Why health insurance may be more important than you think-2023


 If you are healthy, you may think that health insurance is not necessary. Here are some reasons to reconsider.

When we think about the importance of health insurance, our mind often goes to the worst case scenario. Insurance is of course essential in case of serious injury or illness. A broken leg can cost $7,500 to fix, and a three-day hospital stay will cost you $30,000. The price only goes up for more serious illnesses like cancer – care can often run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

High medical bills are the number one reason Americans are considering cashing out of retirement or filing for bankruptcy. Avoiding that kind of financial risk is reason enough to make sure you have adequate health insurance, but that's only part of the story.

Health insurance makes treatment cheaper

When you take out health insurance, you start to benefit immediately. Even if your plan has a deductible — the out-of-pocket amount you have to pay before your coverage fully kicks in — you'll pay significantly less for office visits than you would without insurance, provided the health care providers you see are in your range. Sew. Some plans also offer reduced-cost generic drugs and free disease management programs. Plus, health insurance can put you in a better position to prevent or catch difficult—and often costly—diseases early.

Preventative care helps you stay healthy

All plans purchased through Covered California include free preventive care, such as annual exams and vaccinations. Treatment of chronic diseases is also covered, and other health screenings, such as blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and depression, are also free. Even if you eat right, exercise and are currently healthy, the risk of an accident or illness is always present. Health insurance can be the difference between treating a health problem and not treating it before it causes long-term damage.

Consider the story of Kim from Atwater, California. After losing her husband to colon cancer, Kim felt compelled to get screened — but she wasn't insured and couldn't afford to pay out of pocket. After signing up for a health plan through Covered California, Kim was able to undergo a colonoscopy and discovered she had an aggressive form of cancer. Through this early screening, Kim was able to get the surgery she needed before the cancer spread. "I consider myself one of the lucky cancer survivors," she says.

You can get financial help and avoid penalties

By 2020, a state mandate requires California residents to have health insurance. Californians who fail to do so and do not qualify for a waiver will be charged at least $850 for each adult and $425 for each dependent under 18. These amounts are for the 2022 tax year and may change from year to year. The good news is that financial assistance can lower the cost of health insurance for more people than ever before. Check out Covered California's interactive calculator to find out if you qualify.

Peace of mind

When you buy a health plan through Covered California, you have confidence in your coverage. All California health insurance plans include lab services, prescription drugs, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental and behavioral health, emergency services, and several other important health benefits.

Confidence gives you comfort and allows you to live life to the fullest. No one is immune to accidents, no matter how young or healthy you are. Being covered allows you to do the things you want without burdening you with the hassles and costs you want.

Between the penalties for not having health insurance and the risk of unexpected medical expenses, not having coverage puts more of a burden on you and your family financially than having health insurance. Don't use insurance to protect your health and financial future.

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