While politicians and the public ponder our national health-care policy, under our current system the Affordable Care Act requires that people get health-care coverage, either through their work, individually through insurers or through state-run health-care exchanges. This year, the open enrollment deadline is Feb. 15 for people who want to secure coverage through the health exchanges and related insurers.
There are compelling reasons for people to get health insurance and chief among them is this: individuals and families who have health insurance tend to be healthier because they see their doctors more often for routine checkups. Health issues are addressed well before they become problems.
It’s been proven in study after study – access to preventive care and wellness information will not only address an illness or accident now but will help to keep you healthy in the future. People who have quality health care tend to earn more over their lifetimes as well.
Being healthy makes everything else in life better.
Even for the young and super healthy, insurance matters. The most vital among us is a simple slip on the sidewalk away from a costly visit to the emergency room. A key part of the rationale behind insurance is to protect people from getting hit with high, unexpected bills when circumstances send them to the hospital.
Nationally, the typical bill for a trip to your local hospital's ER is about $700. And that doesn’t even include laboratory tests or, should you require it, hospitalization. Tending to a leg broken in a simple household fall might run you about $7,500. A typical hospital’s charge for delivering a baby is around $8,800, and that if a Caesarean delivery is required – more and more common these days – you’re well into five figures. And those are relatively modest charges compared to say, a hip replacement, which will be about $32,000.
The point? With reliable health insurance you’ll reap daily health benefits from easy access to routine health and wellness care and you’ll have significant protection for your pocketbook, your savings, your family’s financial well-being, their very future. Yes, it’s daunting to ponder life without health insurance when you think about what could conceivably happen. But the good news is quality, affordable coverage is out there.
It’s about more than money. It’s the law.
Health insurance is not just a financial safety net. It also provides the confidence of knowing that you’ll be able to find the help you need, when you need it, close to where you live when you need it. It’s the freedom from the worry, anxiety and constant fear of accident or illness that uninsured families live under. And perhaps most important of all, it’s access to preventative care and wellness information that will ensure your current good health, help keep you healthy in the future, and help you identify health problems early, when they are easiest to treat.
Of course, for Americans there’s another reason to have health insurance: it’s required by law. The Affordable Care Act specifies that uninsured individuals must sign up for health insurance – either through the government’s Affordable Care Act Marketplace or directly through an insurer – by Feb. 15, 2015. After that, uninsured persons and families will have to wait until the next open-enrollment period, beginning Oct. 1 – unless they experience a significant “life event” like getting married or moving to a different state or service area. For uninsured individuals, a penalty may eventually be assessed, upon filing federal taxes for the calendar year just past.
The government clearly wants to make health care affordable for all Americans. Indeed, for those who think they can’t afford health insurance, the Affordable Care Act offers provisions for financial help based on household size and income.
Meanwhile, here are the realities:
Keep the basics in mind.
As you shop for insurance options, remember that there are three particular concerns that dictate the appropriateness of a particular policy or coverage:
The bottom line: whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of thinking, as some young and healthy people do, that they simply don’t need health insurance. For so many reasons, nothing could be further from the truth.
by Independence Blue Cross |
Author: Independence Blue Cross
Source: WWB Holdings, LLC
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