Open Enrollment: Think Twice Before Not Getting Health Insurance

As open enrollment approaches, many people question the importance of health insurance. Between the hefty price tag and the confusion of navigating the insurance market, many consider not enrolling. But insurance isn’t only needed to protect you when you injured; there are penalties and other life threatening risks you take by not paying the price. To protect you, your family, and your wallet, here’s a list of some things to consider before opting out of a health insurance plan:

1.  Without health insurance, you could receive less attentive medical care
Many people without health insurance run into trouble when trying to rectify any medical issues. The quality and service of the medical care without coverage can be drastically worse than that of someone that is covered. If you don’t have insurance, and you don’t get the medical attention when you need it, your condition could become even more life threatening.

2. Injury recovery without health insurance can be poor and expensive

People recovering from an injury that are not covered by health insurance typically do not recover as well as others with insurance. With less follow up treatment like physical therapy after an injury can increase your chances of more injury, which can increase (uninsured) trips to the doctor, thus increasing the cost. Getting health insurance can lead to longer, healthier, and wealthier life.

3. Think about the family

There can be a tremendous financial burden on the families of people that are injured without health insurance. That lasting financial issue can greatly be a long-term issue. The lost money they spent on their loved ones can come back to bite them in the future when they need it.

4. People that are covered usually receive better preventative treatment

When we think about treatment to prevent serious diseases like cancer or diabetes, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the medication and procedures used after a patient has been diagnosed. The most important treatment, however, is the scans, physicals, and blood tests to determine if someone has symptoms of these illnesses or diseases. Proactive treatment, such as colonoscopies and mammograms, will be much easier to access with health insurance.

5. Better access to prescription drugs

Prescription drugs are necessary to help control both long-term and short-term medical issues. Although they may seem easy to access for people that are insured, uninsured individuals can have a hard time attaining the vital drugs and paying a sustainable cost.

6. Covered people have better financial stability

People with health insurance have budgeted the monthly expense, knowing it could save them in a time of injury. If they need medical attention, they typically have a deduction and a maximum annual payment, saving them from astronomical bills. They also have better leverage to negotiate with their insurance company, doctors, and hospitals to create financial plans to pay off expenses when they get injured. People that are not covered by health insurance, on the other hand, usually get the full, normal rate that could put them into debt for the rest of their life. Typically, they own it without any negotiation leverage. There is more financial risk without enrolling in health insurance.

7. The numbers do not lie

Per Blue Cross/Blue Shield, here are a few of the costs for medical injuries without insurance: Over 1,000 dollars for a visit to the emergency room, about $7,500 for a broken leg, $8,800 to deliver a baby, and over $10,000 for a C-section. The right insurance plans can protect people from such gargantuan prices.

8. Fees for not having health insurance
Under the Affordable Care Act, if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a fee called the individual shared responsibility payment.You pay the fee when you file your federal tax return for the year you don’t have coverage. The fee is calculated 2 different ways – as a percentage of your household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher. Final 2017 amounts will be published when available. See how much you could owe for not enrolling with insurance at https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/fee-for-not-being-covered/

The Bottom Line:

You may hear from both sides of the health insurance debate from many different people, but the bottom line is that being covered definitely comes with its benefits. The dependent factor is how much you value your health and your finances. If you do at all, make sure you are protected by health insurance.

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