You have heard the stories, they all end the same. A young family is embarking on a new future together. Part-time jobs help the young couple afford to go to school and afford rent in their new apartment. They are bogged down with homework and their jobs, but still happy to be with each other. Good news! The young wife is pregnant. Bad news: they did not have health insurance. It could cost a few thousand dollars for an in and out birth, but complications during the birth landed their newborn baby in the newborn intensive care unite (NICU) for a week. Now the charges are up to $30,000; more money than the young family could ever dream of paying back. Both husband and wife have to drop out of school; the wife to take of the new baby because daycare is too expensive, the husband so he can work full-time to provide for his family. But without his education he does not get paid as much as his educated competitors. The husband is overworked trying to work extra to give the new baby the care it needs and to pay off their astronomical hospital bills.
Why health insurance is necessary
Ok, so this exact story is not real, but there a thousands, if not millions, similar to this. A family or individual crushed under the burden of having to pay back thousands of dollars back for medical expenses. And all because they did not have health insurance. Health care costs are on the rise.
In 2009, bankruptcies skyrocketed as 1.4 million Americans declared bankruptcy. Some relinquishing all of their assets to absolve all of their debts, and some are declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning they can keep some of their assets if they sign up for a debt repayment plan. Declaring bankruptcy has serious effects on your credit and can prevent you from getting loans in the future.
While bankruptcy is a worst case scenario, extra debt can be financially devastating. Other debt can be avoided like credit card debt and car payments for your extra car but when you need to go to the hospital, you need to go to the hospital.
Not having health insurance can also be dangerous to your health. Most people who do not have health insurance will delay going to the doctor to get the medical help they need. With many conditions, delaying medical help can have serious complications and can even be terminal. You are more likely to see a doctor for a little problem if you have health insurance. If you do not have health insurance and avoid the doctor, your little problem could turn into a big one. And those who do not have health insurance tend to go to the emergency room. Emergency room costs can be up to $1,000 on average, which is a pretty big chunk of cash for the average American.
It has been going around. That post winter cold. If you think you can avoid it, good luck. Because it is making the rounds. I was the unfortunate recipient of the cold, as it derailed my entire weekend plans (and part of my work day yesterday). Without all of the gunky details, I can tell you I was not the only one in my office that got it.
Germs are easily spread in an office space. Think about it: you spend the majority of your waking hours during the week with your co-workers. With small working spaces, it is like a Petri dish.
As the germ spread from each cubicle, horror stories of other’s painful colds were spread around as quickly as the actual cold itself. Well, the stories gradually grew from sniffley noses and sore throats to whooping cough and croup. A man was diagnosed with adult whooping cough. Whooping cough was something I thought was practically prehistoric, only those from yesteryear remember those who had whooping cough.
The only solution? A heavy round of antibiotics. For those who do not know, antibiotics are prescription only, prescribed by your physician. So for this gentlemen to get rid of his whooping cough (yikes), he had to see his doctor. Thankfully my cough has been minuscule so I won’t have to venture out and meet with my doctor. But if I had to, I could. It made me think about a year ago, a time when I did not have health insurance and paying for the whole doctor’s visit would have been devastating. It really put into perspective why health insurance is necessary.
What is health insurance necessary?
It is bad for your health. Like I have mentioned before, there was a time when I was a student. With most of my income going toward tuition, we made cuts where we could. And health insurance was cut. Without health insurance we were much more careful about our health decisions. It never got to that point, but we would have to wait until we were really sick to warrant a trip to the doctor. Is that bad? What is the harm in trying to save some extra cash? Some illnesses can be manageable if caught early, but can run rampant if not treated. So while your cough might be manageable now, it could quickly turn into whooping cough, which could turn into a much bigger problem. Studies show that those without health insurance are less likely to visit a doctor when they are sick. Now that is bad for your health.
Now when those without health insurance finally break down and visit the doctor when they are beyond sick, the bill comes. The fee for a regular visit to the doctor can be up towards $100. And that is if they do not have to conduct any tests. From there the fee gets higher and higher. Many families in the United States cite medical bills as their main reason for filing for bankruptcy.
While it might seem like you are saving money by cutting out health insurance, know that it is more expensive when faced with a medical crisis.