Chicago police were called to a home after a 911 call to find a woman hitting herself in the head with a crowbar. When two officers tried to calm Jenny Peak, 33, she dropped the crowbar and started running her head into a living room wall. Peak then began punching herself in the stomach and breasts yelling “take that, p***y.”
Officers were finally able to subdue Peak with the aid of a stun gun.
“She was determined to beat herself up,” an arresting officer said. “And she did. One of the worst beatings I’ve ever seen in my twenty years on the force.”
Allegedly, Peak had taken a $12 bet from her stepfather that she couldn’t “kick her own ass.”
“I knew I could beat myself up even though I’m pretty tough,” Peak told police. “I wanted to really show him [stepfather] that I wasn’t afraid of myself.”
Her stepfather said he will pay her the $12 for winning the bet, but will not cover the expected $4,000 in medical expenses. Peak suffered multiple skull fractures and lost several teeth in the self-assault.
Police arrested her for self-harm and destruction of private property.
“While she was hurting herself,” the officer said. “She broke a coffee table, some Chinaware and put many holes in the walls. Her stepfather has pressed charges for felony property damage.”
- Understand your alternatives to buying individual health insurance
The cheapest purchase you’ll ever make is the one you don’t make. It’s entirely possible that you don’t have to buy individual health insurance at all. Depending on which state you live in and what your income is, you might qualify for Medicaid. You can contact your nearest Medicaid office, or go to Healthcare.gov to determine if you’re eligible (see step three below for the latter route).
If you have children, there are a couple of avenues to explore. First, many states have expanded coverage for children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To find out if your kids qualify for CHIP, go to the Medicaid CHIP website and answer the questions under “Can I Get It?”.
Second, check to see if your children might be eligible under their other parent’s coverage. Even if you’re divorced, if your former spouse has employer-provided health insurance, your children could possibly be included under their coverage.
- Know what you need and can afford
Assuming that step one doesn’t apply to you, the most important step in finding cheap health insurance is to determine exactly what you need in terms of coverage and what you can afford. If you buy more coverage than you need, you’ll spend more than you need to. And as to knowing what you can afford, you can’t spend money that you don’t have.
Under the Affordable Care Act, every individual health insurance plan must cover 10 essential health benefits. These benefits are:
- Outpatient care (doesn’t require admission to a hospital)
- Emergency room visits
- Inpatient care in a hospital
- Care before and after your baby is born
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Services/devices to help you recover from an injury or deal with a disability or chronic condition (including physical and occupational therapy)
- Lab tests
- Preventive services
- Dental care and vision care for kids
While that might seem like a pretty comprehensive list, different health insurers can vary on exactly how they cover these benefits. Think through any specific needs you might have.
3. Go to Healthcare.gov
Perhaps the easiest step of all is to go to the Healthcare.gov website and complete an application. It’s easy, that is, if you’re doing so during an open enrollment period (the next one starts on Nov. 1) or if you have a qualifying life change. These life changes include getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage. The website, by the way, will help you find out if you have had a life change that qualifies