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Seven Reasons Young People Need Health Insurance

As a young person, you are probably enjoying excellent health and boundless confidence about your future.  You may believe that obtaining health insurance is a waste of money, but before you forgo this important financial safeguard, you should consider some issues like what might happen if you have a major injury or illness. If such a dire emergency were to strike you, you might lose your savings or your home; more importantly, without a means to pay for treatment, you could lose your good health or even your life.

There are many reasons why getting health insurance is important, but here are the top seven.

  1. Outrageous medical bills—most people don’t really understand that medical care is extremely expensive these days.  If you are injured and need hospitalization, a three-day stay can cost you upwards of $30,000. Even a simple injury like a broken leg can cost more than $7,500, and if you don’t have insurance, then you will be completely responsible for paying these bills yourself. You may not believe that getting a health plan is affordable now, but the cost of not getting insurance is likely to be much, much worse.  In other words, don’t gamble with your health or your financial future; you will eventually lose.
  2. Serious financial consequences—if you do encounter an injury or illness without health insurance, then you could be facing years of financial difficulty.  More than 1.7 million Americans declare bankruptcy each year because of medical bills, and 56 million will struggle with paying off medical bills. If you declare bankruptcy, you may lose your savings or property, and you may have limited access to credit for years.  This will make buying a home or car, or, even, getting a job much more difficult. 
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  3. Remain in peak health—your health is one of your most precious possessions.  Not only is it the foundation for an enjoyable life, but it affects almost every aspect of your existence including your career, your social relationships and your family. While you may take your health for granted when you are young, you may not realize just how fragile it is.  A simple thing like a car accident could vastly damage your health; without access to affordable health care, you could suffer from such injuries much longer than you should. The odds are that you will encounter a major health crisis—it is just a matter of when.  If you are not vigilant, a health crisis that could have been stopped early and at a much lower cost, could make your life much shorter or more unpleasant. Furthermore, you should maintain your health as much as possible; poor health or a pre-existing health condition could disqualify you from enrolling in a health plan later in life.
  4. Preventive care—you may not realize that health coverage now includes Essential Health Benefits like blood pressure screening, diabetes screening and many immunization vaccines.  These preventive care services come completely free with every health insurance policy, and they can help identify any potential health issues. In addition to getting free preventive care, you get a free annual checkup and access to low cost medical care that can help detect health problems that could grow into much more serious issues and detriment your quality of life. Getting health coverage when you are young can help you protect and maintain your health for decades to come.
  5. Peace of mind—although you may not recognize it, the stress of living a life ripe with the risk of a major health and financial catastrophe is probably taking its toll on your peace of mind.  In one important scientific study, it was found that people who had health insurance actually enjoyed less depression and better mental health. The study examined Oregon residents who enrolled in Medicaid compared to those who didn’t, and it found that the relief from having access to affordable medical care produced a 9 percentage point decrease in depression among the population with health coverage.

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  6. Avoid paying a financial penalty—under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, all American taxpayers must purchase health insurance as an individual or through an employer health plan to avoid being financially penalized.  Under this Individual Mandate, if you don’t have health insurance during 2017, you must pay $695 per adult or $347.50 per minor, or 2.5 percent of your household income, whichever is higher.  You may qualify for an exemption if you have income below the federal poverty level, otherwise, you must pay this penalty when you file your annual income tax.
  7. Young people qualify for special plans—another perk of being a young American is that the federal government has designed health plans especially for you. As an incentive to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the government created “Catastrophic Plans.”  These special plans are only for people under the age of 30 and have very low premiums.  Although these Obamacare plans do not qualify for government subsidies, most young people can easily pay the low cost. These low cost plans provide Essential Health Benefits, three annual primary care visits and coverage against a catastrophic injury or illness, but do have a substantial annual deductible of $7,150. 

You should enjoy your life while you are young, but, hopefully, not at the expense of your future.  It is merely prudent that you should stay as healthy as possible for as long as you can.  Some of the best ways to do this is watch what you eat, exercise regularly, visit a physician at least once a year, and enroll in a top quality health plan.  With this financial protection, you can ensure that you will get the appropriate medical care you need when you need it.  If the unexpected should happen, you can be confident that your finances will remain solid.

To learn more about health plans for young people, please visit Boost Health Insurance.

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