You may have any one of a dozen reasons not to have health insurance. It’s too expensive. You’re young and healthy. You don’t like insurance or doctors. Pick a reason, any reason, and anyone without health insurance can tell you why they haven’t purchased a policy. The biggest reason, though, is often the cost of the premiums or the deductible.
Those reasons are all understandable, but there are some very good reasons why you can’t afford not to have health insurance. With increased fees and exposure to risk, not having health insurance can and will get very expensive, very quickly.
PENALTIES FOR NOT HAVING HEALTH INSURANCE
Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act penalties and fees for those who don’t purchase health insurance have been a reality. The fees went into affect in 2014 and were very modest – a maximum of about $285 or one percent of household income. Looking to 2016, the change in the fees is drastic.
Expect to pay the higher of these two options:
- 2.5 percent of your household income; the maximum amount will equal the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold in the healthcare exchange
- $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18; the maximum amount would be $2,085
That’s a big difference from 2014 and will take a big chunk out of your income tax return, assuming you’re eligible for a refund and don’t have to pay the IRS instead.
HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTS YOU FROM FINANCIAL HARM AS MUCH AS MEDICAL HARM
Yes, health insurance makes it easier for you to receive medical treatment for illness or injury. You don’t have to depend on the emergency room or avoid going to the doctor. Many preventative care measures are covered by health insurance helping you stay healthier, longer. The medical protections you receive from health insurance can’t be denied.
The financial protection is just as important. More than 30 percent of all financial bankruptcies in the United States are medical bankruptcies. Those emergency room visits, without health insurance, add up quick. Specialized tests like MRIs, PT scans, and other procedures can cost thousands of dollars. If you’re unfortunate enough to need life-saving surgery, that number could jump to the tens or hundreds of thousands.
You could go bankrupt from one bad injury or illness. You could pay penalties and fees to the government for refusing health insurance. You could miss work because of an untreated illness or injury, putting you further behind financially. Or you could pay a monthly premium – which may be subsidized to give you a steep discount – and know that you and your wallet are covered in case you get hurt or sick.
If you’re ready to look at your Charlotte health insurance options or to find out if you qualify for any discounts or subsidies to lower the price, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. Your health and well-being matter. Let us help you stay healthy and minimize your financial risk from out-of-control medical costs.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Sinclair.