If you’re thinking of letting 2016 Open Enrollment slip by without applying for a health insurance plan, you may want to think again. Not having health insurance can be much more costly than enrolling in an affordable plan — even if you think you don’t need it.
Accidents happen, and they can be costly
You can be in great health, eat right, and run ten miles before most of us wake up, but there’s always a chance that you could slip on ice during one of your morning sprints. Treating a broken leg without health insurance can cost up to $7,500.* Ouch. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Or say you’re more of a desk jockey. You could still get sick. In fact, considering how many of your coworkers show up to work sniffling and coughing, you probably will get sick. And without health coverage you’ll end up paying out of pocket for your doctor’s visit and for any prescription medications you need to get yourself back on your feet.
In the worst cases, being uninsured can lead to major financial difficulties and debt. A three-day hospital stay costs, on average, $30,000; the cost of cancer care can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.* However, most health insurance plans offer members an established out-of-pocket maximum for year. You’ll pay up to this amount for covered services; your health insurer will foot the rest of the bill.
You don’t want to pay the penalty for not having insurance
As you may already know, the Affordable Care Act requires most people to have health care coverage. If you don’t, you may have to pay a penalty. For example, if you don’t have health insurance in 2016 and do not qualify for an exemption, you may be required to pay the greater of the following penalties when filing your 2016 taxes:
- 2.5 percent of your yearly household income
- $695 per person for the year and $347.50 per child under 18
Bummer, because you could have used that money to help pay for health care coverage all year. What’s more, you might have been eligible for financial help from the federal government. For 2016, more than 8 out of 10 people who shop the Health Insurance Marketplace will be able to choose a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less.** Check our easy online subsidy calculator to see if you or your family might be eligible.
You deserve protection
With all of this money talk, here’s something you might not have considered: peace of mind. Having health insurance means that you’ll be protected should (knock on wood) something bad happen to you or a family member. You can’t put a price on that.
And did we mention that preventive care — such as an annual check-up, screenings, and vaccinations — are covered at no cost to you when you have health insurance? That means you may actually stay healthier than if you didn’t have health care coverage — and avoid bigger health problems that can cost you more in the long run.
Don’t risk it! Open Enrollment ends January 31
There are a lot of good reasons to get health insurance. Here’s another: Independence Blue Cross offers the lowest-priced Silver and Bronze plans in the Philadelphia five-county area† with the widest selection of quality care. We even throw in some fun extras, like discounts on movie tickets and sporting events and reimbursements for gym memberships.††
Browse our plans online or talk to an Independence Blue Cross sales representatives at 1-888-475-6206 (TTY: 711) 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday – Friday. They’ll be happy to answer your questions, walk you through the best plan for you and your family, and help you apply for health care coverage.
*Source: Protection on High Medical Costs, Healthcare.gov
**Source: Department of Health and Human Services, ASPE Research Brief, October 30, 2015.
†Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
††Our value-added programs are not benefits and are therefore subject to change without notice.