Health insurance like any other kind of insurance in that you hope you never have to use it, but if you do, it’s there, and you’re protected because of it. No one wants to get sick. No one plans on getting sick, but sometimes, personal health does the unexpected, and not for reasons you can control. In this scenario, you would want health insurance, just in case.
But there are actually some other added benefits to having health insurance instead of just helping you when you’re ill or injured.
For one, health insurance helps you stay healthy. Lots of younger people might think, “I don’t need health insurance. I’m in the best shape of my life.” And that may be true, but there are annual checkups to consider. Preventative care like vaccinations, mammograms, colonoscopies, or prostate cancer screenings require a copay without insurance, and those can add up quickly. Under the Affordable Care Act, however, preventative measures are free, and you don’t even have to meet your deductible.
If you have an emergency, you could risk falling into thousands of dollars of hospital debt, and not only that, but you risk not being able to find follow-up care, like rehab, which will also set you back financially. Some health care practices may even require a penalty fee if you don’t have health insurance. That’s $695 for adults if you’re curious, or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is more. And if you only buy health insurance after you need it, say, after an accident, you could potentially have to wait for an open enrollment season or after a life-changing event, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or a change in jobs. And your accident may not coincide with any of those things, in which case, you won’t have the option until the next open enrollment period.
Health insurance is more affordable than ever, and cost assistance is available to those within 100%-400% of the Federal Poverty Line. There’s no longer a limit on how much your health insurance will pay for, and chronic disease or critical conditions are not permitted to terminate one’s policy or charge them more.
Health insurance may seem expensive, and even unnecessary, and out of pocket might seem like the more logical option until you get hurt, but health insurance keeps you safe and healthy. With the Affordable Care Act, it is, in fact, more affordable than ever and more inclusive than ever for people to buy health insurance.