Did you know in 2020 28 million people did not have health insurance at any point in the year in the United States? If you don’t currently have health insurance, there are many things you need to think about.
Continue reading for the top three medical questions you should be asking yourself if you don’t have medical insurance.
- What Happens if You Have To Go to the Hospital?
Whether you’re insured or not, accidents happen and people get sick. If you don’t have health insurance, what happens when you do have to go to a doctor or an emergency room?
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act states that regardless of health insurance status, medical professionals are required to treat you in an emergency. However, you are still responsible for the bill.
After being treated, you will be billed directly for any medical expenses from your hospital visit. These costs can vary greatly depending on the reason for your visit. Any prescription drugs cost is also something to think about when you have no insurance.
Some hospitals do give discounts to uninsured patients. You can pay upfront or potentially split your bill and pay over time. You can also work with the hospital’s financial department for assistance with your bill.
- Are There Tax Penalties?
While you won’t be penalized at the federal level, you may have to pay a fee at the state level if you don’t have a current medical insurance plan. Some states have their own health insurance mandate which requires you to have full coverage for the entire year.
Some states allow certain exemptions for this. However, if you don’t have any exemptions, be mindful that you will have to pay a fee when tax season comes around.
The fee is calculated in two different ways. A percentage of your yearly household income or per person. Your fee will be whichever number is higher.
- How Do I Get Affordable Coverage?
Finding affordable health care can be an overwhelming task. However, there are several options in the United States. Here are the top three affordable health insurance coverages to choose from.
- Affordable Care Act: ACA is known to help patients pay for their premiums. Your monthly cost is dependent on your income.
- Medicaid: Medicaid is free or low-cost public health insurance. This option allows patients to enroll at any time and eligibility varies from state to state.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program: CHIP is designed specifically to grant children low-cost health insurance coverage even if their parent or guardian doesn’t have coverage. This also includes dental. Like Medicaid, eligibility varies from state to state.
You can also look into short-term health insurance for any gaps you may have throughout the year.
Most health insurance companies have an annual enrollment period from November 1st through January 15th. You can also enroll in health care if you’ve had a major life event. These events include loss of health coverage, changes in the household, changes in residence, and more.
Medical Questions for the Uninsured
If you don’t have healthcare insurance in the United States it leaves you with many medical questions and uncertainty. However, rest assured that you can still get the required medical attention when you need it, although it will come at a price.
In the meantime, you can look into affordable or temporary solutions. For more information about health, lifestyle, technology, and more visit our blog today!