Is Health Insurance Worth It?
Some wonder if health insurance is worth it. Should they spend their money on something that could not really be a huge risk to them? Or is their money better spend on plasma TVs, restaurants and travel? The answer is not yes or no – it’s a careful “know your options”, and think carefully.
Health insurance providers measure risk accordingly, which is why higher risk individuals carry large premiums. Have you had a heart attack? You’ll probably pay more. Smoke? Probably pay more. Are you 16 and in immaculate shape? You probably won’t carry a high premium. Which is why that “risk” level often scales with you – meaning the price you’ll pay will scale too.
What that means is that frequently, health insurance is worth it across every spectrum. If you’re low risk, health insurance providers reflect that in what you pay – meaning that your plans will be affordable, but still protect you from catastrophic conditions like a rare accident or some kind of strange event. On the other end, if you’re at risk, you simply need health insurance – because your health dictates that.
If we lived a world where premiums weren’t calculated by risk, you may not need health insurance as a young or healthy person, because the cost-benefit may slightly skew not getting health insurance in the other direction. However, in a world where providers know this, it is in your benefit to take advantage of health insurance to the fullest degree.
Beyond the simple age-risk equation, it’s important to simply realize the potential costs of medical bills. A torn ACL or simple leg surgery could cause you hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills and debt – and that could happen in a blink of an eye that you really can’t predict. In fact, some of our healthiest people – athletes – are at the highest risk of these kinds of events.
This kind of event, happening once, could create a life-long debt that may seem insurmountable for those not prepared. Health insurance premiums can hurt a little bit, yes, but they are minor in comparison to the long term perils hundreds of thousands in debt can cause.