Under current federal law with the affordable care act (ACA), individuals are required to have health insurance. This may be provided by an employer or through a marketplace exchange. So you are probably wondering why if you have to buy something, how do you benefit. Here are five reasons that you need to have health insurance.
Unexpected Illness or Injury Can Be Expensive
Having health insurance can be expensive, but the alternative can break the bank. One unexpected visit to the hospital can cost thousands of dollars for someone who is uninsured. A wrist injury could cost more than $200 just to see the doctor, not to mention if x-rays are needed. Even if having health insurance seems like a huge financial burden, imagine being on the hook for medical bills. This creates an even bigger impact to the monthly budget than just setting aside the money each month and paying to have health insurance.
Without the ACA it was difficult to find an insurance company that would cover someone with a preexisting condition, or it was so costly as to make it impossible for a family to have health insurance. In some cases of these preexisting conditions insurance companies were refusing to cover all of the medical expenses. Or in other cases, insurance companies were cancelling policies due to a chronic medical condition. This is what many families and individuals were facing before the ACA was signed into law.
Preventative Care Versus ER Visits
By having health insurance, preventative care visits are covered. You can have a routine checkup at the doctor or get a flu shot so that you don’t end up having to go to the emergency room for something simple and preventable. With the ACA, preventative care checkups are covered with no out of pocket costs. If you were to go to the ER, the financial impact would likely be significant. Scheduling an appointment with your doctor will also save you time. ERs are not a first come first serve place. The most critical patients are seen first and minor injuries and illnesses routinely have extremely long wait times just to see a doctor.
People who have health insurance tend to be healthier individuals because they don’t wait as long to see a doctor. With the ACA, preventative care allows an individual to have a routine physical, which is more likely to catch any underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Having health insurance allows these medical problems to be caught earlier before they can become more serious life threatening issues. This leads to more individuals having better health and able to continue to contribute to society.
Cheaper Rates for Everyone
Having health insurance allows your insurance company to negotiate better rates with hospitals and doctors. The more people that have health insurance, the larger the pool and therefore the costs are better absorbed. Larger medical networks typically have lower premiums since the insurance company is able to distribute resources equally. More people having health insurance also creates a more competitive market and insurance companies are likely to offer lower rates in order to keep current customers and attract new customers. The more plans that are available allow for individuals to shop for plans that are more compatible with their lifestyles.
In the current political climate, many people do not believe that health insurance should be required. Almost all states require that drivers have car insurance, so why shouldn’t people be required to have health insurance? Consider having health insurance an investment in your future. You won’t always be healthy and having health insurance will make this less of a financial burden on you and your family.
Related Resource: 10 Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies 2017