When you think about your motivation to purchase health insurance, what comes to mind first? Is it to help you pay for a trip or two to your doctor every year? How about to help you out with your prescriptions? If you answered yes to either of those two questions, we have a different alternative to consider.
Services You Can Afford
Of course no one likes to foot the bill for any medical expenses. It’s one of the most agonizing services we pay for as Americans, but some health services, such as prescriptions, are more affordable than others, making it easier on our wallets. Results of a recent survey found that a little more than half of Americans are currently taking a prescription, and 72% actually say that they are easy to afford!1 If we are paying for health insurance so we have great prescription drug coverage for prescriptions that are already affordable, doesn’t that seem like a waste of money?
Looking at the chart above- which services do you think you could pay for out-of-pocket right now? Are you in the position to easily fork out thousands of dollars for an unexpected surgery or trip to the emergency room? More than likely, the answer is no, and even if you can afford it, why would you want to hand over that much money? The point is this- many people approach insurance with the idea that they will need that insurance to pay for routine services like visits to their doctor’s office or the occasional antibiotic. However, those services on in the right column are actually much more affordable out-of-pocket than the ones in the left column.
What people need to think about when purchasing insurance is how that insurance will cover expenses they cannot pay for out of their pocket (the left column). In some cases, this may be prescription coverage if you happen to be taking half a dozen prescriptions monthly, but for many it is not.
This is simply food for thought and an attempt to reframe the way you might think about health insurance. We want to ensure that you are getting a plan that suits what you actually need help paying for, versus what you think you might need help paying for. The point in having health insurance is to have something that you can count on, should you encounter a medical problem- not to waste money every month on a premium to help you pay for what you can already comfortably afford.
- DiJulio, B., Firth, J., & Brodie, M. (2015, Aug. 20). Kaiser health tracking poll: August 2015. Retrieved from https://kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-august-2015/