You are as healthy as a horse, maybe even healthier. You haven't had so much as a cold in years, and you avoid any situations that may cause injury. So why do you need medical insurance? Although it can seem like you aren't getting anything back from the premiums you pay, medical insurance saves you money in the long run and helps you and your family stay as healthy as you are now.
Pretty soon you will have to have insurance
Of course, the main reason right now to obtain insurance is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, mandates that individuals who are not covered through an employer-sponsored plan, Medicare, or another program will need to sign up for a private insurance policy. Starting in 2014, those without a plan will have to pay penalty fees that increase by year.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Certain religious sects and health-care-sharing ministries are exempt from paying tax penalties, as well as Native Americans, prisoners, and undocumented immigrants. Other exemptions are based on income. If the persons income is low enough to be exempt from federal taxes, if the least expensive plan is still above eight percent of a family's or an individuals income, or if the family has suffered a hardship that prevents them from obtaining insurance - the government has to verify this - these people will not be penalized.
Health insurance companies cover more than doctors appointments and treatments
First of all, you can work dental and vision plans into your policy to save on those services. It is recommended that individuals - no matter how healthy - should see a dentist every six months and an optometrist every one or two years.
Many health insurance companies will offer extra benefits of which policyholders should take advantage. Some offer programs for general wellness, such as coaching for losing weight or reducing stress. There are also insurance policies that include access to a 24/7 hotline with nurses who can answer your health questions or determine if your situation is serious enough to go to a doctor.
Other provisions in the Affordable Care Act have made sure that you get more out of your insurance policy. For example, there are several preventive care services that are required to be covered by health insurance companies: 16 for adults, 22 for women - including pregnant women, and 27 for children. Immunization vaccines and screenings for various ailments are important if you intend on staying healthy. And depending on when your plan begins, there will be no cost for you.
Medical care can be ridiculously expensive
Lets say that you do need medical attention -and chances are that you will since approximately 75.3% of adults visited a medical provider at least once in 2010. Without insurance to cover at least some of the costs, you'll be paying out of pocket. The most common reason that people visit the doctor is for high blood pressure. The average cost of a doctors visit related to high blood pressure is $441.46, and in relation to other conditions, that cost is lower than most.
The prices rise even higher if you need to visit the emergency room. Between the cost of using the facility and the doctors diagnosis, some emergency room visits can be over a thousand dollars. A visit for acute bronchitis or upper respiratory infections, on average, is $231.11 with a regular physician and $622.55 at the emergency room. That doesn't include the average of $70.23 that you will spend on prescriptions to treat acute bronchitis.
The average person, from ages 18 to 64, visits the doctor 5.4 times per year. The risk of being uninsured is having to pay for all of those fees on your own.
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Drew Kobb is studying civil law at Gonzaga University. He loves long distance running and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. Drew uses that passion in writing for his blog, www.doctorouch.com.