The number of Americans who do not have health insurance has risen by 3.2 million people over the last couple of years — due, largely, to the repeal of the individual mandate that was part of the Affordable Care Act.
Are you part of this group?
If you currently do not have health insurance, you really ought to reconsider your decision. You might think you’re perfectly healthy now and don’t need it, but that might not always be the case.
Read on to learn more about the importance of health insurance and why everyone ought to have it.
The Importance of Health Insurance
Why does health insurance matter? There are a lot of reasons why everyone ought to have health insurance, including the following:
Afford Medical Care
Without health insurance, you might not be able to afford medical care for yourself or your family. Health insurance reduces the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket when you go to the doctor or hospital.
Catch Illnesses Early
Individuals who have health insurance are more likely to see their doctor on a regular basis. This, in turn, increases their likelihood of catching symptoms early, before they can progress and turn into life-threatening chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes.
Get it While You’re Young
Many people assume that, because they’re young and in good health, they don’t need health insurance. In reality, though, now is the best time to purchase health insurance.
When you’re young and healthy, health insurance is cheaper. If you get insured while you’re young, you can also stay on top of your health and reduce your risk of getting sick when you’re older. This, in turn, can help to bring your health insurance costs down.
Help Everyone Out
When people go uninsured, medical prices go up for everyone else.
Individuals who do not have health insurance typically wait until their condition progresses and then use the emergency room for care. This, in turn, leads to large bills that might go unpaid altogether.
In order to make up for the funds they lost, hospitals have to charge other patients more money for their services.
Types of Health Insurance
Okay, you’re convinced that you should probably have health insurance. If you’ve never had health insurance before, there’s a good chance you don’t know a lot about how it works or the different types of insurance that are available to you.
Here are some basic types of insurance that everyone ought to have:
Also known as a Preferred Provider Organization, PPOs are the most popular type of health insurance. They offer a lot of flexibility and don’t require referrals in order to see a specialist. You can also get out-of-network care, although it does cost more.
These plans tend to have higher premiums.
Also known as a Health Maintenance Organization, HMOs are another popular option. They are more affordable and have lower deductibles. They also tend to have fewer options when it comes to choosing doctors.
Point of Service, or POS, plans combine features of both HMOs and PPOs. They are a good option for folks who need and want flexibility when choosing a provider but also want a primary care physician to coordinate their care.
A high-deductible health plan (or HDHP) is one of the most frequently utilized health plans by employers.
These plans have lower premiums, but they also have high deductibles. This means you have to pay more out of pocket before your insurance provider will start to cover the cost of your care.
Many people pair an HDHP with an HSA, a tax-free savings account. They use this account to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
Where to Buy Health Insurance
When it comes to shopping for health insurance, there are a few different options available to you.
The easiest way to shop for insurance is to do it online from the comfort of your own home. You can shop for insurance plans through a government-run marketplace, or through a private online marketplace like Insurdinary.
Some people think that they can only shop through the government-run marketplaces, but this isn’t the case. There are lots of other options that could provide you with more options and more affordable rates.
Saving Money on Health Insurance
Maybe you haven’t gone uninsured because you don’t think health insurance is important. Maybe you’ve been going without insurance because it seems too expensive for you.
The good news is that there are a lot of steps you can take to insure yourself without breaking the bank. Here are some tips that will help you save money on health insurance:
- Shop around and compare several different plans before making your decision
- Look into health insurance subsidies and waivers to reduce costs
- Work with an insurance broker to find the best deals
- Compare all factors of a plan, not just the premium
- Look for plans that offer discounts for living a healthy lifestyle
- Take advantage of an HSA even if you don’t choose a high-deductible plan
- Make sure your current doctor is in-network before you choose a plan
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll find that health insurance is a lot more affordable than you initially thought.
Learn More About Health Insurance Today
Hopefully, at this point, you understand more about the importance of health insurance. As you can see, health insurance can save you a lot of money later down the road, and it also helps keep healthcare costs down for everyone.
Even if you think health insurance isn’t within your budget at the moment, there are lots of steps you can take to make it more affordable.
Do you still want to learn more before you start shopping for the right insurance policy?
If you’re not sure which type of policy you should buy, or if you just want to learn more about health insurance in general, check out the Insurance section of our site today.
You’ll find tons of helpful articles here on health insurance and other types of insurance so you can make informed decisions.