For as long as humans keep falling sick and getting better, the question: is it illegal to not have health insurance? will keep being asked.
Firstly, health insurance is a requirement for everyone by the law in the United States. This is majorly the reason for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
So, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that every American has health care coverage or a penalty will be imposed.
One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act was to reduce the number of people who are uninsured, which is estimated at around 30 percent.
The law also made it mandatory for most individuals to have health insurance or pay a penalty. These requirements helped to reduce the number of uninsured people, but there are still many Americans who don’t have health insurance.
Healthcare is, undoubtedly, one of the most important parts of a successful country. If health care is not accessible, then people will not be able to live decent lives. Access to affordable and reliable health care should be a right, not a privilege. Unfortunately, many countries around the world are not providing the same level of access to health care as citizens in the United States have.
Basic information regarding insurance
According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, an insurance company is an organization that provides financial protection against loss in exchange for periodic payments.
Insurance companies collect premiums from customers and then invest the money. The insurers make up the 20 percent and keep it within the company. The insureds (the people who pay premiums) or policyholders get dividends from the insurance company.
In continuation, as a matter of fact, insurance is the protection from future financial burden or loss. Also, you can purchase insurance for the protection against a disaster, or loss, and then, for your business or household reasons.
Furthermore, when you narrow it down to health, then, health insurance becomes a type of insurance you purchase for preventive health care, as well as protection against medical care in case of illness, injury, or accident.
Another type of insurance is the type you purchase to protect yourself against lawsuits for negligence.
Is health insurance required
Health insurance is a contract between you and the insurer. In the contract, the health policyholder pays a premium and the insurer agrees to pay for certain health care services and or medical expenses.
Meanwhile, just a few decades ago, insurance companies weren’t as accessible as they are today.
They were quite expensive and difficult to attain. Those days, only the rich could afford to purchase health insurance. And there was no type of insurance that could cover all types of accidents and illnesses.
But nowadays, however, regardless of your income, you can insure your health. The insurance industry has become more accessible and affordable. In particular, the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has helped people access insurance. So, health insurance can be free or paid for. And so, yes. health insurance is required in America.
Types of health insurance
Obviously, health insurance is one of the most important investments that you can ever make. With health insurance, you can protect yourself from unexpected expenses.
Indeed, a financial crisis can happen at any time and you never know when you may need money to pay medical bills. Without health insurance, you may have to pay for medical bills out-of-pocket, and that can be very costly.
Even in your state of ill health, you may not be able to pay for your medical treatment in full. But health insurance can cover the entire or a percentage of your health care expenses.
Now, there are different types of health insurance
- Long-term health insurance
- Short-term health insurance
- Private owned health insurance
- Government-owned health insurance
So, when you ask, is it illegal to not have health insurance? By now you should know the answer. Since the government got involved and wants to run a healthy country, yes, it is now illegal to not have health insurance.
Why health insurance is important
Health Insurance is important for many reasons. They help to cover doctor visits, hospital treatment, and refill your prescription medicines at a subsidized rate.
Also, health insurance is designed to protect you and your family from big medical expenses. Therefore, it is important because a health insurance policy protects you and the ones you care about when you are sick or injured. And ease the stress of paying for all the medical bills by yourself.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is run by the United States government. It is a program that offers health coverage to people over the age of 65, and people with disabilities of any age.
Medicare covers some hospital and medical expenses, but it doesn’t cover everything that has to do with health care. And it can not be compared with most private health insurance companies because the private cover all the same things Medicare covers and more. However, younger citizens usually don’t qualify for Medicare.
Medicaid is a government health insurance program that covers people with low incomes, the elderly, and the disabled. Each state in America operates the Medicaid program through a federal-state partnership. To qualify for Medicaid, a person must meet income and resource limits.
By the way, if you earn above the required state limit, you will not be eligible for Medicaid. So, in essence, Medicaid is a health insurance program that provides coverage for people with limited incomes. people who are disabled, elderly, or pregnant as well.
The states in a partnership arrangement with the federal government also manage the Medicaid program. Moreover, you must meet the income and resource limits before you qualify for Medicaid.
In continuation, private insurance is used by many employers to cover employees’ health care costs. Private insurance is health insurance that an employer provides to its employees. It does not stop there. Individuals and families use private insurance health insurance for their health coverage.
More so, private insurance generally covers most medical expenses but does not cover preventive services, long-term care, or autism spectrum disorder. Well, except for most states.
Health insurance also protects against financial loss from unexpected medical expenses. In modern times, people usually tie health insurance to their employment. And health coverage at work provides insurance against the risk of loss of income or employment.
So, before you go for that job, check with your human resources department to determine if your company offers private insurance coverage.
Health insurance Companies
Insurance companies are businesses that provide coverage for health, life, disability, and other insurance needs. Their primary mission is to make money, but they also have some mandatory social responsibilities.
For example, they must spend 80 percent of their net income on paying claims. and still, these insurance companies make money by underwriting risks. However, these companies play an important role in our society by providing this health coverage.
To conclude, $193,915,120 in penalties and $1,145,255,000 in subsidies were paid in 2017 for not having health insurance. The incentives and penalties for not having health insurance are complex and poorly understood. In 2017, there were an estimated 40 million uninsured Americans and 7.5 million who obtained coverage through the ACA exchanges.
And frankly speaking, the uninsured are sicker, have more complications, and are more likely to be re-admitted to the hospital than insured patients. So, when anyone asks this question, is it illegal to not have health insurance? Everyone’s reply should be, that it is not just illegal, but it is dangerous and ill-treatment to one’s self.
Top health insurance companies
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
- UnitedHealth Group Inc
- Liberty Mutual
- American Family Insurance
- Golden Rule Insurance Company
- Kaiser Permanente
- Molina Health Care