UPDATED: AUGUST 08, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
As a young and healthy person, you might think health insurance is unnecessary. However, regardless of age and health, unexpected health issues and accidents can happen to anyone. This article will discuss why health insurance is essential, even if you’re young and healthy.
The benefits of health insurance
While it’s true that health insurance is an expense that some feel is unnecessary, it can actually cost less than getting the healthcare you need without insurance. Not to mention, people with health insurance are more inclined to visit the doctor for routine visits, preventive care, and tests. It allows for a healthier lifestyle and finding and treating health issues early.
Having health insurance can provide numerous benefits, such as:
- Access to preventive care and screenings to detect health issues early
- Coverage for unexpected medical emergencies and accidents
- Protection from high medical costs that can quickly accumulate
- Peace of mind knowing that you have coverage in case of unexpected health events
The importance of preventive care when you’re young and healthy
Preventive care, such as regular check-ups and screenings, can help find health issues before they become more serious and expensive. With health insurance, you can access preventive care services without paying out-of-pocket costs, making it more likely that you will take advantage of these services.
Preventive care services covered by health insurance can include:
- Annual physical exams
- Cancer screenings
- Routine blood tests
- Blood pressure and cholesterol testing
Protection from unexpected medical emergencies
Even if you are young and healthy, unexpected medical emergencies and accidents can happen anytime. Without health insurance, the cost of treatment for these events can be overwhelming and quickly accumulate, potentially leading to financial hardship.
Health insurance guards you from unexpected medical events, including hospital stays, surgeries, and emergency room visits. This coverage can provide financial protection and help you avoid high medical costs.
A bulleted list of medical services covered by health insurance can include:
- Hospital stays
- Emergency room visits
- Ambulance transportation
- Office Visits
- Diagnostic tests
Tips for selecting the right health insurance plan
When selecting a health insurance plan, it’s critical to consider factors such as:
- Monthly premiums
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Network of healthcare providers
Evaluating these items can help ensure you have a health insurance plan that fits your needs and budget. A cheap plan may not be the best if you can’t afford the costs of seeking treatment and care. So finding something that checks all the boxes for your needs is vital.
Monthly premiums are the amount you pay to maintain your health insurance coverage. Generally, plans with lower monthly premiums have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, while plans with higher monthly premiums have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs
Deductibles are the amount you pay before your health insurance coverage begins. These deductibles will vary depending on your chosen plan, and the higher the deductible, the lower your premium will likely be.
Network of healthcare providers
Some health insurance plans have a network of healthcare providers that you can choose from. If you have a preferred doctor or hospital, ensure they’re in the plan’s network. If not, you may need to pay more to receive care from an out-of-network provider.
Healthcare statistics for young Americans
According to a study from the US Census, in 2019, young Americans between 19 and 34 made up the largest demographic of uninsured Americans. Young adults between 19 and 25 had an uninsured rate of 14.9%, while 26 to 34-year-olds were at 16.1%
Young Americans have the lowest rate of access to group insurance coverage
When young adults enter the workforce, they often find themselves in entry-level, part-time, or small business jobs that do not offer health insurance as a benefit. As a result, the rate of uninsured young adults who are employed is one-third higher compared to older employed adults.
How does a lack of health insurance put the health and finances of young adults at risk?
Despite the misconception that young individuals don’t require health insurance, statistics reveal that one in six young adults suffers from chronic ailments such as asthma, diabetes, or cancer. Additionally, nearly 50% of uninsured young adults face difficulty paying their medical bills.
Why is health insurance important even if you’re young and healthy?
Yes, having health insurance is essential, even if you’re young and healthy. Accidents and illnesses can happen anytime, and medical expenses can quickly add up. Health insurance can protect you from high medical bills and ensure that you have access to necessary medical care.
Can I stay on my parent’s health insurance if I’m under 26?
Yes, the Affordable Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they turn 26.
What types of health insurance plans are available for young adults?
Various types of health insurance plans are available for young adults, including individual plans purchased through the Healthcare Marketplace, employer-sponsored plans, and short-term health insurance plans. It’s important to compare your options and choose a plan that fits your needs and budget.
What is a deductible, and how does it work?
A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your health insurance covers your medical expenses. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and receive medical treatment that costs $1,500, you would pay $1,000, and your insurance would cover its portion of the remaining $500.
Are there any tax benefits for having health insurance?
Yes, there are tax benefits for having health insurance. You may be eligible for a premium tax credit if you purchase insurance through the healthcare Marketplace. You can deduct your health insurance premiums from your taxes if you are self-employed.
Even if you are young and healthy, health insurance is essential to protect yourself from unexpected health events and access healthcare services. Review health insurance plans in your area by considering factors such as monthly premiums.
Medigap.com extracted and analyzed data from the following to provide data in this article.
- “Why get Health Insurance Coverage if you are under 30” (Healthcare.gov)
- “Why Health Insurance Matters – Coverage Matters” (National Institute of Health)
- “Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act” (CMS)
- Complete Guide on All Types of Health Insurance Plans
- What to Know When Shopping for Health Insurance
- Are High Deductible Plans Good or Bad
- How Many Uninsured Americans Are There?
- Your Complete Guide on Fixed Indemnity Plans