Article | July 2018

Do You Need Health Insurance?

Having health insurance can help you manage your health care needs, as well as costs. There are health plans for almost every type of situation.

Why do you need health insurance?

The reasons why health insurance is important include:

  • Health insurance helps pay the costs for medical care that you or covered dependents receive. Without it, you may pay the full cost for all your care.
  • Most health plans provide you with a network of participating doctors, specialists, other health care practitioners, and facilities to choose from. These network doctors, hospitals, and others offer lower rates than those outside the health plan’s network, which helps keep your costs lower.
  • Having a health plan encourages you to see your doctor for your annual check-up and other preventive care. This helps identify any health issues early before they become serious. And most health plans provide 100% coverage for certain in-network preventive care.*

Why have health insurance if you’re young and healthy?

One of the main reasons why health insurance is important is that you want to stay healthy, right? One of the best ways to help you do that is to make sure you see your doctor for your annual check-up, get your flu shot, and other preventive care. It’s covered 100% by most health insurance plans when you stay in-network.*

Without health insurance, you may have to pay the full cost of any medical care you receive, including preventive care.

Health insurance is important for other reasons, as well: if you do get sick or suddenly need emergency care, health insurance plans help cover some of those costs.** Otherwise you may be on your own paying the high cost for care.

Is there health insurance for healthy people?

Yes. If you are healthy, you may want to consider health plans with higher deductibles and lower monthly premiums. Plans like these will help you save money if you don’t expect to have a lot of medical expenses during the plan year.

If you enroll in a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan, you may also be eligible to open a Health Savings Account (HSA) which can help you save money on taxes and pay for eligible health care expenses.

What happens if you don’t have health insurance?

There are a couple of things that can happen if you don’t have health insurance:

  • You may be more likely to avoid getting recommended preventive care.
  • You may be responsible for paying the full cost of any medical care if you happen to get sick, injured, or develop a chronic illness.
  • If you don’t obtain "Minimum Essential Coverage" as defined under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may need to pay a tax penalty.1

The main reason why health insurance is important is it helps you get the care you need—even if it’s basic preventive care—at a price you can afford.

*Plans may vary and not all preventive care services are covered. For example, immunizations for travel are generally not covered. Refer to your plan documents for the details of your specific medical plan.

**Plan terms and conditions, including deductible, coinsurance and/or copay requirements may apply. Review your plan documents for the details of your specific medical plan.

1https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/fee-for-not-being-covered/