Four Problems You Will Likely Face If You Don’t Have Health Insurance Coverage
In some countries, health insurance, while highly desirable, is not something you cannot live without. However, in other countries, particularly the United States, it is crucial. The argument against health insurance – that while you are young and healthy it is not necessary – fails to take into account the reality of unplanned medical disasters such as injury and disease that happen at any age. Many young and/or healthy individuals believe health insurance is necessary only after a certain age. But who knows what might happen at any given moment? According to a report by the Henry J. Kaizer family foundation, more than 41 million citizens were without health insurance in 2013. The number of uninsured people remains high because low-income earners and unemployed citizens cannot afford the high cost of private health insurance. Employed individuals who are covered under their employer’s plan are indeed fortunate but each year the cost rises, or the plan benefits change and often even insured folks face an uphill struggle to cover their costs. Health insurance is a must-have as there are grave consequences associated with living without it.
Serious Tax Sanctions
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA, popularly known as Obamacare) was introduced, the number of uninsured citizens was alarmingly high. In fact, the ACA was specifically designed and introduced to reduce the number of citizens who are not covered by any medical insurance. It was geared at helping low-income earners to be able to afford quality healthcare insurance. One of the laws underpinning the Affordable Care Act stated that every American must have insurance coverage and attached penalties for defaulters. This meant that failure to have a health insurance package would result in serious tax penalties unless: You are incarcerated or an illegal immigrant, You are a member of a Native American Tribe, Your income is below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, You belong to a religion that provides health insurance for its members, or if You reside outside the country. In addition, you would be taxed a penalty of 1% of your income or in some cases, a fee of $95 for being without health insurance.
Inability To Access Quality Healthcare
The healthcare industry makes it very difficult to have access to quality services if you are without insurance. Except in emergency situations, healthcare providers are not obliged to provide full care to an individual without insurance after the patient has been stabilized. Alternatively, if a person is uninsured, healthcare providers must ensure that the individual can pay for the service before offering them. This might put you in a very unfortunate position, and leave you without medical treatment just when you need it most.
Healthcare Might Be Delayed
When illnesses or the symptoms of one occur, an insured individual can immediately rush to the doctor to be checked. Periodic wellness checkups are also covered by health insurance. This isn’t the case for those without coverage. When symptoms appear, the uninsured most often shy away from visiting a healthcare provider because of the cost. Uninsured expenses are far higher than covered costs. This situation results in an illness becoming far worse as diagnosis and treatment were not provided when it would have helped the most – early on. Some folks try to treat minor symptoms with home remedies or over-the-counter drugs which are of little benefit. In 2010, a finding revealed that approximately 26,100 individuals lost their lives prematurely due to being without health insurance and therefore, without access to health professionals when needed.
A Patient Time Bomb On Your Finances
Not having healthcare insurance coverage is like placing a time bomb on your finances – just waiting for the right time to wreak havoc. A serious health catastrophe can wipe away your assets in one cruel swipe. The consequence of this is that you run from pillar to post trying to secure loans and sink further into debt. Not surprisingly, a study found that healthcare bills top the list of reasons people file for bankruptcy.
Not having health insurance doesn’t just affect the individual. It affects one’s loved ones and society at large. If you think about the cost of annual checkups and compare it to its importance, it is clear that you should make it a duty to obtain health insurance, at whatever level you can afford. Protection from illness is easier, cheaper and better than needing a cure for one.
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