In 2018, 46.5 million people in the US had to seek medical attention for preventable injuries. That’s one in every seven people in the country whose injuries were severe enough to warrant a doctor.
Those figures prove how high your odds are of getting into an injury-causing accident. What’s more, treating these injuries can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. A hip fracture, for instance, costs each patient an estimated $40,000 in the first year alone.
One of the benefits of health insurance is that it protects you from such exorbitant costs. It can cover a significant portion of your medical and hospital bills.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health insurance benefits, though. Check out the list below for a more comprehensive look into just how helpful this coverage is.
1: Shelters You From Unexpected (and Exorbitant) Medical Costs
Hip fractures aside, the cost of hospitalization also averages in the thousands. In 2016, for instance, the mean cost of a one-night stay in a non-profit hospital was $2,488. Even just an overnight stay in state or local hospitals back then already cost an average of $2,052!
Now, keep in mind that the figures above are only for basic hospital services. They don’t include specialized treatments for more complex health or medical issues. So, that $2,000 could quickly go up to several, even tens of thousands of dollars per day.
If you don’t have health insurance, you are liable to pay for all these costs with your own money. With such exorbitant rates, the need for hospitalization can quickly drain your savings.
If you don’t have emergency funds, which is the case for 25% of US adults, then you may end up taking out a loan. This, in turn, can give rise to even more expenses as you incur interest on top of your debts.
All that should be enough reason to never go without health insurance. With adequate coverage, you get to avoid sky-high medical and hospital bills. You also get to keep most of your money in your savings account.
2: Provides a Way to Prevent Health Problems
One of the main pros of health insurance is that it covers preventive services. These include screenings, some physician visits, and even vaccines. What’s more, these come as a “free” benefit, so you can get them even if you don’t meet your deductible.
3: Allows for the Early Discovery of Developing Health Conditions
Of the 34 million people in the US who have diabetes, 25% aren’t aware that they have the condition. There are also 88 million US adults who have prediabetes, but nine in 10 of them are oblivious to it.
Many people who have high blood pressure also aren’t aware that they have the condition. Between 2017 and 2018, only 77% of those with hypertension said they knew they had it. This means that almost a quarter of those who have HBP don’t.
Bone diseases and nerve disorders are other conditions that a lot of folks don’t know they have.
Sometimes, the lack of severe symptoms contributes to this lack of awareness. However, in most other cases, it’s because patients themselves don’t see a doctor. Some may have super busy lifestyles, but for the majority, it’s due to the high cost of healthcare in the US.
Health insurance resolves these issues as they cover part of the cost of doctor visits. You may not even have to meet a deductible for some of your initial consultations. Moreover, most policies cover several types of screenings for various diseases.
Getting these services for free or at a lower cost can then encourage you to see a doctor more often. In this way, you and your healthcare provider can monitor any changes to your health. Your physician can also detect and diagnose problems early on.
4: Ensures You Receive Prompt Treatment
If your doctor does discover a problem, your insurance can then help pay for its treatment. Your coverage may also help pay for several medically-necessary laboratory services.
Ambulatory services, or outpatient care, are often an inclusion in health care plans. If you get into an accident, your insurance will also help pay for necessary emergency care. The same goes if you need surgery or hospitalization.
5: Helps Improve Medication Adherence
Keep in mind that medication adherence can make or break the success of treatment. Non-adherence can make a disease worse, which then further raises health care costs.
The thing is, the high cost of medications has led to 40% to 50% of patients not adhering to their prescriptions.
Fortunately, health insurance now provides coverage for prescription medications. There are limits, of course, with most Medicare plans having a cap of $4,020 or having a deductible of up to $435. You can compare Part D plans on Medicare Wire to have a clearer idea of how this coverage works.
The most important thing is that health insurance helps pay for your prescriptions. This, in turn, lets you stick to your doctor’s specific directions of taking your meds.
6: Reduces the Costs of Covered Health Care Services
Not having insurance puts people at serious risk of not being able to afford their medical bills. So much so that uninsured adults are twice as likely to face this hardship than those with insurance.
With that said, having insurance allows you to unlock “discounted” health care rates. For example, as a covered member, you may pay only a portion of the standard cost of a service. An uninsured patient, on the other hand, would have to pay for that total standard price.
Don’t Pass up on These Many Benefits of Health Insurance
There you have it, all the primary benefits of health insurance that you wouldn’t want to pass up. The fact alone that you can get early diagnosis and treatment should be a good enough reason. Besides, it also affords you access to preventive and emergency services.
All these pros should make you want to start comparing health plans as soon as possible.
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