By definition, having health insurance means you’re protected from the high costs of unexpected medical bills and procedures when they happen.
However, not everyone in the United States has health insurance, which can make a bad situation even worse.
Here’s how many people have health insurance in the U.S., and what can be done to change that number, if possible.
The importance of having health insurance
A recent study found that 68% of uninsured adults hadn’t visited a doctor in more than five years.
Without insurance, there is no way to access healthcare services, and thus increases your risk of suffering from medical problems and diseases.
Having health insurance allows you to see a physician when you need to, without breaking your bank account.
It also gives you peace of mind knowing that if something happens to you or someone in your family, someone will be there to help—without adding financial stress to an already stressful situation.
If you don’t have health insurance now but can afford it, get coverage as soon as possible!
If you are under 26, your parents might cover you
Nearly half of U.S. adults under 26 are on their parents’ health insurance plans, according to a recent study by The Commonwealth Fund, which researches health policy issues.
Most young adults without coverage said they don’t have any because it is too expensive.
That often isn’t true, though—the cost of individual plans varies greatly from state to state and plan to plan.
Check out affordable options at healthcare.gov and shop around for better deals in your area by going through an agency like eHealthInsurance or compare plans side-by-side at healthcare.gov .
If you can’t get covered by your parents, look into government programs like AHCCCS
Medicaid is a health insurance program for people with low incomes, who often don’t have access to private insurance.
Once you’re 18, you can get Medicaid in two ways: by being eligible through a parent or by being financially needy.
To qualify for coverage through AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System), your income must be at or below 175 percent of poverty level (around $40,000 for a family of four).
If your income doesn’t meet that requirement, but you are pregnant or disabled, there are other financial options available to help you get Medicaid.
You can apply and check your eligibility status at Arizona Connections here. The page also has links to local agencies that offer enrollment assistance.
Here is what you need to know about affordable care act (ACA), medicaid and medicare
You can get a wide range of health plans. Some have low monthly premiums but high deductibles, and others have higher premiums but lower or no deductibles.
The coverage you’ll receive will depend on where you live, your age, income level and other factors.
Check with your state insurance department to learn about available plans in your area.
When deciding on a plan, remember, the most expensive doesn’t always mean the best.
If you’re thinking about getting health insurance through your job, you might be tempted to buy a plan with higher premiums in order to get better coverage.
But these options often include high deductibles, which means that you would have to pay for certain medical expenses out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.
Plus, no matter what kind of plan you choose, don’t forget to consider what happens if and when you change jobs.
You might be able to stay on your current company’s health insurance, or it may make more sense financially for you to sign up for a plan offered by your new employer.
Either way, there are different requirements and considerations to keep in mind so don’t just jump into anything!
See if you qualify for any government subsidies available in your state.
A study by Harvard Medical School in 2010 estimated that nearly 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance.
That number is often cited as evidence of how bad our system is — especially since it was a conservative estimate.
But that’s not actually true. It doesn’t mean people who have insurance live longer than people without insurance.
Rather, it means that people without health coverage use more emergency room visits and thus end up with worse outcomes, which results in higher mortality rates (not death).
Check with an insurance broker or agent that has access to all of the different plans so they can help you choose the right plan based on your situation.
Your insurance agent can help you figure out which plans are available in your area and which ones best suit your needs.
They may also be able to find better options that what’s offered through health exchanges, as they have access to many different policies from a wide variety of companies.
It’s often possible to pay for health insurance with pre-tax dollars and an agent can help determine whether you’re eligible for these benefits or any other tax breaks.
They’ll also answer any questions about how your plan works and help make sure you know how it fits into all of your other financial priorities.
For instance, it might be beneficial to take a less expensive health insurance plan if you’re on track to pay off debt next year or to put more money into savings.
Finally, review these 8 important facts about medical plans before you purchase one online!
When you purchase health insurance online, you typically receive coverage for a short period of time—for example, six months or one year.
Be aware that some medical plans expire earlier than others and they don’t allow you to renew your coverage at all.
Before purchasing health insurance online, make sure to check whether it allows for an extension or renewal of your plan.
Some medical plans come with strict limitations on doctor visits or hospitalizations; others restrict out-of-network care and referrals.
All of these conditions could cause issues if your insurance policy doesn’t align with what you need in terms of coverage.
Make sure to review all aspects of a medical plan before signing up for it online; otherwise, you might find yourself without access to crucial benefits down the road.
How to check if your health insurance is active online
The quickest way to find out if your health insurance is active is to log in to your provider’s website and search for my account.
Some providers, like Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna, even allow you to access your account via text message.
(If you are sent a code by text message, enter it on their website.) Other companies, like UnitedHealthcare and Medicare, offer a 24-hour hotline.
To reach that number, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
I have health insurance but no card
While it’s important to have health insurance, most health insurers won’t send you a card if you don’t ask for one.
Because of legislation passed in 2010, insurance companies are required to automatically enroll members in plans that comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines.
To make sure you have coverage, call your insurer or visit its website and ask about your status.
Once you know whether you are enrolled or not, request a card. If your health plan doesn’t provide them automatically at no cost, follow these steps: 1.
Call your insurer and ask for an application kit. 2.