Health Insurance

Why Should I Have Health Insurance?
Health insurance premiums can be expensive, especially if you have to purchase them on your own. However, in the end, having health insurance is most often less expensive than remaining uninsured. If you do not have health insurance, you will have to pay for all of your health care costs out of pocket. When you have insurance, though your premiums may seem expensive, they don't compare to the full cost of major medical procedures.

Medical bills can leave you in debt and may lead to difficulty paying your other bills. Medical coverage for one accident, emergency, or surgery - especially if it involves specialist or follow-up visits - can cause the insurance coverage to pay for itself. The money you save in medical bills is often well worth the up-front costs of the insurance policy. 
Health Risks for the Uninsured
You may think that you don't ever get sick, or that you'll never use the benefits of your insurance. However, medical problems can often be unexpected. Insurance coverage offers peace of mind that bills will not be a primary worry in a time when you should be focusing on your health. 

You are more likely to seek a doctor's care if you know you have insurance coverage to help make it more affordable. Those without insurance are less likely to get regular screenings, or prompt care for conditions that will become more problematic over time. 

According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, "delaying or foregoing needed care can lead to serious health problems, making the uninsured more likely to be hospitalized for avoidable conditions. Overall, the uninsured are also less likely to receive preventive care" (2009). In addition, the benefits of health insurance extend beyond standard medical care. Some health insurance plans offer allowances toward gym memberships. Others offer 24-hour nurse hotlines for after-hours health questions. 
Where Do the Uninsured Get Medical Care?
You may think that if you don't have health insurance, you can just go the emergency room if you need medical care. 

Though this may be the case, using the emergency room as your primary care provider is problematic for several reasons. 

Emergency rooms are overcrowded with uninsured individuals, as ERs are required to provide care for all regardless of insurance status. Doctors, on the other hand, require coverage for all payments so they can submit insurance claims. An influx of uninsured individuals not only leaves those individuals with huge medical bills for their trips to the emergency room, but also reduces ER staff's ability to focus on true emergencies, and increases wait time. 

Having health insurance will give you access to a primary care provider who is a more appropriate provider of regular care than the emergency room. Perhaps more importantly, this doctor will know you and your medical history well, and with your insurance coverage, she can give you regular care at a better value than the emergency room.