What Happens When You Don’t Have Health Insurance
Updated: Mar 7
There are a lot of scary scenarios that can play out in life, but one of the scariest is what happens if you don’t have health insurance. If something happens and you don’t have insurance, the medical bills could be insurmountable. And if you can’t pay those bills, it could ruin your credit score and even lead to bankruptcy.
So before something bad happens, make sure you are covered by health insurance. It might be expensive, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind. Plus, there are a lot of affordable options available these days. So there’s no excuse not to be insured.
What Uncle Sam Says
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12.7% of U.S. citizens don’t have health insurance. This percentage can be broken down into different groups, such as those who can’t afford it and those who choose not to have it.
For the people in this latter group, what are the consequences if they need medical care? How does this decision affect their lives? Let’s explore what happens if you don’t have health insurance in the United States.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as ACA or Medicare Part D is a federal law that requires all Americans to carry health insurance in some shape form. When it was first passed under President Obama’s administration there were fines for those who failed to get coverage and this became colloquially called “the individual mandate.”
The Trump administration passed a Tax Cut and Job Act in 2019 which strips away this enforcement provision, leaving it up to states if they want to enforce citizens getting health insurance or pay fines.
Some states have created an individual state mandate those being:
However, the risk of financial ruin from hospital bills is a very real one for those who don’t have insurance. Hospital visits aren’t always planned or expected, and if you’re not prepared with the necessary funds to cover your medical expenses in case something goes wrong then it can be quite devastating when they happen.
A sudden trip to the hospital can be expensive. Depending on how serious your injury or illness is, there might be dozens of medical bills and costs involved for things like:
Extended Hospital Stay
CT, MRI, and X-RAY Scans
The financial repercussions of an accident can be daunting. Depending on the severity, costs could reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical expenses and lost wages from missing work due to injuries sustained.
Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in America. An accident has the possibility of putting you into financial ruin. Although most hospitals will work with patients who cannot afford their medical bills or don’t have insurance, it may take years before all debts are settled-and during that time you cannot protect yourself from other accidents or illnesses striking unexpectedly.
You know, if you’ve got a tight budget and can’t afford the premiums for an expensive insurance plan right now but still want to cover your bases in case of emergencies then some options will work. A basic emergency medical expense policy is much cheaper than paying out huge bills later when it could be easily prevented by simply having coverage beforehand!
Americans often put off seeing a doctor because they are afraid of what the visit will cost without insurance. Many people go without healthcare coverage and suffer as their health needs grow more complex. The cost of caring for an issue can be enormous, which is why it pays to take steps now so you don’t face more consequences physically and financially later on down the line. Of all the benefits of having healthcare coverage, precautionary care is one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
One of the most important reasons you see a doctor annually is to catch small health problems before they can become more threatening. Many healthcare plans require that preventative services be covered by insurance policies with no copay, meaning every penny counts towards your overall expenses when it comes time for an annual physical exam and checkup!
Don’t Know Where to Start?
The risks of being an uninsured person are high. Without an insurance plan, both your health and your bank account are put in jeopardy. But by protecting yourself, you can make sure that an unexpected accident won’t derail your life.
By purchasing an affordable health insurance plan through our network of providers and partners you can get peace of mind knowing that if something unexpected happens your finances won’t suffer as well. We work with several different companies so we can help find the best solution for each situation.