like 600 homes were destroyed. Aid is coming, but it's taking a while... so I had an idea to modify the mobile clinic. Mobile clinic that tows a food truck. My wife comes from catering and wants to eventually run a food truck or similar. so we could roll up on an a problem area very quickly since it would be light and fast, serve food to the affected people and the first responders, and help treat people that need it. Could also set up the RV with solar panels as a phone charging station. Would enable us to help a lot of people quickly in a meaningful way, plus allow us to live full or part time on the road. I'd love to operate it as a non-profit and get donations and stuff to set up/cover costs, but having FIRE money would let me go at it full time.
I love the idea, but one thing to consider is the supply chain. In a major disaster, you're not going to be able to get fuel, electricity, food or water locally, so you'll need to plan for a way to bring all that in. Water and food are easier than fuel, since you could just have extra storage, but theoretically you'd need an extra-large tank for the truck plus propane for a gas stove, and possibly diesel for a generator.
one of my other reading habits and grand ideas is off the grid living, and low impact stuff. adventure RVs like the Unimog done up right are already equipped for a longer stretch of going without supply. A couple of freezers for food, storage for pre-bought bottled water, extra propane on the RV and food truck plus an extra tank for gas should be enough for a short term event. my plan is to be first on scene and set up quickly and wait for calvary, not the only people there for a month.
I also think by the time we get this thing rolling, tesla home style batteries will be available and less expensive. One of those should power the recharging/communication set up. Be your own mobile hotspot with a couple of unlimited cell phones for people to call relatives, etc. another could power the RV and food truck for everything except fuel. Solar panels on the roof and extra fold out could recharge if the weather is good, or a low current gasoline generator (only need one fuel source) would work, too.
by going super high efficiency like you see being done in microhomes, you don't need much power. a small (~300sq foot) micro apartment/RV/cabin can run on a car battery and a bbq sized tank of propane for a weekend if you run LED lighting, good insulation, etc. running on smaller tanks means you could grab one from a neighbor or gas station in a pinch and power the grill.
I like the comfort food and beer idea. not sure how to go about the legal aspect of that but I bet nobody would bother you just filling solo cups with whiskey for everyone.
oh if anyone wants to help me build micro homes to rent out, let me know... it's a side-hustle idea I've had for a while now. think AirBnB but dropped off for you when you need it.