Do I really need health insurance?

If you’ve never purchased health insurance on your own and don’t deal with many health issues, it may be tempting to forgo health insurance to save on monthly premiums. However, taking advantage of affordable health plan options may help you save on costs in the long run.

While you don’t plan to get sick or hurt, you may need health care at some point if you’re faced with an unexpected health issue or accident.  Even if you’re feeling healthy now, annual preventive exams are recommended to help identify issues before they arise. Here are three reasons why you may want to consider enrolling in a medical plan: 

  1. Health care cost savings
    Health insurance helps cover preventive screenings, like vaccines and annual check-ups, which is important for maintaining your overall health. While these may not be large expenses, insurance often covers in-network care, avoiding some out-of-pocket expenses.

    Depending on which coverage you choose, your plan may also help cover unexpected medical costs.  A trip to the ER can cost anywhere from $740 to $1,200.  Having an insurance plan puts a maximum on your out-of-pocket expenses, which may help give you added financial protection. Also, once you’ve met your plan’s deductible, some health plans may cover between 60% to 90% of covered expenses.   
  2. Avoiding state tax penalties
    While you can no longer be penalized for being uninsured on a federal level, some individual states still enforce those mandates. New Jersey, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island have a penalty for not having health insurance. Penalties vary per state but are either based on a person’s income or a flat rate of $675 per adult.
  3. Access to health care
    Preventive care may help keep your health in check by addressing issues before they have a chance to escalate into something larger. But 40% of Americans say they skipped a recommended medical test or treatment, due to the presumed cost.

    Health insurance coverage is meant to help improve access to quality health care services, which is important for maintaining health, preventing and managing disease and reducing unnecessary trips to the emergency room. People who routinely seek health care typically have better health outcomes and lower overall medical costs. 

Remember, health insurance is there to help protect you from financial burdens and serious health issues. With open enrollment season around the corner, consider these five tips to help you choose a health plan that may work best for you.

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