This is the time of year that we field tons of calls about how much insurance really costs. Bottom line. No matter what your income looks like, there are always costs for you to have health insurance, and whether we are looking at the “old” standard before Obamacare or the “new” one with the Affordable Care Act, somebody isn’t happy.
One of the tricky things about cost, though, is that there are costs associated with not having insurance, too. Not just the fact that you’ll be taxed for not having coverage, but what it would cost you in your health.
Here at HealthTN.com we usually look at four major pieces that are impacted when you don’t have coverage versus when you do. On the whole, we see these as being huge parts in the argument to keep coverage, no matter what the perceived costs are.
- A more productive work life, enhancing job security and satisfaction. Simply put, less out-of-pocket costs raise productivity at work. Furthermore, many employers are expanding wellness programs to help workers improve personal health status.
- Better access to preventive health care services, with health insurance companies alerting members when and where to get diagnostic screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies. People without health insurance tend to postpone prevention, leading to later diagnoses of illnesses, complications and higher costs in the long-run.
- Access to prescription drugs, where uninsured people are five times as likely not to get needed medications. Many prescriptions take care of many chronic conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and asthma.
- Better financial health, where insured people can usually access health care services at cheaper rates. Access to insurance allows consumers to take advantage of discounts negotiated by health plans with hospitals and doctors compared with paying for services on your own.
Health insurance boosts the link between health and wealth. The uninsured are three times more likely than the insured to be unable to pay for basic necessities because of their medical bills. Uninsured people are also more likely to use up their savings on medical care.
Good health insurance covers catastrophic costs when people get very sick – requiring long and successive hospital admissions and expensive treatments. For people without health insurance, medical debt can lead to lower credit scores: in the U.S., uninsured people are at greater risk of filing for personal bankruptcy. Whether you receive your health insurance through an employer, or via a health insurance marketplace, once insured, it’s important to understand your benefits.
Taking time to understand your health plan is worth it: you can save money and get certain health services that may be covered for free by your health plan to encourage you to receive them.
Do not dismiss the importance of health insurance in your and your family’s life. You may not need it now, but in an instant, having it could save both your life and your financial health. Never think that because you “save” money by not having coverage that you are somehow sidestepping a cost. It’s out there, and you run huge financial risks by not taking the time to find out what your options are. Ready to step up? Give us a call at (615) 541-4257 or reach out to us at HealthTN.com to find out how we can help.