Insurance is all about risk, chance and possibility. This of course varies for every person. Someone could go his or her entire life paying for health insurance and not have any major health complication that would have made that monthly premium worth it. However, another person could have many different unfortunate medical confrontations that made his or her insurance more than worth it.
These are the factors that insurance companies have to ponder carefully. It is also why actuaries get paid good money to make risk assessments on clients. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is also known as Obamacare, nobody can be denied with preexisting conditions and everyone must have health insurance either through work or purchased on their own.
This, like everything, has two sides. It plays an advantageous role for those who have been previously denied insurance due to their health complications. It also drives a lot of business to health insurance companies and allows them to open new markets and diversify plans. On the other hand, because of all the high risk patients being accepted, the cost of premiums and minimum amounts to pay in a deductible have gone up for those who are low risk and healthy. This unfortunately affects a lot of young people who are also burdened by student loan debt.
Political ideologies aside, there is no one vastly superior way to distribute healthcare. There are many ways that work in theory. Ideally, we would have a system that would allow healthy competition at national and local levels while maintaining affordability in both the care itself and the cost of drugs. Whether this is done by government regulation or implementing a universal healthcare system is up for the people to decide. Either way, I think everyone can agree that quality healthcare and affordable medicine should be the common vision shared by all.
So why is health insurance important?
We need insurance because when it comes to our health, we don’t want to take chances. We may be healthy today, but we don’t know what tomorrow brings. We need insurance for the peace of mind it brings and the assurance that if we need to go to the doctor or the ER, we are able to do so.
Whether we end up using it or not is beside the point. Having insurance is like going to a restaurant and when the check comes realizing that you forgot your wallet, but you find a $20 bill in your coat pocket that you had forgotten you had placed there. There are no guarantees in life and there is not much more important in your life than your health. Having insurance is in a way, an investment in yourself.
Our current system mandates that everyone be required to have health insurance. I think we can all agree that having health insurance is important. Whether the government should tell us it is important is up to you to decide. Just make sure to ask yourself, what would benefit not only yourself, but everyone? And how can we implement a system that keeps healthcare costs down as well as drugs? There are no easy answers to these questions, but informed and insightful conversations that respect others’ opinions will propel us towards solutions that work for everyone.