Having health insurance lowers the cost of medical care, making it easier for more people to get it. This leads to fewer deaths and better health results. The number of Americans who don’t have health insurance has gone down, but a lot of people still don’t have any kind of coverage.
A draft report from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) says that in the first quarter of 2023, 7.7% of people (25.3 million) did not have health insurance. While the rate of uninsured people went down from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023 (8.3% or 27.3 million people of all ages), that is still a lot of people who are uninsured and don’t need to be. We’ve all heard the horror stories of folks we know (or maybe have only heard of) who end up leaving the hospital with mountains of medical debt. If you don’t already have health insurance, hearing such stories can make you question whether or not you really should get coverage.
The answer to that is yes! If you ever find yourself in need of medical treatment, having health insurance may be the only thing that stands between you and financial ruin, despite the fact that it is notorious for being both costly and difficult to understand. Health insurance can make the difference between being sick and being healthy, or even between life and death.
Lowering Risks With Health Insurance
As we said, your health insurance protects both you and your wallet. It sounds a little odd, spending money on a premium while you’re healthy, how does that save money or protect your health? Let’s find out.
Having health insurance protects not just your body but also your money in the event of an emergency. If you have a health insurance plan, your out-of-pocket expenses for medical care will be lower since the plan will cover most of the cost of medical treatment in exchange for a regular premium payment. Consider how much money you would have to pay out of pocket in the event of an unforeseeable medical emergency, which might very well end up costing several thousand dollars.
We get it: if you’re young and in good health, you could believe that you have no need for health insurance or that you won’t use it if you have it. Even while having a healthy body is a gift, the objective here is to keep that healthy body throughout your entire life. Sadly, illnesses and mishaps are not something that can be anticipated. If you do not have health insurance, you are fully responsible for all of your medical bills regardless of the amount.
Lower Healthcare Costs
Consider the expense of treating a broken limb as an example. If you don’t have health insurance, you may expect to pay about $2,500 for a straightforward break that doesn’t require surgery. In addition, if you require surgery, the total cost will increase to approximately $16,000. However, if you have health insurance, you will only be responsible for paying a portion of the total, with the exact amount dependent on the metal tier of your plan.
- Bronze – Bronze plans cover 60% of medical costs, so you’d be paying 40%. With the above example you’d spend $1,000 without surgery and $6,400 with. Meaning you’ll save between $1,500 and $9,600.
- Silver – One step above Bronze, Silver plans cover 70% of medical costs. Meaning you’d only be paying $750 without surgery and $4,800 with. Bringing your savings to between $1,750 and $11,200.
- Gold – The next level up brings 80% coverage. Which leaves you 20%, or $500 without surgery and $3,200 with surgery. Putting your savings at $2,000 and $12,800 respectively.
That’s still a huge savings, even when you add in the monthly payment. Not to mention, this is just one incident! We’re not even including costs of regular checkups and illnesses. Health insurance is even more important for accidents and illnesses that are more complex. For instance, a three-day hospital stay can easily cost around $30,000, which most people who don’t have health insurance can’t afford.
Lower Medication Costs
Having health insurance can also save you money on the cost of your prescriptions. The vast majority of insurance policies include coverage for the purchase of prescription drugs. Making them accessible to millions of people, who are in need of them due to the fact that approximately 45 percent of Americans are dependent on some form of prescription pharmaceuticals. Because many of these medications manage or slow down the advancement of a condition, your health insurance will continue to assist you in avoiding costly medical issues and hospital stays.
Not having health insurance is not only financially dangerous, but it can also hurt your health. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says that people who don’t have health insurance are less likely to have a regular source of medical care, less likely to see a doctor even when they’re very sick, and more likely to put off normal care because they’re worried about the cost. Checkups once a year are the first step in regular medical care. They can stop major illnesses before they happen. You may need more tests, like a mammogram or a blood test, to find out what’s wrong with your health if your primary care doctor notices one.
Most people who don’t have health insurance chose not to have it because it was cheaper than what’s best for their health. For the same reason, they don’t get yearly checkups: it costs too much. It may cost more than your insurance premiums to not get regular care, though, if you have major health problems that aren’t caught early.
Say you think you have hay fever because you keep sneezing. It’s not just during hay fever season that you start to sneeze, though. You know you should see a doctor about your symptoms, but keep putting it off because you don’t have insurance and it will cost money. At some point, your symptoms get so bad that you need to go to the emergency room. You get a lot of tests and find out you have a sinus tumor that needs major surgery. That’s not the outcome anyone wants, is it? Going to the doctor without insurance could have saved you a lot of money and time in the emergency room and even kept you from major surgery.
The good news is that there are plenty of affordable options for health insurance.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get health insurance is through your employer. When your employer offers a group plan the premiums are essentially split between the employer and all of the employees. Which means your share of the premium is smaller than it would be if you had your own individual plan. Enrolling in your company’s group plan is a great way to get covered without spending a lot of money. Plus it comes directly out of your paycheck so you don’t even have to worry about missing payments.
There’s only 2 real downfalls of group plans. The first being that with a group plan the coverage isn’t tailored specifically to your needs. Instead the coverage is very general to cover the needs of the entire group. The second being that your coverage is dependent on you staying at your job. Once you leave you lose your coverage unless you opt in for COBRA. Which is where you keep your health plan except now you pay full price out of pocket for your own coverage instead of having the risk split among all of your coworkers.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is another great way to cut down on your health insurance costs. A health savings account (HSA) lets you save money before taxes to help pay for certain medical costs. It works best with a health plan with a high deductible. Most of the time, you can’t pay your health insurance premiums with HSA dollars. However, you can use them to pay for your deductible, copayments, and other things.
As long as you buy your insurance on the ACA Marketplace, you may be able to get the Premium Tax Credit. People whose family income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty line can get a tax credit from the government. Getting a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace will cost less because of this. If you make too much to get Medicaid, but still can’t afford health insurance, this is for you. When you file your taxes, you can ask for a premium tax credit that will help you pay for your premiums.
Working With An Agent
Health insurance may seem pricey, but it’s important to think about how much it’s worth. In the long run, how much you’ll save. When you compare the total cost of health insurance to the cost of not having one and having a medical issue, it is clear that having insurance is the better choice. Medical problems can put a family out of money, which is the last thing you want to think about! It’s worth every penny to know that your family and friends are safe and can get medical help instead of trying to “ride it out” because they don’t have insurance. Working with an EZ agent is another way to save money on health insurance!
You can save a lot of money on health insurance by working with an EZ provider. You can get health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or somewhere else. EZ can compare all of them for you. We will think about how much money you have and make plans that fit your budget. We can also check to see if you are eligible for any government or subsidy programs and then use them to help you with your plan. You’ll get all the benefits without any of the trouble this way. To begin, enter your zip code in the box below or call 877-670-3557 to speak with one of our certified agents.