Pros and cons of health insurance

Health insurance enables you to pay for your medical costs and medicines required in an emergency.

If you have health insurance, you can get the medical attention you require, when you require it.  You won’t need to hold off until the point that your medical issues are extremely urgent before going for treatment.

A few people who are young or healthy may wonder why they need coverage at all.  Like Life and Accident protection, health insurance is a service you pay for but hope you will never need. It is there for the unexpected and unforeseen issues that suddenly appear in individuals’ lives.

You might be healthy now, yet there is always the off chance that a sudden or serious illness can strike, leaving you with stunning medical expenses. I don’t mean stunning like a beautiful girl but rather stunning like a boxer’s uppercut.

One of the most common issues for people to file for personal bankruptcy are sudden medical expenses that can destroy your financial record and set you back for quite a long time.

Pros and cons of having health insurance

Pros

  • You Can Tailor the Monthly Premiums by Reducing Cover
  • Removes Your Worries & Relieves Stress
  • Protection Against the Costs of Sudden Illness
  • No Need to Queue for Medical Attention
  • You can Pick your Doctor
  • Guess have More Flexible Visiting Hours
  • Can Come as a Work Perk

Cons

  • Can be a High Monthly Expense
  • Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover Each and Every Medical Issue
  • More Cover Equals More Premiums – Limited Cover
  • You’re Paying for Something You Might Never Use
  • If you Need to Use it Renewals may be Refused or Priced out of Affordability
  • Lack of Transparency and Deceitful Selling
  • How Insurance Companies Work & Reduce Consumer Value
Health Insurance Forms – Sign Your Money Away

Pros

You Can Tailor the Monthly Premiums by Reducing Cover

If you can’t afford full health insurance then you can reduce the coverage so that your health insurance costs less.  By reducing cover to more serious but less likely illnesses you can reduce premiums.

Health insurance can cover emergency treatment such as you might need through accident. It can cover serious disease treatment that can be hugely expensive such as major organ transplants, cancer, leukemia or degenerative diseases. It can cover minor ailments such as cuts, bruises, influenza and similar that demand medical attention. It can cover outpatient services such as wound redressing and physiotherapy and so on. And it can also cover the costs of medicines and better quality, and more private, rooms in the hospital.

By being selective in the cover you take, omitting some that may be of less importance, at least as you see it, then monthly premiums costs can be managed. The more likely the service chosen is to be used, the more the cost of cover.

Removes your worries and relieves stress

Health insurance will give you the feeling that someone’s got your back.  Once you get a disease that you paid for in the health insurance coverage, the bills will be either reduced or paid for you.

This removes some weight off of your shoulders from removing the worry of paying if you get ill.  However, as I said above, if you didn’t pay for some of the services, they can’t help you.

This means you might still have a few worries since there is a slim chance that you might catch a disease you “unticked”.  So, if your grandmother has lung cancer, you’ll be in stress if you removed cancer cover but worry it is a hereditary problem.

In that case, if you take up health insurance it will also relieve the stress you have.

Protection Against the Costs of Sudden Illness

Health insurance may provide cover for you to go to the doctor’s to check your health status regularly.  This way, if you have a fever coming up then the doctor can give you the pills you need to prevent it from taking hold.

Health insurers want to keep you healthy so that they don’t need to pay for super expensive hospital bills.  This means even if they don’t care who you are, you will still be protected because they will also be affected if you’re ill.

The problem with illness is it either comes on slowly, like cancer, in which case you know it will get worse in advance but by the time you are aware of it you can no longer buy health insurance because it will be a pre-existing condition. Or it comes on all of a sudden in which case you still cannot take cover since you will need immediate medical care.

Given that medical costs can be life changing financially as well as physically, thinking about cover and accepting the risks you are taking is an important consideration.

The other issue is medical coverage for the elderly since a lot of health insurance companies will not cover people over a certain age and certainly massively increase premiums if they do.

No Need to Queue for Medical Attention

If all of a sudden you faint, when you go to the hospital, you won’t need to wait for anything.  Just go to the hospital and be taken care of.  You don’t need to sit outside and wait for the people that came in before you, you can be escorted to the doctor immediately.

This is also a really good perk of health insurance because if there’s a time limit, then you should be looked at straight away to avoid all the risks and possible sad outcomes.

In some countries, such as the UK, there is a National Health Service. But, if you have a condition that is not medically urgent, you often have to wait a very long time for an operation or even to be seen by a doctor. These countries also have private hospitals that you can use if you have health insurance and thereby get immediate treatment.

You can Pick your Doctor

You can decide who you want to be seeing when you’re being checked or cured – at least to a degree.

You can also choose your surgeon and even what procedure you want to have. Of course, you will be enlightened with some professional advice.

You can also choose the hospital to be treated at, assuming your cover does not have a list of approved hospitals that they will cover.

Guests Have more Flexible Visiting Times

In most public hospitals, visiting times are necessarily quite restrictive. Wards with 10-20 people, all of whom needing nursing care and doctor visits cannot be filled with tens of visitors all through the day as they would interfere and slow the work of the medical team.

So doctors do their rounds, and nurses attend to their duties at times when visitors are not allowed.  This restricts the time for every patient in the ward to be able to have visitors. And if you are sick it is often welcoming to have visitors to break up the boredom of being bedridden.

One of the benefits of health insurance is that you have more flexible visiting hours since if they overlap a doctors visit or attention needed by nurses then asking a couple of visitors to step outside of your private room is not a big hindrance.

Health insurance also allows you to choose the hospital you want and the room you want.  Different hospitals have different pieces of equipment, some are more high-tech than others, you can choose between them.

