Funding medical costs, jumping the line on FFEF?

DH started his new job Monday.

Good news is we can cover everyone medically for about $450 a month.

Bad news is medical coverage is PPO. That means the first $6000 of expenses each year is on us.

That amount is about 3-6 months of household expenses, or in other words, a FFEF.

I’m assuming the smart thing to do (with our history) would be to get the FFEF in place BEFORE I resume paying off debt?