Now that December is here, it’s time to start thinking about your health insurance coverage for 2020. Although many companies offer employee benefits like employer health insurance, you may not always have the option to obtain healthcare coverage through your workplace. And in 2017, approximately 8.8% of the U.S. population — or 28.5 million people — didn’t have any healthcare coverage at all. Which begs the question: is health insurance really necessary?

Although insurance companies want to make sure everyone’s covered, you might think that the process is simply too frustrating to deal with or that the costs are too high. It’s easy to assume that these policies aren’t worth the trouble. But in reality, you can’t afford to skip out on being covered. Here’s why.

What Happens if You Don’t Have Health Insurance

  • You might delay necessary care: When you don’t have healthcare coverage, you’re forced to pay for services out-of-pocket. If you’re a young and healthy individual, you might not think that’s such a big deal. But it often means that you’ll put off preventative services like annual appointments with your doctor or your dentist, as well as visits to specialists who could improve your overall quality of life. By prioritizing preventative care, you can alleviate problems early on or eliminate them entirely. Because early detection and ongoing care can literally save lives, avoiding these visits due to cost concerns can put your long-term health in jeopardy. Ultimately, paying something each month for coverage will ensure you’re able to get the professional care you need at a more affordable price.
  • You could suffer lifelong financial consequences: It might seem like you’re saving money by skipping out on insurance coverage, but the costs associated with this decision can be substantial. What’s more, they could potentially alter your financial health for years to come. A medical emergency — like an unexpected hospitalization or even a minor injury — can cost a whole lot more than you’d think. Medical treatment in these situations can cost several thousand dollars. In many cases, medical bills can lead to major debt and even bankruptcy. While healthcare costs need to be addressed in order to make treatment accessible to all Americans, having insurance will help to mitigate these costs in a major way. In fact, many policies have caps to ensure medical events like these won’t result in financial disaster. If you have insurance coverage, you’ll keep costs manageable in both the short and long term.
  • You may realize your mistake too late: Currently, our healthcare system has strict rules about when you can sign up for policies. While it’s possible to purchase a plan mid-year if you lose your employer-sponsored coverage, you’ll otherwise need to solidify your plans during the open enrollment period each year. From now until December 15, you can choose your healthcare plan. But if you wait until after that time to decide, you may be out of luck (unless you qualify for a special enrollment period) for the next year. That’s a long time to wait for essential services — and a lot can happen in 12 months. Even if you’re relatively healthy now, you might need certain treatment in the spring that you couldn’t have anticipated. By working with an insurance company to enroll in a plan now, you can obtain peace of mind for whatever the future brings.

It might be tempting to dismiss the need for healthcare coverage, but the reality is that you need — and deserve — this financial protection. By paying a premium each month, you’ll make healthcare costs more feasible throughout the year and ensure you have access to the treatments you need. For more information, please contact us today.