Health insurance isn’t usually at the top of your must-have list when you’re young, healthy, and just starting your adult life. But it should be.
Health insurance gives you peace of mind that if you’re injured or sick, a trip to the doctor or hospital won’t bankrupt you.
If you’re still on the fence about buying medical insurance, here are four other reasons you still need health insurance, even if you’re young and healthy.
1. Accidents Can and Do Happen – And They Can be Expensive
You can’t predict the future. Accidents can happen anytime, whether it’s a car accident, fall or sports injury.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidents account for 45% of deaths of people aged 20-24. However, injuries are far more common, and they can be costly.
Without health insurance, you’ll be left to foot the bill if you’re hurt in an accident. The mean cost of hospital stays in 2016 was $11,700, and prices have increased over the last five years. Unfortunately, few people are financially prepared for such high costs of care.
2. Insurance Plans Can Help You Stay Healthy
Health insurance isn’t only there for when you’re sick or injured. Many preventive services are also covered by insurance, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Routine screenings and checkups may identify health issues early on, allowing you to take action before they progress into something more serious. Regular screenings and health exams can help detect:
- High blood pressure
- Colon cancer
- Lung cancer
- High cholesterol
- Depression, and more
Having health insurance when you’re young and healthy can help you stay young and healthy.
3. Insurance May Be More Affordable Than You Think
Many young adults put off buying health insurance because they assume they can’t afford it. Right now, you’re just getting started in life, and you may already be stretching your budget thin.
However, health insurance may be more affordable than you think, especially if you truly are healthy. Additionally, tax credits and subsidies can help lower premium or out-of-pocket costs.
4. You Have Peace of Mind That You’re Covered
When you’re young and healthy, it’s hard to imagine being sick or injured. But it can happen. Having health insurance will give you peace of mind that if the worst should happen, you’re covered.
A simple broken leg or a multi-day stay at the hospital can cost thousands of dollars without health insurance. Without insurance coverage, you could find yourself responsible for paying the entire bill out of pocket.
Data shows that 66.5% of bankruptcies in the U.S. are because of medical bills. More than 500,000 families file for bankruptcy each year because they cannot afford the cost of medical care. Having health insurance can help prevent this worst-case scenario, and may help protect your financial future should you be faced with a medical emergency.
Even if you’re young and healthy, you never know what tomorrow holds. Illness can strike at any time. Without health insurance, you may find yourself struggling to cover the cost of treatment.