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The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is designed to insure every citizen while keeping costs down and the market competitive. One of the main ways the program accomplishes this is by mandating that everyone sign up for a health policy. Everyone has to sign up for healthcare whether you’re healthy or not. The idea is that since insurance companies are being forced to extend coverage to everyone, including those with preexisting conditions, they will need more funding. If you’re healthy, your money will be used to cover those who aren’t. Despite all of these changes, some people think they will just “opt out” and remain uninsured. If you’re thinking you are going to ignore the whole matter, then you could face one or more of the following consequences:
You may have heard about the tax penalty but you may not understand the amount or how it will affect you. Here is a breakdown of the tax penalty over the next three years:
Whichever is greater: $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285 per family, or one percent of family income.
Whichever is greater: $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975 per family, or two percent of family income.
Whichever is greater: $695 per adult and $347.50 per child up to $2,085 per family, or 2.5 percent of family income.
Open Enrollment Period
Under the new law, the open enrollment period is the only time in which you may apply for a health plan. Otherwise, you will be forced to wait a full year to apply for coverage. If anything happens to your health within this time frame, not only will you have to come out-of-pocket 100 percent for your medical bills, but you will also be faced with the stiff tax penalties mentioned above.
Peace Of Mind
No one can predict the future. Today you are fine but tomorrow you could fall and break your ankle, contract a vicious illness, or get in an accident. The treatment for some of these seemingly simple ailments could cost you tens of thousands of dollars if you aren’t insured. Now, imagine that you developed a more serious disease like cancer. According to the Vancouver injury lawyers of Kenneth Cristall Legal, a great number of bankruptcies are partly attributed to medical debt, and roughly 80 million adults are struggling because of medical bills. You might think that you’ll heal on your own and therefore don’t need health insurance, but there will undoubtedly come a time when your life will be in danger if you don’t visit the doctor or hospital.
Affordable Means Affordable
The main goal of the affordable care act is to make healthcare more attainable for more people. If you have low income, you may qualify for a government subsidy that will significantly lower the amount you’ll have to pay. You’ll be doing yourself and your family a disservice by not taking advantage of a steeply discounted health premium that you’ll very likely have use for sometime in the future.
Protecting Your Children
The idea of avoiding paying for medical insurance might appeal to you now, but it won’t seem like a great idea the first time your child has an emergency. If you have health insurance, your children could be covered under your policy until they’re 26-years-old (depending on the policy). This will lift a huge burden off your mind to know that your child is protected and that an injury or illness won’t end up costing you a fortune. This will also lift a burden off your child when they are in college since they will still be covered under your policy.
You’ll be giving up too many perks and a lot of money if you choose not to enroll in a health plan. As you can see, the tax penalty increases every year, and every year you go without health insurance, you leave yourself financially vulnerable. Some think that they save a lot of money by skipping out on health insurance and avoiding visiting the doctor. But the truth is that you can’t avoid life—and injuries, illnesses, and accidents are a part of life. Once you realize how much not having insurance could cost you, you’ll see the true benefit of signing up as soon as possible.
This article is from Ms. Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.