Health insurance averts bankruptcy

If you don’t have health insurance and have a medical issue, the bills may bankrupt you. Having health insurance is imperative.

While it might sound a tad dramatic to say not having health insurance coverage may bankrupt you, it’s the honest truth. Consider this: you get into a car wreck and hit your head on the steering wheel and you need an MRI and other medical intervention. You don’t have health insurance. How are you going to pay the bill when it arrives? Many people don’t have that kind of money on hand. If they can’t pay their bills, what other choices are available to them? More often than not these days, the final option that many Americans have been forced to take is bankruptcy.

For example, as of Aug. 17, bankruptcy filings shot up 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 30. A total of 1,572,597 bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts, compared to 1,306,315 bankruptcy cases filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009. This is the highest number of bankruptcy filings for any period since many of the provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (2005) took effect. Half of the bankruptcies were filed on the basis of the person filing having suffered a serious health problem and fewer than 9 percent hadn’t suffered a medical catastrophe, divorce or job loss.

As you can see, if you don’t have health insurance, any serious medical issue will put you and your family in a very precarious position. No one has a crystal ball that will tell them when they should rush out and get health insurance because something is about to happen. The facts are that bad things happen just when we figure life is going pretty good. What if you broke your wrist or leg, would you have the money to pay for that without having health insurance? Chances are the answer to that is “No.”

On the other hand, if you have health insurance, you stand a fighting chance of getting your medical bills paid. Put another way, health insurance can keep you from going bankrupt, so it’s well worth the monthly premiums to protect you and your family. While many people complain about the high costs of premiums, they don’t realize that those premiums and their policy will protect them when they need it the most. It’s that or nothing and nothing means catastrophic bills that could sink a family’s finances.

Isn’t it in your own best interests to be protected, for your health and for your financial integrity?

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