Health insurance is something everybody wants and needs! Maybe you do not, right? I know you are young, healthy and do not need to visit a doctor. Why would someone like you sign up for health insurance and pay $40 per week for something you do not need?
One reason is you may not stay that way and you cannot predict when your health will change! When it does change, you will not be able to get insurance! If you do not know insurance companies are under pressure to earn a profit and they screen applicants before they accept them. You may be one of the lucky ones who work for companies that provide health coverage and acceptance into the group is guaranteed. By waiting, you will cost your employer sponsored health coverage and their rates will increase. As their rates increase, so will the employee’s contribution.
You may not care that your $40 contribution becomes $45! It may mean your employer may think whether they want to keep offering health coverage. They may change the coverage to a high deductible insurance policy and you may pay more in deductibles. Why should you care? It cost you nothing before and now you need coverage and your portion is still less than what you would pay on your own. Watch out, your employer could shift more and more on the employees.
You biggest cost is not necessarily in money! As your health changed, no medical professional was monitoring you. You were invincible and eating at fast food joints! The last time you exercised was when you were a star quarterback in college! The reason you went to the doctor was you were having chest pains at 30 years old because you are overweight and out of shape. It was all that fatty food and lack of exercise that took your cholesterol to over 400.
We think of medicine and doctors as something we need only when we get sick! We should go to doctors for checkups and prevention. Surprise, you can look healthy and have things wrong that do not seem obvious! I am outwardly healthy, physically active and see my doctor routinely, but I need cholesterol lowering drugs. The opposite can be true too! You can be overweight, and inactive, but have a healthy cholesterol reading. Routine and periodic doctor visits prevent diseases and help you have a better quality of life.
Okay, you decided that you do not need insurance; you will just use the emergency room when you need a doctor! The problem with that thinking is there is no prevention when you go to the emergency room. They are only going to deal with your particular emergency such as a heart attack, broken bone, stroke or symptom. In spite of this warning, recognize the cost of an emergency room or urgent care facility is higher than visiting the doctor.
So you successfully avoided paying for insurance, seeing a doctor for years and still think insurance is unnecessary! Your next visit to the emergency room is for chest pains, pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, excessive sweating and indigestion. Yes, you are having a heart attack! They admit you into the hospital into Intensive Care and the daily cost is near $10,000 per day. You may a coronary artery disease, need heart bypass surgery or worse! Now things go up geometrically. This is when you incur serious debt into 6 figures.
You could have avoided all this grief by visiting your doctor routinely and enroll in your company’s health insurance plan. Most companies have plans where you can join a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). HMOs premiums are generally slightly cheaper, but the co-payment makes that choice lower. PPOs generally have a deductible, but you may exercise more choice in medical facility and doctors. You have a choice and in the long run cheaper that a heart attack and a lot less deadly. What are you going to do?
Photo by: billrisser