Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care and health system expenses, among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is available to pay for the health care benefits specified in the insurance agreement.
Even with insurance, healthcare almost always poses a heavy financial burden. Naturally, those without insurance coverage are at a greater disadvantage. Common reasons for people not investing in health insurance include cost concerns, perceived lack of returns, work place offering some sort of health cover, insufficient savings, ignorance, the notion that health insurance is not important, lack of knowledge about how to get insurance, etc.
Not having health insurance has a multiplier negative effective on one’s personal finances. In addition, the burden of medical bills, inability to get quality medical treatment, medical debts, etc. are some of the critical reasons why obtaining health insurance is imperative in today’s day and age.
Why get health insurance?
Health insurance is a smart channel for people to pay their healthcare expenses. By paying annual premiums towards health insurance policies, costs towards contingent health issues can be broken down into several uniform and much smaller payments and the total financial burden of major unexpected medical conditions are borne by the insurance company.
If you do not have a health insurance policy in place, here are the reasons why you must re-think:
For several years now, one of the top reasons for bankruptcy has been medical debt. A serious medical issue or a major accident resulting in emergency care and/or expensive treatment calls for huge out-of-pocket expenses, which could lead to poor credit and sometimes even bankruptcy - in the absence of health insurance coverage.
Even if does not end in bankruptcy, medical debt does take a serious toll on people. According to a report by Ernst & Young, medical debt accounts are much higher than credit card and student loan debts. It is also true that people battling massive medical debts are caught up in a constant financial strain and are unable to save any money, leaving no option but to take loans and sometimes even forego necessities.
While health insurance coverage has out of pocket maximums that offer sufficient financial protection, for the uninsured, there really are no limits.
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Without health insurance, a household’s ailing breadwinner may not be able to afford good medical treatment, leading to further health deterioration and possibly even loss of life, thereby causing a major decline in the household income. Those without health insurance also create a negative economic impact in terms of reduced personal earnings, primarily because poor health translates to lower productivity and more time off work.
If a breadwinner is between jobs or lacks sufficient savings to pay for health insurance, he/she usually skips investing in it. However, in the event that a major accident or illness occurs at such time when the person is not insured, the situation can swiftly move towards bankruptcy. Under-insurance, i.e. having health insurance that is insufficient to cover costs of major medical issues, is yet another peril that can pave the way towards a financial predicament, possible even bankruptcy.
What can be overlooked while purchasing a health insurance policy
Daily hospital cash, ambulance services, domiciliary, and such other benefits can be overlooked, as they are either not availed too often or have a low consequence in the overall scheme of things. If covered in the policy, they are an added bonus, but even if paid out of one’s pocket, they work out to smaller, negligible amounts.
While opting for a health insurance policy, it is wiser to focus on bigger, more important issues like the room rent limits, network of hospitals, co-payment clauses, No claim bonuses, ICU charges, and other similar expenses that comprise a major chunk of the overall medical bills.