What Happens If You Don't Have Any Health Insurance?

Hospital patient holding hands with visitor

Americans are required to carry health insurance under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). Originally, the ACA called for a penalty (known as a shared responsibility payment) for people who did not have health insurance, enforceable on the federal level. This portion of the ACA was repealed in 2019, and the authority to enforce health insurance requirements was transferred to the states. Depending on where you live, you may still be required to pay a fee for not having health insurance when you file your state taxes.

Not Having Health Insurance Can Lead To Huge Financial Burdens

Healthcare today is costly! An unexpected medical emergency, such as a broken leg or appendicitis, could bankrupt some individuals who don’t have health insurance. Fixing a broken leg can cost up to $7,500, as stated on HealthCare.gov. Cancer care can run hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of the average three-day hospital stay is approximately $30,000.

If you have a medical emergency, many hospitals will work with you on a payment plan. But even if you are only making the minimum payments, it may be more than you can afford. If you do manage to make the payments, it could take you many years to pay off the debt and affect your credit in the meantime.

Without Health Insurance, You Are Less Likely To Have Preventative Care

Health insurance makes it easier and more affordable to get the preventative care you need, which can help you avoid more costly procedures in the future. Having annual physical exams can help identify unknown medical problems, so they can be treated early to help prevent the condition from deteriorating. Getting prompt medical treatment for minor problems, such as a sinus or ear infection, can help prevent serious complications from developing, which may be far more costly in the long run.

Are There Affordable Health Insurance Options?

There are a number of ways to obtain affordable health insurance today. Consider the following options:

  • If you are under the age of 26, you may be eligible for coverage under your parents’ health insurance plan.
  • Many employers offer health insurance as part of their employee benefits package.
  • High-deductible health plans (HDHPs), with higher deductibles, are available for lower monthly premiums. An HDHP can be combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA), in which you save money to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free earnings.
  • Go to your state’s health insurance exchange. This may be your most affordable option for a health insurance plan.

With the cost of healthcare today, having health insurance is not only required by law – it is a financial necessity. Without it, one medical emergency could cost you many thousands of dollars and lead to financial ruin. Not having health insurance makes it difficult to get the preventative care you need on an ongoing basis. Our experienced agent will be happy to help you find an affordable health insurance plan that suits your needs. Call us any time to schedule a meeting.