FAQ’s on Health Insurance
Why do I need health insurance when I never go to the doctor?
Never going to see a doctor because you don’t get sick is great! But health insurance serves other functions in addition to the occasional office visit for a sore throat. On a financial level, health insurance limits your exposure to high hospital, doctor and lab costs. While no one plans to injure themselves rock climbing or taking a Sunday bike ride, accidents happen. Our bodies also can offer us surprises when we are young and fit.
Caution embarrassing story ahead.
Video of embarrasing story: Why do I need health insurance?
When I was attending UC Davis I developed an embarrassing problem: I wet my pants when I would sit down in class! As someone who trained for marathons, held down two jobs and was virtually never sick, I had some sort of weird pants wetting condition. And this was before adult diapers became popular. After a couple visits with a doctor of urology, I was diagnosed as having a urethral diverticulum. This was a malady that a 25 year old jock was not supposed to have. The doctor felt it was probably a congenital disorder (Thanks for telling me mom). The treatment was surgery and I am not going to either explain or describe it.
Needless to say, without health insurance my indebtedness would have been even higher with the possibility of dropping out of school to work full time to pay back loans. The cheap health insurance I had saved me a bundle and halted an embarrassing situation. It would have been more fun to use my health insurance because I had an accident skiing, but the end result was the same; I received treatment without mortgaging my future (that’s what student loans are for). But you don’t have to be young to have an accident or sudden onset of a quirky condition.
Virtually any surgery today costs thousands of dollars. Then you have the follow up office visits, possible rehabilitation, labs, tests and X-rays. If your health insurance has a high deductible at least you can negotiate a payment schedule with the providers and not be hounded by debt collectors.
All health insurance plans as of September 23, 2010, include preventive office visits (physicals, immunizations, OBGYN, etc.) at no charge. That also includes visits to discuss weight loss or smoking cessation. It is never fun to pay the health insurance premiums, but the stress of extraordinarily high medical bills because of an accident or congenital disorder is even worse.
More posts to come…stay tuned.