Pros and Cons of Health Insurance

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Health insurance is an important coverage to have. Although most see health insurance as a necessity as adequate coverage can lead to a healthier life, many cannot afford it. Skyrocketing premiums, doctor bills, and prescription drugs prices have led to millions of people unable to purchase health coverage. Every year, health care reform is one of the top arguments in the country, and it seems like more Americans are choosing between having insurance living with the dangers of not having it.

Types

There are two main types of health insurance, managed care and fee for service or indemnity plans. Indemnity health insurance is a plan that reimburses you for your payments. Three types of indemnity plans either pay you 100 percent of your costs, partial costs or by each day you receive health care up to a maximum amount of days. Managed care plans use a network of doctors to provide care and keep the costs low. HMO, POS and PPOs are different types of managed care plans. Another way people are paying for their health care is the use of a Health Savings Account or HSA. The funds in the account are tax free like an IRA, but the account holder can access the funds to pay for medical expenses. There are also government health plans such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Pros

Having health insurance gives you the opportunity to maintain or improve your health by providing a low cost way to attend physician visits and buying affordable prescription drugs if needed. Some plans are flexible as you can customize them to keep it affordable by eliminating services you don’t need. If you become seriously ill or injured, your health plan will cover emergency and some or all of your surgery bills. It also gives people a peace of mind knowing that they have access to medical attention and are able to live life without worry.

Cons

The high premiums of individual health plans can make insurance unaffordable. The policy can be confusing with wordy disclaimers, options and waiver information. Some of the less expensive insurance plans have limitations on office visits, high deductible amounts, and a predetermined doctor network. Also there is a concern if your plan doesn’t cover the illness or surgery you need, or it doesn’t cover enough of the bill you would have to pay the remaining balance. And in certain instances, you may apply and be denied coverage altogether.

Significance

As of 2007, nearly 46 million Americans are without some form of health insurance. Without insurance, many cannot afford to seek medical attention for simple ailments that over time can manifest to more serious problems. Expensive medical bills become delinquent and unpaid, which drives up the costs of doctor and emergency visits. Those who have or develop severe complications because of the lack of medical attention become unable to get covered in the future because of that.

Warning

Although premiums can be expensive and many with excellent health don’t see a reason to pay for something they rarely use, it is a huge risk to not carry some type of health insurance. At any moment, a sickness or an accident causing injury can create a huge financial burden if the costs escalate. Also not going for yearly physicals can derail any hopes of preventing or curing diseases that can be caught with early detection.

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