You probably wouldn’t think twice about getting car insurance, so why wouldn’t you want to protect yourself from high medical costs if you get sick or injured? Having health insurance not only protects your pocketbook, but some insurance plans provide some free services like preventive medical care, vaccinations, and life-saving screenings so you can avoid getting sick in the first place.
If you’re young and healthy, getting health insurance may not seem important. But unexpected things can happen to anyone, and if you sign up for health insurance at a younger age, you get cheaper premiums and have essential coverage in place for times when you need it.
Who needs health insurance?
It’s easy to say that everybody needs health insurance, but here’s a look at who really needs this type of coverage.
The United States doesn’t have universal health care and doesn’t provide benefits to anyone who doesn’t have their own health insurance coverage. This means, if you get sick or injured and you don’t have insurance, you are responsible for paying your own medical bills out of your own bank account. Up until now, you probably haven’t had to spend a lot of money on health care, but you have to ask yourself whether you can manage a large medical bill if there’s an emergency down the road.
In the United States, with rising health care costs, if you need emergency health care, this can be very expensive. The national average charge for a three-day hospital stay in this country is over $30,000.00. And a broken leg can set you back close to $8000.00.
If you aren’t eligible for Medicare benefits, and you don’t have a group insurance plan provided by an employer, you should consider enrolling in a personal health insurance plan.
If you already have children or are just starting a family, you want to keep them safe and healthy. Children have unique health care needs that can add up to a lot of money, and having health insurance can help you manage these expenses.
What coverage you have depends on the insurance provider and the plan you choose. But most family coverage plans give access to the following benefits:
- Patient treatments
- Certain medications
- Routine dental care
Benefits also include a long list of preventive care services. Here’s a look at just a sample of some of the valuable coverage included under preventive care:
- Autism screenings
- Developmental screenings
- Blood screening, bilirubin screening for newborns
- Depression and alcohol, tobacco, and drug screenings for adolescents
- Fluoride treatments and supplements
- Height, weight, and BMI measurements
- Vision screening
- Blood pressure screening
- Hearing screenings
- Testing for tuberculosis
- Well baby and well child check-ups
- Immunizations from birth to 18 years old
Some families also care for their elderly parents who either don’t have health care insurance at all, or their coverage isn’t adequate. If your parent(s) are dependent on you for their care, you might be able to add them to your family health insurance plan. This can provide them with valuable medical care that they might not have through programs like Medicare.
Who is eligible for Medicare?
Medicare benefits are available for people who have reached the age of 65, or for those who have qualifying disabilities and are younger than 65. Once you enroll in Medicare, you may no longer need a private or group health insurance policy for your health care coverage.