Paying monthly health insurance premiums is not cheap.
Some insurance companies charge up to $1000 a month for a single policy.
This coupled with other out of pocket bills that you will still incur when in need of healthcare, may make you begin questioning whether you need a health insurance cover at all.
Especially if you are young and rarely get sick, you may be tempted to completely go without any form of coverage.
But what would this mean?
Living without a health insurance cover
No law mandates anyone to have health insurance.
You are at liberty to decide whether or not you need to get one. However, healthcare is expensive.
Treating a broken bone will cost you at least $7,000!
A day’s stay in the hospital ward may cost you a whopping $10,000!
The bills can rack up pretty quickly and reach very large amounts.
In this light, not having an insurance policy for your health may look pretty callous.
However, it may be the case, financially speaking, that you simply cannot afford to pay the exorbitant monthly insurance premiums.
What then are your options?
If you have decided not to get an insurance policy, it is high time to make very drastic changes in your lifestyle and spending habits.
Not having an insurance policy means that you will now be paying for medical bills from your pocket.
Planning ahead is therefore imperative.
First, you need to begin budgeting for emergencies.
With nothing but your own resources to draw from for your medical bills, you need to be smart about money.
Start putting money away in an emergency savings fund.
This will come in handy if you ever get severely ill or injured. You do not need to be a millionaire to do this.
You can save as little as $10 a month as long as it is done faithfully and consistently.
Second, prepare for medical emergencies. You will get sick or injured.
Therefore, strategize to deal with this in advance.
Know where the nearest community health center and emergency care facility is.
Plan in advance how to get there in case of an emergency. By doing this, you eliminate the need for an ambulance.
Third, always negotiate medical bills.
As you will be paying medical bills from your pocket, learn to negotiate for discounted rates whenever possible.
If the bill is too large, find out if you can agree on a payment plan with the hospital or if you can get discounts for paying in advance.
Fourth, change your lifestyle habits.
If you want to escape hospital bills, you need to reduce your chances of ending up in a hospital.
Eat healthily, drink lots of water, exercise, do not smoke, and drink in moderation.
In other words, seek to live a healthy life.
The healthier you are, the less likely you are to get ill and end up in the hospital.
Fifth, seek medical care in federally funded hospitals.
Hospitals that accept funding from the federal government are required by law to provide an amount of subsidized or free care.
Find out which hospitals in your locale are federally funded and visit them in case you ever need treatment.
Finally, consider drawing up instructions concerning your healthcare and nominate a health proxy to implement them.
Such are only meant for use in worst-case scenarios for example, if you got a stroke, or some other condition that incapacitates you, or puts you in a coma.
Your family and loved ones may need to foot your medical care expenses.
Keeping in mind that you do not have an insurance cover, they will have to support you from their resources.
This could destroy them financially.
It is therefore prudent to help them by giving them instructions on what decisions they should make about your health.
Getting an affordable insurance policy
Though doable, not having a health insurance policy is a not recommended decision.
In case of a medical emergency, your medical bills could rack up to the thousands.
That said, if you still feel that paying monthly premiums is ridiculously expensive, there are many ways to reduce your costs and maintain the same quality and coverage.
The first and most important way is to shop the market for a reasonably priced insurance cover.
Nowadays, buying and selling are done on the internet.
Many insurance companies advertise their products online.
Therefore, with a little research, you can find an insurance package that is most affordable for you.
Young people below the age of 26 years can still benefit from their parents’ insurance covers.
If you are in this category, you can continue using your parents’ health cover for a few years as you get your finances in order.
Short-term duration plans are also an option for people seeking affordable insurance.
These plans normally offer coverage for a maximum period of a year.
They are very affordable and beat having no insurance cover.
However, it is imperative to note that they are limited.
They do not offer coverage for things such as mental health, cancer, asthma, or pregnancy.
You may also consider a high deductible health plan.
With this plan, you get to pay lower premiums but have to deal with higher deductibles.
This is a great plan for people who do not need to use the hospital as often.
With this plan, it is prudent to open up a health savings account and put money away for a rainy day.
When you are young and healthy not having an insurance policy may seem like a good idea.
Let no one fool you. Insurance cushions you against future unforeseeable risks.
Only because you are well at the moment, doesn’t rule out the risk of being sick or getting hurt.
Seeking medical treatment without insurance is an expensive affair.
The expenses incurred can rack up to the thousands.
Without proper planning, you can easily go bankrupt trying to service a medical debt.
Having an insurance cover ensures that you can pay for these costs with little trouble.
If you simply cannot afford medical insurance, find affordable avenues when seeking medical care like using free clinics.
When your finances are better, seek out a policy that is affordable for you.