Halloween is just around the corner, and most of us enjoy a good scary movie or costume at this time of the year. What no one ever enjoys, on the other hand, is the kind of scare you get when an illness or injury threatens not justyour health but your finances as well. Health insurance may seem expensive, but the cost of medical services without insurance coverage can be devastating. Today’s post talks about some of the reasons why everyone benefits from health insurance coverage.
Benefits of Health Insurance
Health insurance may seem like a luxury, especially to those who are young, healthy, or in a tight financial situation. However, a good health insurance plan can save you thousands of dollars annually and give you the peace of mind that comes with not worrying whether a sudden injury or illness will drain your financial reserves. Some of the benefits of health insurance are obvious, such as paying less for covered services. There are other benefits, however, that are not as commonly known.
Protect Your Finances
No one plans on getting sick or hurt, but unfortunately, it happens. Unexpected medical expenses, such as treatment stemming from a car accident or even a visit to the doctor for strep throat, can quickly add up if you don’t have health insurance.
A broken leg that requires surgery could cost you more than $7,500
The average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000
Comprehensive cancer care can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
Even a smaller procedure, like an X-ray, can cost several hundred dollars out of pocket. The inability to pay medical bills is one of the top reasons that people in the United States file for bankruptcy. The failure to pay medical debt in a timely manner could also hurt your credit score. So, while the premiums for your health insurance may feel like an unnecessary expense at first, owing only your deductible or copay will cost significantly less than having to pay for your care in full.
Lower Costs for Services and Prescriptions
If you have health coverage, your insurance company has already negotiated a discounted rate with physicians and hospitals within its network. Therefore, even before you meet your deductible, you owe less for in-network care than if you didn’t have insurance. On average, an uninsured individual pays twice as much for care as someone who has health insurance because he or she does not have the advantage of receiving care at a lower, contracted rate.
In addition, health insurance can help reduce prescription drug expenses. Uninsured people are less likely to fill their medications due to affordability, which can lead to further health complications. Obtaining health insurance helps reduce prescription costs through reduced fees and copays, enabling you to better manage your health.
Greater Access to Care
If you don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to pay out of pocket, you or a family member may have to skip or avoid medical care. For example, if you can’t afford to see a doctor or specialist or pay for prescription drugs, you may wait until a chronic condition worsens and then seek care in the emergency room (the costliest place to receive care). Health insurance helps you pay for routine and preventative care, allowing you to stay healthy in the first place
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance must cover preventative care like annual physicals, biometric screenings, pap smears and immunizations without imposing any cost-sharing. Therefore, regardless of whether or not you have reached your deductible for the year, you do not have to pay out of pocket for preventative services. Preventative care is important because it can help you catch and treat diseases before they turn into more complicated, costly problems. . Even young, healthy people can benefit from these services.
Individual Mandate Penalty
The ACA requires you to obtain health insurance or be subject to a penalty. In 2016, the penalty is 2.5 percent of your income or $695 per person, whichever is greater, and $347.50 per child up to a $2,085 family maximum. In addition, you are still responsible for any health care costs you incur while you are uninsured.
In short, going without health insurance is a risk that most people can’t afford to take. If you need help figuring out how to get an affordable plan for you or your family, contact us now!