Uninsured Premiums – The Costliest Problem For Consumers Without Health Insurance
There really is no rule or law regarding not having health insurance, as long as you can afford to pay the premium. Health insurance is a good idea, and everyone needs it, but not everyone has health insurance, and it’s expensive. The taxes on people without health insurance were eliminated at the federal level recently, so now there’s no longer any fine for not having health insurance, but you still face dangers when you go uninsured even if you take advantage of the fact that you can afford to pay the premiums.
When you’re uninsured, you face a myriad of dangers, the most obvious being that you might get seriously ill and thus require emergency medical care, which won’t be covered by your health insurance. It could be something as simple as an allergic reaction to laundry detergent or a broken bone. It could turn out to be something serious like cancer or heart disease, or even some catastrophic disease like HIV/AIDS. If you get sick during a time when you’re not insured, you’ll be deeply in trouble financially.
For people who have no health insurance, the choice is very clear. You either get out of the house and get hospitalized, or you qualify for Medicaid, the state’s Medicaid program, which provides low-cost hospitalization and nursing care, and which will cover most, if not all, of the medical expense you’d incur if you became ill. You must meet certain income requirements, though, and may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement Medicare coverage. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, though, you face a bleak future, since the only other way you can afford health insurance these days is to buy a high-deductible, high-risk policy, which carries a very high deductible.
If you don’t buy health insurance by January 2021, you face a very bleak financial future, as your premiums will skyrocket and your out-of-pocket expenses will rise. If you do qualify for Medicare, the cost is likely to be far higher than the $1300 per month you’re going to be paying if you don’t have any Medicare coverage. So you’re really going to have to make a choice, and make it quickly. Don’t wait. Start shopping for a policy today.
There are other options for those who simply don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Some states have created high-risk pools to address this problem. These high-risk pools contain hospitals and doctors who accept a very low percentage of patients with serious health problems. If you fall into the low-risk pool, you’ll pay significantly lower premiums than if you’re considered a higher risk by another agency. As long as you’ve completed the application process and are otherwise healthy, you should be able to join.
There are also state-created or federal-administered high-risk pools that cover children, pregnant women, or people with past drug or alcohol addiction problems. Again, you will likely pay much less in premiums if you fit within these guidelines. The rules and eligibility criteria differ from state to state. So check with your state’s department of insurance. You may also qualify for federal health insurance, although the final decision depends on your income, health history, and claims history.
Some people worry about the tax penalty for not going uninsured. In short, there really isn’t a tax penalty. However, if you don’t have health insurance when you go uninsured, you may end up owing a large tax debt when the time comes to file your taxes. That’s why you should go through the process as quickly as possible. The fastest way to get a federal level of health insurance is to enroll in a high-risk health plan in your state or county.
There is one other thing to keep in mind when you consider going without health insurance: the mandate penalty. If you are found to be uninsured after going without coverage for a year, you could be hit with a premium penalty. For the first time, you will pay more than the minimum monthly premium. This will give you some idea of how much you will have to fork over should you decide not to go on your policy. Even though the penalty for being without insurance is high, it is still worth it to be covered if something happens to you or a family member.