In the current economic climate where many Americans are still trying to get back on track after the recent recession, saving money is probably one of your highest priorities. You are probably looking at ways to cut back on monthly expenses and that may include premiums for health insurance. Your health plan may seem like an unnecessary expenditure, especially if everyone in your household is healthy, but there are some important ways that spending a few bucks for health coverage actually saves you money in the long run.
1. You save money on medical services:
In 2012, the average health care cost per American was $9,596. By 2016, the average cost had surpassed $10,000 and is expected to reach $14,944 by 2023. Unless you are independently wealthy, it is unlikely that you can afford these costs on your own. That is why obtaining a cost effective health plan is essential to your financial security. With health coverage, you make monthly premium payments in return for financial assistance when you see a doctor, purchase some medications or stay in a hospital.
You may think that you can gamble on staying healthy, but, ultimately, that is a foolish wager. You may remain healthy for months or even years, but eventually you or someone in your family is going to encounter a health problem. When a medical issue does arise, it will be too late to get the financial protection you need and you will be entirely responsible for the costs of treating the problem.
The risks are small, but they grow over time. A recent study found that people aged 25 to 34 had a 5 percent chance of having a health issue that costs $27,000 or more, and a 10 percent chance of a bill more than $13,000. This risk is compounded annually, however, and grows as you age.
2. Routine care is cost effective:
If you are young and healthy, you may feel that health insurance is unnecessary, but you should keep in mind that insurance grants you access to physicians who can monitor your health and make recommendations to optimize your wellbeing. Most people think that they only need a physician when an illness or injury has occurred, but the reality is that staying healthy is much more effective—and cheaper—than waiting until a problem emerges and fixing it.
All health plans today are legally required to include Essential Health Benefits which include free services like:
- Blood pressure screening
- Alcohol misuse counseling
- Depression screening
- Diabetes screening
- Diet counseling
- Immunization vaccines
- Hepatitis A & B
- Herpes Zoster
- Human Papillomavirus
- Tobacco use counseling
- STD prevention counseling
A number of other free preventive services are included in any health plan as well as free annual checkups.
3. Prescription drug coverage:
Last year, the United States spent almost $425 billion on prescription drugs, or one-tenth of the nation’s entire health care expenditure. The price of medications is rising much faster than most household incomes. In 2016, the price of prescription drugs rose 11.3 percent, and it will increase 11.6 percent this year, but wages only grew 2.5 percent.
Whether you take insulin to manage your diabetes, or need an Epipen in case of an allergic reaction, they can cost you hundreds or, even, thousands of dollars each month. The government has been unwilling to put price controls on drug manufacturers, and it is unlikely to do so any time in the near future, so drug prices will continue to rise. This will likely make many drugs too expensive for average American families, unless they get health insurance.
Because health insurers are large enough to effectively bargain with drug makers and pharmacies, they can secure discounted rates for their customers. This means that you may pay only a few dollars a month for a medication that might cost you hundreds without coverage.
4. Protection from catastrophic health problems:
The whole point of having health insurance is to protect you and your loved ones from the dire financial problems resulting from a serious illness or injury. You may be able to pay for an occasional doctor visit for a cold, but it is unlikely you can absorb the cost of long term cancer treatment (which may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars) or an organ transplant (which can top a million dollars).
It may surprise you to learn that even a relatively minor injury can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. While a simple broken leg may only cost you a couple of thousand dollars in up front medical costs, there are often secondary costs like follow up care and physical therapy that may cost you thousands more to fully restore you to health. If you don’t have health insurance to cover these costs, you may never return to full health, and your infirmities may compromise your ability to earn income or your general quality of life.
Finally, any catastrophic illness like organ failure or cancer is likely to cost you in ways not directly related to medical fees. If you have to undergo chemotherapy or any long term hospitalization, you won’t be able to work, depriving your household of your income. If you don’t have a health insurance policy that covers catastrophic conditions, you will likely be responsible for the exorbitant medical costs as well as lose some or all of the ability to repay them.
Health insurance is a vital protection against unforeseen health problems that safeguards not only the health of you and your family, but also your financial wellbeing. There is a very good reason why 90 percent of all Americans have health insurance—it is a smart investment.
Whether you are young, old, working, retired, healthy or sick, there is a health plan that meets your needs. To learn more about available health plans, please visit Boost Health Insurance.