The purpose of health insurance remains to help pay for care, protecting individuals financially in the event of an unexpected serious illness or injury that could be very expensive.
With health insurance, individuals can get routine and preventive care to lower the chance of serious illnesses without having to pay cash for very expensive services.
“We need health insurance because we cannot predict what our future medical bills will be. In some years, your costs may be low,” said Beatriz Mallory, the senior vice president of SensisHealth, a cross-cultural healthcare marketing, advertising and branding agency located in Northwest.
“In other years, you may have very high medical expenses. If you have health insurance, you will have peace of mind in knowing that you are protected from most of these costs,” Mallory said.
While individuals may have some control over their health by eating properly, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and avoiding bad habits, everyone still requires health care for things they cannot control, said Kent Moore, president of Moore Benefits Inc., an employee benefits broker and consultant.
“Injury and illness strike most everyone at some point and we don’t have the natural ability to recover without help,” Moore said. “More importantly, health care providers can help prevent many illnesses and early detection of certain conditions can save and improve lives,” he said.
Moore added that some avoid going to the doctor because of a combination of fear and the cost involved.
“The thought of finding that a cancer is hiding silently in our bodies is terrifying,” he said. “We don’t want to face the pain and crushing cost of treatment, so some want to believe what they don’t know won’t hurt them.”
Educational and socioeconomic levels are most likely to have the greatest effect on whether an individual seeks medical attention, said Dr. Lisa T. Williams, who owns Assessments Unlimited LLC.
“One of the most prominent reasons is trust of health care providers. Many people don’t trust health care providers,” Williams said.
“In some cases, this is cultural. However, what we have found is that building patient and provider relationships is very important to the facilitation of optimal health outcomes for all,” she said.
Further, without proper care, individuals who have had surgeries or other major procedures are more susceptible to secondary complications such as pressure sores, circulatory complications, pneumonia and other illnesses, said Vinny Dolan of Spinalcord.com.
“Depression and emotional withdrawal are also common. So why do we need health care? One reason is to take care of individuals who through no fault of their own are in great need of health care to live and to become productive members of the community,” Dolan said.
Also, acquiring health insurance shouldn’t wait until someone becomes ill, said Mallory at SensisHealth.
“Today, health insurers cannot charge more or deny coverage to you or your child because of a pre-existing condition like asthma, diabetes, or cancer,” she said. “They cannot limit benefits for that condition either. While Obamacare is still in place, it’s easier to find a plan you can afford.”