According to the official U.S. Census website, adults between 19 and 34 are the largest group of uninsured people in the country. On average, 15.6% of these young people do not have some type of health insurance. If you fall into this age group, you may have seen the cost of insurance and made the decision to put off buying it. There are a number of factors that could convince a young person not to buy some type of health insurance. However, you do need to seriously consider what having insurance means and how it can protect you. You may be young and healthy now, but that doesn’t mean medical insurance is useless. Here are a few reasons why you should still purchase a policy.
First, Make Sure You Do Need to Buy Your Own Healthcare
One thing some young people do not realize is that they can remain on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26. This was a change implemented by the Affordable Care Act. While there are some people under 26 that do buy their own health insurance, you may not need to. Talk to your parents about their health insurance coverage and if it’s possible for you to remain on that policy. While you will eventually need to seek out your own insurance, it can give you time to learn about how insurance works and what to look for.
Prepare for the Worst
If you do determine that you need to buy some type of health insurance, why should you? One of the biggest reasons why everyone, regardless of their age or overall health, should have insurance is because no one knows what the future will bring. Unexpected events happen all the time, and if you’re not prepared, you may end up paying several very large medical bills.
You can think of health insurance like car insurance—you don’t need car insurance every day, but if you’re in an accident, you certainly want it. If you slip while getting out of the shower and break your arm, you’ll be very happy you have health insurance. The cost of care for a broken arm without insurance can be around $6,000 for a simple break. If you have more complex injuries, you may be billed much more. Everything involved with medical care has a cost: the ambulance ride, the medications you receive, the bandages, the X-rays, the doctor’s time, and much more. It all adds up very quickly. If you have to stay in the hospital, the costs add up even faster. The average cost of a hospital stay can be as much as $10,000 a day
With this in mind, you can look at cheap health insurance policies designed to only provide coverage for unexpected injuries and other emergencies. These policies often do not cover care for long-term medical conditions, pre-emptive treatments, or even prescriptions. However, they do provide assistance for E.R. visits and other unexpected events.
All Health Insurances Offer Some Type Of Preventative Services
While you may be healthy today, that will not always be the case. You may be predisposed to certain medical conditions due to genetics, or certain conditions can develop from working in certain environments or living unhealthy lifestyles. Fortunately, many insurance plans include preventative treatment options, some of which are free. For example, many plans provide a yearly health screening or physical. Others offer cancer screenings. Immunizations are also often included in insurance so that you can get the yearly flu vaccine and other protective care.
Many of these preventative services are truly free and do not even include a copay. Even if you’re healthy, you should make use of these services. It’s possible that your routine physical or blood pressure screening could reveal a potential health risk. By discovering and addressing potential issues now, you can prevent more serious medical conditions from developing later in life.
Using these preventative services can save you thousands of dollars later in life and make the cost of health insurance worth it. For example, your annual wellness screening could reveal that you have a heart murmur. Running follow-up tests could reveal issues such as hyperthyroidism. Monitoring the condition could prevent serious complications from developing and putting your life at risk.
You May Engage in Risky Activities
Do you play sports? Do you often bike places or ride a motorcycle? Do you like going to the gym regularly? All of these present potential health risks. You can be injured doing just about anything, but some people do have hobbies or other situations that put them more at risk of getting hurt. If you play sports, you may have already had a few injuries related to your hobby. It’s always a good idea to have some type of health insurance if you have any hobbies that could result in injuries.
If you travel throughout the U.S. often, you may also want to have health insurance. You could be injured while traveling due to being unfamiliar with your surroundings. Sometimes simply walking down a set of stairs or on uneven ground can lead to falling and injuring your ankle. If you have a food allergy, there’s always the risk of eating something that has been contaminated, even if you are careful. Insurance will help negate the costs of any medical treatment you have to seek because of these accidents.
You May Put Off Going to the Doctor
If you don’t have insurance, you are probably aware of just how much it can cost to go to the doctor. You may decide that you can deal with the cough, the toothache, or whatever other issues come up simply by resting and taking some over-the-counter medication.
Unfortunately, while this may help you get through some basic illnesses, it can’t correct chronic conditions or serious medical problems. It also leaves you to suffer more than you need to. If you feel ill, you should have the freedom to call up your doctor and make an appointment. Having a basic health insurance plan gives you this option.
You Get Better Quality Care
Another reason to buy health insurance in California is that you can see qualified doctors and specialists. While an urgent care center may be able to treat simple infections and other minor issues, the care workers there are often not specialists. They will not be able to diagnose or treat complex medical conditions. They may not have medical imaging tools or other diagnostic devices. It’s fine to visit one of these urgent cares for basic treatment, but for serious issues, health insurance opens the door to the procedures and medication you may need.
You (and Your Parents) Will Have Peace of Mind
Knowing what you know about the cost of medical care in the U.S., it can give you and your family peace of mind to know that you have health insurance. Having even a basic health insurance policy lets you know that you will have some coverage should you have a medical emergency. If you know or suspect you may have a chronic health condition, insurance is even more important. You need to be able to see a doctor regularly to help you manage these conditions. Fortunately, the ACA prevents insurance companies from denying anyone coverage due to preexisting conditions.
There Is Some Type Of Health Insurance Plan Specifically for You
There are several insurance plans that exist specifically for young, healthy people. These plans are designed to be inexpensive and cover common health issues and injuries that affect those in their late teens and early twenties. There is even health insurance for college students. These plans take into account the college lifestyle and income.
There are different health insurance plans out there that focus on different things. Some plans may provide excellent prescription medication coverage. If you’re taking several medications that do not have cheaper generic versions, one of these plans may be ideal. On the other hand, there are some plans that provide better hospitalization coverage. If you know or suspect that you will have to have various surgical procedures that include a hospital stay, you may want to focus more on these options. Some plans have very low deductibles, while others may have lower out-of-pocket maximums. There are many plans out there, and you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.
Health Insurance May Not Be as Expensive as You Think
It’s true that health insurance can be costly. However, the ACA has made a number of changes to allow everyone, regardless of income, to purchase health insurance in California. If you’re still in college or have just started your career, your income level may be low enough that you qualify for a subsidy or for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid service.
While insurance may be more affordable today, navigating the system can still be confusing. This is especially true if you’ve never had to buy your own coverage before. Understanding the terms, percentages, and even what a policy covers isn’t always clear.
That’s why we’re here. The experts at J.C. Lewis Insurance Services can help you find the right insurance provider. Whether you’re looking for health insurance for college students or a plan for those who just got off their parent’s policy, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.