Between the penalties and the actual cost of care in a post-ACA world, we’re taking a look at what going without insurance could actually cost you.
In 2016, you’re due to pay 2.5% of income or $695 if you don’t hop onto a health insurance plan on or before December 15, 2015. And believe me, I get it, paying $695 seems like a way better deal than paying for health insurance every single month.
We always encourage our clients to avoid over-insuring themselves with some Platinum plan to protect them from the potential for spontaneous loss of extremities or Bird Flu part 2. If you’re a pretty healthy person, you need a basic plan, and you’re set and covered, especially in emergencies.
But what about if you don’t want ANY health insurance at all? The post-ACA healthcare industry is a crapshow of rising costs, and before I see another post on my Facebook timeline wondering why a person without insurance got charged $10k for stitches and a Tylenol, I wanted to delve into the unfortunate truth of the matter.
-Urgent care is not the godsend you think it is without insurance. Urgent Care is a great way to avoid the ER, but what we don’t see when we HAVE insurance is just how much gets covered by our simple copays of ~$50. I’m talking DISCOUNT RATES at $99 for urine pregnancy testing, $99 for wound care, and $225 a pop for any burn care, suture repair… You get the picture. Chances are, your rates won’t even be this cheap. The appointment itself, without any testing, can cost upwards of $100, but don’t forget…
-Prescription costs today average upwards of $200 without coverage. The average single prescription cost is $268. Also, many prescriptions are sold only in brand-name form, barring you from the generic alternative and raising your costs even more (think: Risperdal, Adderall XR, Concerta, Lamictal, Topamax and many more). Once again, with a copayment system in place with most health insurance plans, we aren’t noticing the costs hiding behind the small amount we are paying.
-The average day trip to a hospital will cost you $4,000. People are charged thousands for a handful of stitches every day, let alone a hospital stay that can climb to $12,000. This is one of those things that you can’t avoid, you can’t predict, and you WILL have to pay for to some degree.
-The health of people seeking care without insurance is significantly worse. This is not a scare tactic. Think about the psychology behind paying for a doctor’s appointment. If you are without insurance, any infection or ailment that seems like it will resolve itself, you’ll hang onto until it gets worse or clears up. You may not be funding adequate immunizations. You may not be accessing preventative care. Any of these small errors could end with major illness, and a massive chunk of money (see above for every aspect that you’ll now be paying for).
Whether it’s partisan outrage, a simple desire to save money, or something in between, take a look at what you might end up spending before you eliminate health insurance premiums altogether. We’re here to help you find what you need for the right price, with subsidies likely available to you if you struggle to pay your bills.