The younger we are the more we tend to think that we are invincible and do not need health insurance. Cancer, broken bones, and weird illnesses with names that we can’t pronounce are all things that happen to other people and never to us—right? Wrong!
Probability of Developing Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society and their studies showcasing the probability of developing invasive cancers over selected age intervals there is a one in 70 chance of developing cancer before the age of 39 for men and a one in 48 chance for women. If we stretch it out even further then over ones entire lifetime there is a one in two chance of developing cancer for a male and a one in three chance for a female.
If the above statistics don’t scare you and shock you to some degree then consider that these are just cancer statistics! There are any other myriad number of different things that can and often do go wrong from a simple broken bone in a sports injury to an illness that you had never even heard of until the doctor sits you down to give you the diagnosis.
I’m not just rattling off these statistics to paint a doom and gloom picture, but to set the stage for three reasons I believe you need adequate health insurance benefits.
My Three Reasons
- Very bad medical problems can and do happen to many of us—maybe even you.
- Those very bad medical problems can be very expensive and potentially ruin one’s financial future if they do not have adequate health insurance.
- It is a smart thing to purchase comprehensive health insurance coverage to protect not only your health but also your financial future.
The Cost of Common Health Procedures
According to ChangeHealthcare.com the cost of these common procedures at Tampa General Hospital close by where I live is somewhere in these ranges (keep in mind that these cost estimates are just for the hospital fees and does not include medications, extra tests, Doctors fees, etc.
I know from personal experience after talking with a friend of mine that after he developed leukemia the cost of his prescriptions alone would have been somewhere in the $3,500/month range without his health insurance. Stories like his are good stories to tell because he actually had health insurance coverage, where as the owner of an agency that sells Florida health insurance I could tell you many other stories from the flip side of people that ran their finances into the ground because they did not have adequate health insurance coverage):
- Heart Attack: $37,650 to $41,17
- Fracture of Upper Leg (Femur): $22,648 to $24,771
- Lung Disease: $49,963 to $51,366
Again, the cost estimates above are just the basic hospital average costs for Tampa General Hospital and do not include many of the associated fees that are involved.
Buy Health Insurance Before You Need It
Many people are of the mistaken belief that they should just wait until they develop a major illness before they buy health insurance. This kind of thinking is akin to someone who totals their car without having any car insurance and then goes to an auto insurance agent and attempts to buy collision coverage for their already totaled vehicle and expects the insurance company to pay for the damages to their car. The most responsible thing that you can do when it comes to caring for you and your family’s health (and securing your financial future) is to make sure that you have adequate health insurance at all times – before you may need it (and hopefully you never even need to use it!)
Compare Health Insurance Providers
If you have financial goals like buying a first home, getting out of debt, or any other number of great things then take the time to do some comparison shopping to find not only a cheap health insurance plan but one that will act as a safety net to protect your financial goals from the financial ruin that a uninsured medical bill could bring. Just like it is common knowledge that you can save money by doing a car insurance comparison every so often it is not as widely known but just as effective to shop around and compare health insurance providers in order to find an affordable plan.
Stick with large and trusted companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, etc. and stay away from discount health plans that masquerade as true health insurance but in reality are just hyped up coupon cards that leave you out in the cold with little to no coverage should you ever get hit with a large medical bill.
Do your homework to shop around and then choose a comprehensive major medical health insurance plan from a trusted nationwide company to make sure that your health care and financial future has an adequate safety net should the unfortunate happen.
Joel Ohman is a Certified Financial Planner and President of 360 Quote, LLC. He is a serial entrepreneur and is currently spearheading several successful consumer comparison websites including Credit Card Chaser and Health Insurance Providers.
Photo Credit: The Doctr