I know you may be thinking how this is possible; “When Is It Ok Not To Have Health Insurance“. Is there a time or a scenario where not having a health insurance is applauded?
Lets get into the business of throwing more light on the topic – “When Is It Ok Not To Have Health Insurance”.
When Is It Ok Not To Have Health Insurance
In our opinion in Loveyblog we are going to answer this question from two (2) angles:
Based on the importance of health insurance:
Based on the importance of health insurance, there is no time that is Ok for you not to have a health insurance.
Health insurance covers essential health benefits critical to maintaining your health and treating illness and accidents
Health insurance protects you from unexpected, high medical costs.
You pay less for covered in-network health care, even before you meet yourdeductible
You get free preventive care, like vaccines, screenings, and some check-ups, even before you meet your deductible.
This means if you do not have a health insurance policy, you will loose all these.
Based on legal requirements:
As of 2022, only five states (California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Vermont) and the District of Columbia require all eligible residents to declare annual proof of health insurance coverage on state taxes. If you’re uninsured and don’t qualify for an exemption, you must pay a tax penalty determined by the state (except Vermont, which does not levy any fees).
So if your state of residence does not place health insurance as a legal requirement then it may be okay if you do not have one.
Why Some Persons Don’t Have Health Insurance Policy
People often do not have health insurance because they think they cannot afford it. That is the most common reason people do not have health insurance, according to the KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation).
A KFF survey found that the top reasons people don’t purchase health insurance are:
- Coverage not affordable: 73.7%
- Not eligible for coverage: 25.3%
- Do not want or need: 21.3%
- Signing up was too difficult or confusing: 18.4%
- Cannot find a plan that meets needs: 18%
- Lost job: 2.8%
How to Get A Low Cost Health Insurance
The most affordable health insurance for many people is to get coverage through their workplace or a spouse’s health insurance plan, when possible. If this is not an option for you, health insurance plans are available through the health insurance marketplace.
These plans can be expensive without subsidies. Fortunately millions of Americans qualify for subsidies from the federal government that can dramatically lower the price tag. If your income is a bit higher, you likely won’t qualify for subsidies, making coverage more expensive. The federal government offers a tool to help determine whether you qualify for such cost-sharing reductions.
One way you can cut your costs is to purchase a high-deductible health insurance plan and pair your coverage with a health savings account, which offers tax incentives that can put more money back in your pocket. On the ACA marketplace, Bronze and Silver plans are often high-deductible health plans, which have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs when you need care.
What Happens If You Don’t have Health Insurance
Like in a country like Massachusetts; If you don’t have health coverage for example all or part of 2022, you have to either qualify for a health coverage exemption or may have to pay a fee with your Massachusetts state income tax return. If you had a short gap in coverage of less than 3 months, you do not have to pay the fee for any month.
This is almost similar to other states that is legal to have health insurance.
Other things you may face if you do not have health insurance includes:
Medical debt: Medical debt is a major problem in the U.S., with 17.8% of individuals having medical debt in collections, according to a 2021 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
If you do not have health insurance, you are at much greater risk of accumulating medical bills that you may not be able to pay. In a worst-case scenario, you could be sued and have your wages garnished. You might even be forced into bankruptcy.
Tax penalties: The Affordable Care Act initially required that nearly all Americans have health insurance or get hit with a tax penalty.
The tax penalty for not having health insurance varies by state:
- California charges as much as $800 per adult and $400 per dependent.
- New Jersey charges at least $695.
- Vermont requires residents to have health insurance, but there’s no penalty if you don’t have coverage.
Cost of medical care: Most people who are uninsured do not receive their care for free or even at a lesser charge, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). In fact, just 27% of the uninsured receive such price breaks.
To make matters worse, hospitals often charge uninsured patients two to four times more than what health insurers and public programs typically pay for hospital services, KFF says.
Medication coverage: The average American spends more than $1,000 a year on prescription drugs, according to the Congressional Budget Office. A health insurance plan typically helps cover the cost of medications; what will happen when you do not have a coverage, you can answer that for your self.
In conclusion, though some states may not place a bounty for not having a health insurance policy. Health insurance policy can save you a lot of stress.