Health Insurance: A Crucial Safety Net

Health Insurance_ A Crucial Safety Net - Caroline Niles (1)Health insurance is expensive … but, not having it can be catastrophic, both financially and physically.

Group health insurance premium costs have steadily risen year to year for both employers and employees.  However, by paying your insurance premiums, you are managing a potentially major financial risk to you and your family.

A study performed by Harvard found that almost two thirds of personal bankruptcy filings are due to the inability to pay medical expenses.  This is the #1 reason for personal bankruptcies in the United States.

This is no surprise, considering the cost of many major surgeries, lifesaving prescriptions, and the financial burden of managing chronic conditions.  On average, people in the United States spend over $9,000 per year on medical care.  Managing our health is, at its very core, the most vital thing that we can do for ourselves and our families.  Knowing that you have a safety net to help you achieve this goal is both financially and emotionally reassuring.

Unfortunately, medical emergencies happen – unexpectedly.  Your first thought might be “How do I handle this?” and not “Will this ruin me financially?”  Being able to seek the care that you or your family member need is why you pay health insurance premiums each month.

The average cost of an in-patient hospital stay is around $10,000.  In North Carolina, routine childbirth averages $6,000 and C-sections are over $8,000.  Mending a broken leg averages $7,500.  Cancer care can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Humira, which is a popular biologic used to treat arthritis, can cost over $5,000 per month. Healthcare costs can quickly add up.

By adding your yearly health insurance premium amount to your out-of-pocket maximum, you can see the most you will pay in covered healthcare services in any given year.  This makes the monthly cost of health insurance seem very affordable compared to the alternative.

When you purchase medical coverage and are healthy enough to rarely use it, it is easy to question spending money on something seemingly not worth it.  Those of us who have a chronic condition, have a sick child, or have encountered a catastrophic emergency are grateful to have a safeguard that allows us to provide the care needed for ourselves and our families.  No one wishes to be unhealthy, but medical insurance is a safety net designed to catch you if you do need medical care.  And if faced with a medical tragedy, health insurance is a layer of financial protection that you will be so grateful to have.