6 Primary Reasons Why Individuals Purchase Medical Insurance
Thinking about going without some form of medical insurance? Aside from the severe financial consequences of incurring a pile of medical bills with no insurance to help pay them, not having a medical insurance plan could significantly impact your ability to obtain quality healthcare and recover from an illness or accident. The list below represents the top six reasons why most individuals secure some form of medical insurance.
1. Entry to the healthcare system – when you purchase a medical insurance plan you receive an identification card. This ID card enables you to access healthcare providers and obtain medical treatment relatively quickly. While uninsured individuals often seek medical care in emergency room, most healthcare providers only accept patients who have a medical insurance plan. Think about it. What is one of the first questions a healthcare provider will ask you when making an appointment? “Do you have insurance?”
2. Access to higher quality healthcare services – most medical insurance plans provide their members with access to a broad network of healthcare providers. These providers represent some of the finest primary care physicians, specialists and facilities in the community because they have been subject to a rigorous review and credentialing process. Your access to these healthcare providers may otherwise be unattainable without a medical insurance plan and an ID card.
3. Treatment for chronic health conditions – although it is likely an individual without medical insurance can obtain treatment for severe, life-threatening conditions, having medical insurance coverage helps you obtain treatment for those persistent, day-to-day chronic medical conditions.
4. Coverage for preventive care – since the passage of the new healthcare law, employer sponsored group health plans and individual major medical insurance plans are required to provide preventive screening services at no charge. This is designed to identify and treat potentially serious medical conditions before they develop into a major problem.
5. Lower out of pocket cost for healthcare expenses – medical insurance companies negotiate rates with healthcare providers. When you obtain medical care from a network provider you will pay less for healthcare services. In many instances, the financial savings can be substantial because healthcare provider fees can be discounted up to 50% or more. This means that individuals without some form of medical insurance could pay twice as much for healthcare as those without a medical insurance plan!
6. Avoid Financial Hardship – according to a Harvard University study, medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy, representing 62% of all personal bankruptcies. Rare or serious diseases or injuries can easily result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, expenses that can quickly wipe out savings and retirement accounts, college education funds and home equity. Having some form of medical insurance can help pay for these expenses.
TIP: Make sure you have some form of medical insurance. If your budget is stretched, check-out a Limited Benefit or “Mini-Med” policy. These health insurance plans are considered cheap medical insurance, will generally accept individuals with pre existing medical conditions, provide an ID card, and generally offer discounts on healthcare services and supplies and prescriptions.
Actual Pricing for the Treatment of Common Medical Procedures
|Condition / Treatment||List Price (actual)||Reasonable & Customary Charges (estimated)||Medicare (actual)||PPO/ HMO (estimated)|
|Breast Cancer / Mastectomy||$19,616||$16,673||$4,155||$12,750|
|Heart Disease / Bypass Surgery||$104,996||$89,247||$28,176||$68,248|
|Prostate Cancer / Surgery||$22,971||$19,526||$6,019||$14,931|
|Major Shoulder Injury / Surgery||$40,349||$34,297||$9,323||$26,227|
|Source: The LeapFrog Group 2009|