Times are tough for lots of Americans. It’s not always easy to pay the bills each month, let alone have enough left over for a splurge or two.
That’s particularly true for millennials and those in Generation X, who may have had trouble simply finding their current job or are just starting on their career path.
When times are tight, it’s tempting to avoid financial commitments that seem unnecessary at the time – like health insurance. After all, even a healthy person in their 20s could have to pay several hundred dollars a month (or more) for coverage.
It’s true that there’s a tax penalty under Obamacare for not being insured, but it’s not a lot of money for those who don’t earn much, the government doesn’t really enforce the penalty, and the future of Obamacare is very much in question.
That all adds up to a fairly easy decision for those who put off buying health insurance for a year, or two, or longer.
It’s also a very bad decision. Let’s see why.
That’s Why They Call It Insurance
Younger, healthy individuals often go through an entire year without seeing a doctor, or with just a visit to a “doc in a box” to get some antibiotics for an infection. In the latter case, out-of-pocket costs for the visit and the medication will certainly cost far less than a year’s worth of health insurance, even the help of with government subsidies.
But you don’t purchase coverage to pay for a single doctor’s visit or prescription. The whole purpose of health insurance is to make sure you don’t have to go into debt or go bankrupt if something unexpected happens. It’s no secret that just one day in the hospital can cost $10,000 or more, but most healthy people in their 20s, 30s or even 40s never foresee something like that happening. Younger ones may still see themselves as “invincible” as teenagers do.
It doesn’t take much for things to take a dramatic turn, though, and we’re not just talking about contracting an unexpected and serious disease. A skateboard accident, getting sideswiped by a car while riding a bike, tearing an ACL while playing softball – medical costs can come out of nowhere.
Now, consider this. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that one out of every ten people between the ages of 25 and 34 will rack up hospital bills higher than $13,000. And one out of twenty will be faced with hospital bills of $27,000 or more.
So even for the young, the choice to go without health insurance is taking a big chance. It’s even a bigger gamble for women of childbearing age; the March of Dimes estimates that medical costs associated with pregnancy and delivery average nearly $9000 per child.
In either case, today’s lower-level health insurance plans are a bargain.
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to that question. It all depends on the type of plan you choose, since premiums, deductibles and copayments vary over an incredibly large range. But “catastrophic” plans that cover the type of major expenses we’ve discussed are surprisingly inexpensive considering the protection they provide.
That’s why Candor is your ideal health care companion. Our state-of-the art website tools walk you through the entire process of selecting plans that meet your specific needs, and then let you compare them side-by-side.
You owe it to yourself to at least see how little it can cost to insure yourself against being blindsided by life-changing, unexpected medical costs.
And if you still decide that health insurance isn’t necessary at your age, ask yourself one question: “How lucky do you feel?”