by Susan Paige
Medical bills are a big problem. Indeed, healthcare costs and medical expenses are two of the biggest factors that contribute to debt in America today. And more people file bankruptcy as a result of medical issues than anything else. Given those facts, having quality health insurance is more important now than ever before. The only problem is that many people still don’t understand how health insurance works, what it covers, or even how they can get it. Fortunately, today we’re going to set the record straight. Here are five common misconceptions about health insurance –– and the realities behind them:
You Must be Employed to Get Health Insurance
Though many professionals do get their health insurance through their employer, there are ways to get health insurance if you are self-employed or if you work as a freelancer. You can even get health insurance while you’re unemployed. In fact, it’s actually quite crucial to make sure that you have some form of health insurance coverage at all times. Some businesses will even offer employees the ability to stay on their health insurance programs after termination, though, the rates may rise as a result.
Disability Insurance and Health Insurance are the Same Thing
Disability insurance and health insurance may seem similar, but they cover different things. Disability insurance acts to provide support for individuals who experience a specific injury or illness that prevents them from performing their current job. Health insurance, meanwhile, does not typically compensate individuals for loss of wages as a result of a medical condition.
Having Health Insurance Makes Your Healthier
Yes, having health insurance makes it easier for individuals to afford essential things like trips to the doctor or prescription drugs, but there’s no evidence to suggest that individuals with comprehensive health insurance packages are any healthier than those with comparatively meager plans.
Health Insurance Covers ALL Medical Expenses
Health insurance does cover a large number of medical expenses and treatments. Yet it’s erroneous to state that health insurance will cover everyconceivable medical expense. In truth, there are a host of treatments that standard health insurance doesn’t cover. Some might seem obvious like cosmetic surgery, for instance. Such expenses are often deemed not “medically necessary.” But several important measures like preventative independent STD screening and prostate specific antigen tests generally aren’t covered by health insurance either. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider the next time you’re curious if a certain treatment or medical test is covered under your plan.
You Can’t Save Up for Eventual Healthcare Costs
This simply isn’t true. For one, it’s always possible to create a rainy-day fund for yourself and your family. But more specifically, individuals can set up a health savings account to solely set aside funds for medical costs after retirement. And on that note, remember: you’re never too young to start planning for the future!