Why Buying Health Insurance is a Good Idea

Ever get excited for discounts at department stores? Who wouldn’t be?! That’s a good wayto look at the importance of health insurance:  you and your family can get ongoing well care coverage at a rate lower than what you’d get without it, while also avoiding the financial stress of a minor accident or major illness.

Let’s break this down. The Affordable Care Act calls for most of us to have health insurance or pay a fine. You may still be thinking, “We don’t need health insurance.  We never go to the doctor.” What you should be thinking is, “I need health insurance ASAP!”

First, let’s take a look at the fees you could be required to pay for not having health insurance.

  • For 2014, the penalty was $95 per person ($47.50 per child under 18) or 1% of your annual household income—whichever amount was highest.

  • In 2015, the penalty went up to $325 per person or 2% of your annual household income.

  • In 2016, the penalty will be $695 per person or 2.5% of your annual household income.

  • After 2016, the penalty will go up each year by the changes in the cost of living.

Maybe you can afford the fees. But, let’s see what would happen if you don’t have insurance and due to a minor accident, you have to take your kid to the ER. And, kids being kids… rushing them to the ER is something that can occur often.

Your son is outside playing with friends when you hear a scream. You run out and see him sitting on the sidewalk holding his ankle, crying, “It hurts!”  Immediately, you decide to bring him to the ER. Worried about his ankle being broken, who has time to think how much this will cost?  But, the cost will be told sooner or later so it’s best to know now. Let’s take a look at what this little accident might cost you.

  • The average ER visit is about $700. Of course, that doesn’t cover any tests, x-rays, cast for your son’s foot, which may raise the bill to well over $1,000.* 
  • If it’s a broken leg the cost could jump to $7,500. **

If the break is really serious or he’s sick, the doctors may want to admit your son. The costs just keep adding up.

  • The average 3-day hospital stay is $30,0002

Now, ask yourself if you can really afford to pay for the visit to the ER or for the hospital stay.  There’s a good chance the answer is no! With the right health insurance plan, you can protect yourself from most of these and other types of medical bills, as well as avoid the penalty for not having insurance in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Without insurance you could wipe out your savings.

There’s a plus added with prevention…
All new health plans cover preventive care (such as cancer screenings and shots) and yearly wellness exams with no out-of-pocket costs, as long as you go to a doctor in your health plan's network. So in the end, you don’t need to put off going to the doctor in fear of the bill. And, here’s the EXTRA PLUS:  the doctor is more likely to catch health problems earlier. With health insurance you can get the care you need. You’ll have a network of doctors and hospitals to go to. No need to ignore signs that something might be wrong or hope it will go away. You can go to a doctor or a nurse right away.

This means that by investing in a low-cost health care plan using the money you’re saving from avoiding the penalty, you also get to take advantage of lower health care costs year-round!  Who doesn’t love a bargain?

”I need health insurance!”
We know you’re on the same page now. Remember, that broken ankle was pretty expensive.  With access to affordable health insurance, you get the discounted rate all year long– remember the shopping talk above?  And, let worry woes disappear; you get preventive care and a network of doctors, specialists, and hospitals too. Search our health plans to get started!

Sources:
*Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts:  https://www.bluecrossma.com/common/en_US/pdfs/SampleMedicalCosts.pdf
**Healthcare.gov  https://www.healthcare.gov/why-should-i-have-health-coverage/

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