Can Come as a Work Perk

In many countries, companies are obligated by law to provide a level of health coverage for their workers. For workers in countries with no health insurance, this is a large consideration as to whether they want to take the job at all or not.

There is a good social benefit from this in that companies can get preferential rates from health insurers from buying cover for a large number of people under one policy. There is a large reduction in overhead for the insurance company that can be passed on.  Companies also benefit from being able to offset the health insurance costs against profits and thus reduce tax.

In some ways, this correlates to a National Health Service, albeit for workers only, because taxes that would otherwise be paid by companies towards a national health provision, is diverted to paying for private health insurance serviced by private health care.

It doesn’t help the old much or people who cannot work or who are unemployed.

The Smile Says You Have Medical Insurance

Cons

Can be a High Monthly Expense

In some cases, health insurance won’t cover all the health problems that may come your way.  When you have some health problems that are not covered with the insurance service, then you will have to pay with your own money and not the money that’s been collected as premium which you have paid regularly.

If you want a high level of cover then the expense can be a large percentage of your monthly salary or simply not affordable at all. Unless you are earning a huge salary there will be some compromises that need to be made in the level of cover you can afford. The result of this is that people tend to cut out the more expensive sections of the policy cover to reduce cost, but in so doing can leave themselves open to financial ruin.

You may be able to reduce costs by paying annually instead of monthly, as this reduces administrative costs or the insurance company. Paying monthly has the added issue that if you miss a monthly premium then your cover will stop. If you happen to get ill right at the same time all the premiums you have paid will have been for nothing.

Health Insurance companies, like every other type of insurance company, are ruthless and poorly regulated.  They are a huge business – do you see a pattern with poor regulation and money making large business here?

Health insurance doesn’t cover each and every health problem

You can choose many different health problems to cover but they don’t cover all of the health problems that exist.

So if you are close to someone who has an uncommon disease and there’s a chance you might catch it from him/her then there’s also a chance that health insurance won’t cover it.

Also, if your family has a history of certain hereditary health issues then cover will likely be refused for those specific issues or the cost of cover will be prohibitively high. Socialists wax on and on about the injustices of the capitalist system and unequal opportunities in education and job opportunity but a lot less is said about the inequality of your family’s health history and costs to mitigate issues arising from that.

Isn’t that just as unequal?

So if you buy health insurance, you should probably prepare some money for other health problems just in case.

More Cover More Premium – Limited Cover

The more health problems you choose to cover, the more expensive the premium cost.

Above, I said you can reduce the premium price if you don’t choose to cover certain things.  Well, the downside of that is that your cover may not be there for what you need it for.

There are limited health problems to choose to cover and you can only cover some of them.

Whatever the level of cover you pay for you can’t just go ahead and choose to cover every single disease on the list as some will likely be restricted or at such a cost it doesn’t make sense to cover.

You need to choose the health problems that require you to see the doctor.

You are Paying for Something You Might Never Use

One of the main disadvantages is that you have to pay the cost for each month no matter what.  Of course, you get checked at the hospital regularly to prevent any sickness, viruses or diseases.  But is it really worth the premium you have to pay?

The premium is not cheap and it can be way more expensive than getting treated normally without a health insurance.  You might also want to be prepared to pay more premiums than normal because if there’s inflation, the premiums will cost more.

So basically, it’s a preventive action that will help you if you get ill in the future.

If you Need to Use it Renewals may be Refused or Priced out of Affordability

One of the main issues for me is that health insurers are very happy and quite quick to ramp up premiums to an unaffordable level as soon as it appears you are going to make a claim. They cover costs for the year you get ill and then seem to find every angle at getting out of providing ongoing cover.

A lot of people pay for health insurance all their life and then when they get older, cover is simply not available. This is a huge issue because the time when you most need the cover is when premiums become unaffordable or simply not available at all. then what do you do.

I think this is something that needs to be regulated by law to stop insurers simply dumping you when the going gets tough.

Lack of Transparency and Deceitful Selling

It seems to me insurance and pensions are a hub of mis-selling and bad regulation. Regulations that are brought in supposedly to help the consumer, simply provide more jobs for the industry and another layer of administration and management. This increases costs which are immediately passed on to the consumer plus a markup and the core issues are just not addressed.

If a large insurance company makes horrendous management decisions, like bankers, they are bailed out by governments who are lobbied to take on the task of bailing them out. Governments get their money from us by way of taxes, we are ripped off by the companies and pay to employ thousands of people with profits distributed to big business everywhere and when it all goes tits up, we end up paying again.

The insurance and pensions industries are beleaguered with mis-selling, promising things that will never happen just to get sales. The small print written by smart lawyers give them all the get outs they need, safe in the knowledge they will be bailed out anyway if something goes wrong. Their salaries seem safe don’t they, which sticks in your throat if you are sick while watching them deny cover or price it out of affordability.

It’s a scam that needs proper consumer protection. Scandalous!

How Insurance Companies Work & Reduce Consumer Value

The thing is that insurance companies need to cover their administrative costs. The salaries for the management are typically huge, the offices plush and located in the most expensive areas of the cities, advertising costs are a huge expense as well as all the agents they pay.

Insurance is a numbers game. To work out premiums insurers work out the risk you are to them from your family history and current health status based on thousands of comparables. They work out the huge costs they are incurring through their own choice of plush offices etc.  They work out the commissions to their agents, often not properly disclosed.

All these costs, which are significant, are taken off the premium you pay leaving a small amount left to pay for possible cover.

These are the reasons cover is so expensive and really not the social safety net health insurance should be.

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