Health insurance can be expensive. Unfortunately, not having it can be catastrophic in the event of serious illness or injury. In fact, people without insurance regularly accumulate medical debts, which in some cases can destroy their finances or lead them to bankruptcy.
Normally, those who wish to enroll in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can do so from early November to mid-December. Those who miss this window usually have to wait a year before they can register again.
But recognizing the dangers of having so many Americans uninsured during a pandemic, President Biden has pushed for better access to health care. Earlier this year, he signed an executive order authorizing a special period for enrollment in the ACA. This period was originally scheduled to run from February 15 to May 15, but has since been extended by three months until August 15.
So far, more than 2 million Americans have purchased health insurance this year as a result of this special enrollment period. And that means a lot of people have taken an important step to protect their personal finances.
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The importance of having insurance
Rather than paying for health insurance, some people prefer to pay out of pocket for occasional doctor appointments or medication. It can be cheaper than having to cover some health insurance costs like:
- Insurance premiums: the fees you pay to have coverage in the first place
- Franchises: the amount you must first pay before your insurance plan begins to cover your care
The problem, however, is that if you land in the hospital or need an expensive diagnostic test, like an MRI, not having insurance could mean having to spend thousands of dollars just to take care of it. you. This could force you to deplete your savings account or rack up huge bills that you pay off over time.
So, if you are currently without health insurance and haven’t taken advantage of the new special ACA registration window, now is a good time to get moving. Health insurance might not be as expensive as you think, especially if you don’t have a high income and are eligible for a generous grant. Thanks to the US $ 1.9 trillion bailout – the massive bailout bill that was enacted in March – there are more grants available to offset the costs of the bounties.
Typically, health care affiliates will no longer have to spend more than 8.5% of their income on insurance premiums. And those earning over 400% of the federal poverty line – about $ 51,000 if you’re single or $ 104,800 if you’re a family of four – are now eligible for a grant for the first time.
Of those who signed up to a new plan since April 1, about 34% were able to find policies that cost $ 10 or less per month taking into account these new grants.
It’s never a good idea to do without health insurance, but during a pandemic it’s an even more dangerous thing to do. If you don’t have health insurance, it’s helpful to see what inexpensive options may be available to you by visiting Healthcare.gov.