The Cost of Not Having Health Insurance

Maintaining a health insurance policy became mandated by the Affordable Care Act, informally referred to as Obamacare, in 2014. While many consumers understand the value of health insurance benefits, many young adults who are young and healthy question why they need to purchase coverage. After all, nobody intends to get sick or hurt—and a policy can seem quite expensive.

But health insurance provides major assistance in covering costs for medical care, which can total into the tens of thousands.

There are other reasons why you shouldn’t go without a policy.

TAX PENALTY

Most consumers who have the financial standing to afford health insurance may face a penalty when they file their taxes. For 2016, the cost has increased to $695 per adult or 2.5% of annual income, whichever is greater.

FINANCIAL COLLAPSE

It’s easy to underestimate just how much medical care costs. A broken leg could cost up to $7,500 to fix. A 3-day hospital stay, on average, will total around $30,000. And receiving cancer care can actually run into the hundreds of thousands. So the sudden onset of an illness or a traumatic event can lead to impossible medical bills, which is a common reason people file for personal bankruptcy.

NO ACCESS TO PRIMARY/PREVENTIVE CARE

The ACA requires that insurers cover annual checkups and preventive care (e.g. vaccinations) without a copay. This type of care helps you stay healthy by identifying potential health problems before they begin to affect you. This keeps treatment easier and less expensive.

Now you have a better understanding of the costs, both financial and personal, of not paying for a health insurance policy. So what’s the next step?

How a Health Insurance Agency Can Help

The health insurance exchange, whether state-based or the federal marketplace, can be a confusing place to navigate. Metallic level plans, deductibles, copays, premiums, subsidies—what are all of these terms? You may not be sure. And you’re not alone.

That’s the role an agent can fulfill: help you understand the marketplace. They can help you locate a plan that best fits your needs, then determine your eligibility for tax credits and subsidies to offset out-of-pocket costs and premiums.