The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. With all the attention that health care reform has received, you may be asking yourself, "Why do I need health insurance?"
There are a number of reasons you need health insurance. Among the most important:
It Protects Your Finances
You need health insurance because it protects you and your family from the high costs of health care. The cost of routine medical care can add up, and the cost of care for major illnesses or injuries can be extremely high:
- The average cost of a trip to the emergency room for an adult is about $700, not including any tests or hospitalization, which may increase the bill to well over $1,000.1
- A broken leg can cost up to $7,500.2
- The total cost of a hip replacement can run a whopping $32,000.2
With the right plan, you can protect yourself from most of these and other types of medical bills. Being proactive by enrolling in a health insurance plan now will save you money down the road.
It Helps You Stay Healthy
Another reason you need health insurance is because it covers the expenses that come with staying healthy and preventing illness as well as when you get sick or hurt. Starting in 2014, all new health insurance plans will cover preventive care (such as cancer screenings and vaccinations) and annual checkups with no out-of-pocket costs, as long as you go to a doctor in your health plan's network. That means that you are more likely to catch health problems earlier, when treatment options will be more successful and less expensive.
It Provides Access to the Care You Need
Many people who do not have health insurance simply don't get the medical care they need. That may be because they're worried about the cost. It may also be because they don't have access to the best resources.
One of the key benefits of health insurance is access to a network of doctors and hospitals. When you have health insurance, you don't need to ignore symptoms or hope they will go away. You can get treated by a doctor or other health care provider right away.
So why do you need health insurance? In a nutshell, having health insurance coverage helps you protect both you and your family's health and financial well-being. With new opportunities to access more affordable insurance, it doesn't make sense to take a risk and go without insurance.