Americans run great risk by not taking advantage of low costs and affordable health insurance plans which through recent mandates allows for better rates and makes the great majority of people insurable. Most Americans forego the necessary routine health checkups which can prevent and treat some of the health issues that strike our society. As Dr. Sherry Glied, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health at Columbia University recently said,
“The people who are most at risk today are those who have no health insurance at all. They’re at risk of not getting regular care when they need it. They’re at risk of not catching real problems before they get serious enough to not be treatable. They’re at risk of not getting the best treatment when they actually do get sick. And they’re at tremendous financial risk. They could lose everything that they’ve saved in their lives because of some even fairly minor health problem.”
I could not have put a better way to say this, yes we risk so much by remaining uninsured, that a fairly minor health problem can spiral us out of control and into the most unfortunate of events – financial catastrophe.
What are the biggest risks that you could face by not having health insurance in place?
If you have worked hard to perhaps to go on your dreamed vacation, buy a new car, or put some savings away for a rainy day, a minor or a not so minor medical situation could trickle financial drain which can ruin your financial viability, credit or have other negative economic repercussions. As an example a slip and fall while cleaning around the house may put you in a hospital bed in need of a spinal fusion which on average can pile up medical bills for up to $59,000.00. Without the appropriate medical insurance in place you will be responsible for the full amount and if you lack the personal funding to pay these bills you will be at great risk of losing what you have worked hard for. Other repercussions include added debt, bankruptcy, collections, foreclosure, and I am sure you get the idea.
If after experiencing the above accident you decide to go ahead and get insurance, you may not be able to get coverage. Except in states with community rating (and Florida is not), you are likely to be “medically underwritten” for health insurance if you buy it as an individual. This means that an insurer will take a look at your medical history and current health status to determine if you are eligible for coverage and at what price. In some cases, you won’t be denied coverage, but you could face stiff premiums.
Foregoing regular checkups, also known as “preventive” medicine can position you on a difficult spot if a condition is not appropriately diagnosed and tended in time. A number of medical conditions if diagnosed and treated in the early stages can reduce your risk of having them turn into permanent condition, such as diabetes which is on the rise, or worst.
The answer to whether or not to get health insurance becomes more obvious as we think about what we are putting at risk. Then the question becomes what kind of health insurance should I have in place? Many times we learn the lesson after we bump and fall into a situation, and unfortunately with Health insurance a second chance comes with a rigid price. The financial price is one, but more importantly a condition to deal with the rest of your life can be the result of a risky practice in this area. Securing a health insurance policy takes the risk out of the equation. Until next time… stay healthy, enjoy and thank you for visiting.