Many struggle to pay their bills and with the current administration’s cuts to funding for subsidies that help low-income consumers afford insurance, people start to question if health insurance is worth the high premium costs. The short answer: Yes, it’s worth it.
The common reasoning to opt out of health insurance is “I don’t really go to the doctor very often so why am I paying for insurance?” but, insurance goes so much farther than taking care of visit copays. In the unfortunate situation that you get into a serious accident or are diagnosed with an illness, insurance provides financial protection. It helps protect you against high and or unexpected costs like when you slip and break a bone and suddenly are being charged thousands of dollars.
Insurance also covers essential health benefits such as prescription drugs, rehabilitation services and devices, hospitalization, mental health services, emergency services and, so much more. And you pay less than others for any healthcare that’s in-network.
Additionally, health insurance grants free access for both adults and children to “preventive services” aka shots and screenings. These services range from diet counseling to mental health and cancer screenings. It could mean the difference between catching your cancer at stage 2 versus 4.
However, as wonderful as health insurance is many struggle to or cannot afford it but, there are ways to find cheaper plans with similar if not the same level of coverage.
One option is to buy plans off-exchange. This means buying directly from an insurance broker or provider. It keeps premiums low and two good places to look are ehealthinsurance and healthpocket. You can also join a group plan as premiums will be lowered based on a group rate. This can be through a professional association, trade group or other memberships based organizations like alumni groups. The Alliance for Affordable Services specifically is great for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Another option is to see if you quality for a Catastrophic Plan. If you’re under 30 years old or have a hardship exemption you can buy this high-deductible low premium plan. It’s a good plan if you don’t go to the doctor very often as payment coverage only starts after out-of-pocket spending surpasses your deductible. It’s less costly but still covers major medical problems. Here is a link to an article with great resources on this subject: consumerreports.org and Healthcare.gov is an amazing resource as well. There are many alternatives and plans no matter your income so it’s best to look into and try to understand what options are best for you. It is far better to be insured than battling sickness and bills on your own.
Let Neo be your health hero!