You may find yourself in a position where you face a lapse in insurance coverage. Maybe you’re between jobs or experiencing a life-changing event. You know you need health insurance, but might be thinking that you can get by without it for a few months because you’re young and healthy. You wouldn’t be alone. According to the data, almost 500,000 more Americans went without insurance in 2018 from 2017.
But there are inherent risks, and before you hold off on exploring your options, there are few things to consider. Insurance plans are designed to protect policyholders from unexpected incidents and increased medical costs. Here are three realistic scenarios that happen every day and that you wouldn’t want to face without coverage.
Accidents Happen to Everyone
Roadway & Driving Accidents
Automobile accidents are especially unpredictable. Through no direct choosing of your own, you could find yourself in a roadway collision and present with injuries that require medical attention. Nearly six million car accidents happen every year. Half of them result in significant injuries. Almost two million of them incur permanent injuries. Even minor fender-benders can result in head or neck trauma or the need for ongoing physical therapy for recovery.
Recreational Activities Can Translate to Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) underscores that emergency rooms nationwide treat nearly 200,000 children every year for playground-related injuries. Even the healthiest of children can get hurt accidentally. And considering how many everyday recreational activities occur, you may not want to risk setting a broken arm or needing crutches for a twisted ankle without insurance. Adults are susceptible to recreational accidents as well. Biking, jogging, and swimming all present risks. A weekly pickup game of basketball with friends can quickly turn into a sprained knee. Any of these scenarios may require a doctor’s visit, emergency room visit, and subsequent scans, all of which can be costly without insurance.
Around the House Mishaps
You may be thinking that because you spend much of your time at home, you are at a lower risk of requiring any kind of medical attention or don’t need health insurance. However, adults and children experience trips, falls, and accidental poisoning in everyday life and around the house. Carrying an overloaded laundry basket down a flight of stairs can quickly turn into a call to 9-1-1. Loose railings, rambunctious pets, improperly sealed medications, unsecured firearm storage, and untested smoke detectors can all contribute to home-related accidents.
COVID-19 Risks & Other Illnesses
We’re living in pandemic times. And even if you don’t consider yourself a high-risk candidate, based on age or underlying health conditions, as outlined by the CDC guidelines, COVID-19 does present the risk of exposure and can result in hospitalization. And the Coronavirus isn’t the only potential threat.
What We Know About COVID-19
While the CDC suggests that some Americans can contract the Coronavirus and be asymptomatic, many do, in fact, fall victim to a variety of severe flu-like symptoms. Some who have already recovered from the virus still present with long-term health conditions. Many sufferers have been able to ride out the fever, chills, and breathing restrictions in quarantine at home. Others, however, required hospitalization. Regardless of where you live, the risks of facing contraction, without health insurance, can be devastating.
The Common Flu
If the Coronavirus isn’t enough of a risk, you’ll also be facing the upcoming winter months combating flu season. Common colds, cases of flu, and strep throat may not present with life-threatening consequences. But these conditions can lead to a need for medications and visits with your physician. In some worst-case scenarios, patients can experience dehydration, which may require brief, yet costly hospital stays.
Sudden & More Serious Conditions
Facing a debilitating disease or life-changing diagnosis can be incredibly difficult. Rare conditions and cancers can present in almost anyone. Heart attacks and strokes take thousands of Americans by surprise each year. Young and often healthy adults can, in the blink of an eye, develop diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Facing these types of sudden and often serious diagnoses without insurance can be even more challenging.
The Financial Burdens
You may be healthy and convinced that you don’t need health insurance right now. But there are devastating financial consequences you might face, should you encounter a health-related scenario without it.
Many health insurance plans offer incentives and benefits, encouraging policyholders to take advantage of preventive care efforts. Routine physicals and annual exams are essential in identifying potential health risks before they become serious. Those without insurance may choose not to follow through on routine doctor appointments or pre-screenings because of the out-of-pocket costs to do so without coverage. While they may save a little money in the moment, missing an underlying symptom or timely diagnosis could be far more costly down the road.
Government Penalties for the Uninsured
It was the lack of health insurance for thousands of Americans that led to the creation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also often referred to as Obamacare. This open marketplace platform looked to help individuals address those periodic gaps in coverage and offered subsidies to help those below benchmark income levels for affordability. While the individual penalty fee originally laid out upon the launch of the ACA has since been repealed (in 2019), there are some states that still enforce uninsured penalties.
Prescription Medication Costs
Heading to the local pharmacy counter to pick up your allergy prescription without insurance can be costly, especially over time. Despite the popularity of drug prescription discount products out there and the availability of generic varieties, routine refills can add up quickly. Some statistics show that nearly 19% of uninsured individuals end up delaying or not purchasing their much-needed drugs due to cost alone.
Experiencing a lapse in insurance coverage may be an appealing option for your situation right now. But it could prove to be a health and financial risk you don’t want to take. You do need health insurance and have convenient and affordable options available through the Marketplace that you can take advantage of immediately for peace of mind. Protect yourself and your family and begin browsing with us for guidance and to discover personally tailored insurance options. Avoid facing any of these health scenarios without a plan and with the help W3LL.