Are you one of the 28.5 million Americans without have any form of health insurance?
There are a couple of reasons a person might choose to go without health insurance. For most uninsured Americans, a lack of money is the main reason. Others feel that they have enough savings to take care of their health bills, and there are others who don’t buy insurance simply because they’re healthy and rarely get sick.
Regardless of your reason, there’s no doubt health insurance is an absolute necessity.
Keep reading to learn the potential risks of going without health insurance.
The Risk of Premature Death
We will all die one day, but that’s not the point.
When you don’t have health insurance, your chances of an early death increase, and here is how that could happen.
With health coverage, you have a greater incentive to go in for regular medical checkups. You pay health insurance premiums, so there’s that urge to make the most of your money.
The importance of regular medical checkups cannot be overstated. Your doctors will be able to catch various health conditions before they morph into diseases that are not only life-threatening but also expensive to treat.
On the other hand, without insurance, there’s little incentive to get checked. Serious health problem could develop unnoticed and by the time they’re discovered, it could be too late.
You Could Become Uninsurable in the Future
If you don’t have health insurance right now, it doesn’t mean you won’t want to get coverage in the future.
But did you know health insurance could become extremely pricey for you or, worse, you could be classified as uninsurable?
Here’s an example that will illustrate this point:
Let’s say you’re currently in perfect health. You stay active and eat right.
Suddenly, because life has a way of pulling surprises, you develop a health problem. You go in for checks and your doctors deliver the worst news. You have a chronic condition, say, heart disease.
You quickly realize that you’re going to be in and out of the hospital, which means higher health bills. It’s at this point you finally resolve to get health coverage.
Unfortunately, health insurance can get expensive when you have a pre-existing condition. Insurers know you’re a high-risk client, so the only way to absorb the risk is to slap you with exorbitant premiums. In the worst case scenario, especially when you’re a senior with a pre-existing condition, providers can refuse to insure your health.
To avoid such eventualities, just buy health insurance today. What’s more, insurance companies like Insurdinary offer cost-effective health plans, so money shouldn’t get in the way.
The Possibility of Receiving Treatment in Non-Preferred Facilities
Even when you have the financial muscle to access the best health care services, there are instances when you might not have that privilege.
For example, consider a situation where you get into a serious road accident. You’re knocked unconscious. Paramedics arrive at the scene, fine, but it’s up to them to decide where to take you – which in most cases is the nearest public hospital.
Had you been conscious, you’d probably have chosen to go to a premium private hospital.
Getting health coverage can help you avoid such situations. When you’re in a medical emergency, the first responders can retrieve your insurance card and take you to an in-network facility.
The Risk of Getting Into Debt
If you’ve ever been in debt, you certainly don’t want to go back there. From collection agencies hounding you down to those feelings of fear and anxiety, debt can ruin your wellbeing.
Yet, this is what you’re setting up yourself for when you opt to go without health insurance. Even a seemingly minor health condition can develop into a major complication that will wipe out your savings or personal health fund in a short time.
You could be forced to borrow from friends and take out bank loans to settle your medical bills. And when it gets to the point of borrowing, you might scale down your treatment options, such as opting for shorter hospital stays, in a bid to minimize your expenses. This could make the condition worse and prolong your recovery.
Bankruptcy Is a Real Possibility
Did you know medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States?
If you spiral into medical debt, you might not be able to settle it, especially if your health condition affects your ability to work and earn an income. This, though, won’t step your lenders from coming for their money.
The way out? Bankruptcy protection.
While declaring bankruptcy can help you get rid of some or all of your medical debts, its consequences are far-reaching. A bankruptcy will hit your credit score hard, and considering that it can stay on your report for up to 10 years, rebuilding your financial life will become a tall challenge.
Exposure to Tax Penalties
Failing to purchase health coverage can expose your to tax penalties or fines.
Case in point: The Affordable Care Act.
Before 2019, people who hadn’t signed up for a health insurance plan had to pay a penalty tax, commonly known as the individual mandate.
Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the penalty, laws change from time to time, so don’t be surprised if another law mandating everyone to purchase health insurance comes into force. If this happens, keep in mind you could incur a tax liability if you don’t get coverage.
Going without Health Insurance Is a Risky Gamble
Good health isn’t guaranteed. You could be in fine health today and tomorrow you’re bed-ridden. One certainty, though, is health care costs money.
Going without health insurance ensures you pay everything out-pocket. If you don’t have the money, you might not be able to access quality health care services, putting your life on the line. And even if you have a personal health fund, one serious condition can wipe it out and leave you in debt.
Evidently, being uninsured is a risky gamble. Do the right thing and get coverage.
While at it, be sure to explore our blog for tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.