If you visit a hospital in an emergency without having health insurance, the medical professionals and doctors are liable to provide you with life-saving treatments. As per EMTALA or Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, “Any individual with an emergency medical condition, regardless of the individual’s insurance coverage, is not denied essential lifesaving services.”
Though the number of uninsured individuals in the US has dropped drastically, most of the population does not have any health insurance policy. Presently, there are over 27 million uninsured individuals in the US. Out of these, most of them include individuals with low income as they cannot afford the healthcare options. However, specific individuals prefer not to take any health insurance.
Either way, if you choose to go uninsured, you may face certain risks even though there is no rule or law against not having any health insurance policies. Wondering what happens if you do not have health insurance and you need to check into a hospital? Let’s find out.
– Medical Debt:
When you have a health insurance policy, based on the plan you have taken, the insurance pays for most of your medical expenses. This includes prescription drugs, and the visit to the doctor and even the emergency room services. What happens when you do not have a health insurance policy? Then, a serious health issue or an accident may result in an expensive treatment plan that can put you into poor credit, or you may even end up in bankruptcy. For many years, medical debt is one of the major causes of personal bankruptcy, taking a toll on citizens.
Patients that incur substantial medical bills are highly unlikely to save any money in their account. This makes them more susceptible to all sorts of financial strain resulting in them borrowing money and also foregoing on medical care and necessities.
– Unable To Afford Medication:
Most of the prescription drugs are quite expensive due to the increase in prices. Hence, those without health insurance coverage will not be able to afford it from their pocket. Most uninsured individuals either delay the purchase or avoid buying the essential drugs due to the high cost.
– Lack of Medical Services:
According to the law, health providers are not required to offer medical services to those who do not have health insurance coverage. As per EMTALA, only the emergency departments have a legal bound to provide emergency care.
Though most individuals are diagnosed with chronic health issues like high cholesterol, obesity, or high blood pressure, they do not have access to quality primary care. This is mainly because medical professionals have the right to refuse treatments for those without insurance coverage. The same applies to those patients who are unable to pay for the medical expenses out of their pocket. The piling up of medical debts contributes to a vast number of bankruptcies in the US.
Moreover, individuals who are not insured will not have access to free preventive care. This care is critical for spotting conditions or illness at an at the beginning stage before they develop into a complicated issue. Diagnosing the health problems early enhances the chance of successful treatments and decreases the costs of treatment.
– Tax Penalties:
Citizens are no longer taxed for not getting health insurance policies by the government. As of 2019, the individual responsibility penalty is no longer applicable and was repealed by the federal government. However, you need to check with your state laws as individual states impose penalties on those who are not insured.
Healthcare is quite expensive, even for those having a health insurance policy. However, individuals who are not insured have a greater disadvantage. The heavyweight of the medical expenses and the inability to get proper treatment for your health condition are some of the main reasons you need to get yourself covered. Be prepared and take the coverage even if you are healthy and do not require immediate medical care.