Did you know that the #1 cause of bankruptcy is health-related? I’m not surprised because I know several people who were devastated by medical bills.
One family friend declared bankruptcy due to uncovered medical bills following a car accident. Their insurance had lapse due to the husband’s recent job loss and their inability to afford COBRA coverage. Another friend was faced with a $1000+ bill from the emergency room after her eardrum burst. She was young, healthy and a college student. She thought she was saving money by opting out of health insurance.
More than 1 in 6 Americans don’t have health insurance. Most are uninsured because they do not receive coverage from an employer, cannot afford coverage, or were previously denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition.
The uninsured are exposed to significant financial risk from medical issues, accidents or emergencies. Even young and healthy individuals are at-risk. One trip to the emergency room for a broken arm or a bad ear infection could cost thousands of dollars.
If you are uninsured because you cannot afford to pay for insurance, I encourage you to visit www.getcoveredamerica.org. Use the “Get Covered Calculator” to see how much help you could qualify for to cover your monthly insurance cost: http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator/. You may qualify for financial subsidies, but you must apply before the enrollment deadline of March 31st.
I own a small business, which means that I must buy my insurance on the individual marketplace. It is a major expense—second only to my mortgage. Yet I would never risk my family’s financial future by going without insurance. I’m a mom, and I have two young children. Even healthy children can be very expensive. Just last week, my oldest visited the emergency room with a sudden illness. The copay cost me over $200 (ugh!), but I’m fortunate that insurance covered the remaining cost ($1000+).
I make it a policy never to discuss politics on Mamanista, but I was shocked to read that over 81% of uninsured Americans are unaware of the March 31st Healthcare Enrollment Deadline. I agreed to spread the word.
Here’s why: Whether you support or oppose the ACA is irrelevant. If your family’s health and financial future is at stake, you deserve to know all of your options.
My family is not eligible for a subsidy, and my healthcare costs have recently increased due to plan changes. However, I can list numerous friends who are now able to afford insurance due to financial assistance offered via the exchange. I also can list numerous friends who have pre-existing conditions or children with pre-existing conditions, and they have been able to obtain coverage finally. Perhaps you’ll qualify for financial assistance. Regardless, you should be informed of your insurance options and the plans available.
So if you’re among the 81% of people who was unaware of the enrollment deadline, I urge you to visit http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/get-covered-101 to find answers to the most commonly asked questions. You also can use the locator tool to find an expert who can help. By entering your zip code, you will get names and phone numbers of experts who can help you complete your application and understand your health insurance options. http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/locator/
And don’t forget: the enrollment deadline is March 31st.