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November 30, 2023

Why you should have health insurance when you’re young and healthy

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When you’re young, having health insurance may not be the first thing on your priority list — especially if you are full of energy and rarely get sick. But life can be unpredictable, and having health insurance provides a crucial safety net and peace of mind when the unexpected does happen.

From medical emergencies to preventive care, and even the rising costs of prescription medications, here’s why health insurance is an essential asset for everyone, no matter their age.

Accidents and illnesses

Good health can’t protect you against accidents and sudden illnesses. And getting treatment for them can be expensive.

One trip to the emergency room is enough to make health insurance worth the cost. The treatment for a broken leg can cost as much as $7,500. A three-day hospital stay can cost $30,000. That’s a lot of money to have to spend on short notice. And if you don’t have it, you wind up with debt that can limit your financial options down the road.

Preventive care

The best way to increase your chances of remaining healthy as you get older is to take care of yourself when you’re young. Health insurance helps you do that by covering the cost of many services that are lumped together under preventive care.

For example, health insurance covers the cost of annual physical exams. One reason these are important is that they can reveal if you have a chronic condition.

Thirteen percent of young men and eighteen percent of young women have at least one chronic condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while some of these health issues, such as acid reflux and asthma, have symptoms that make them noticeable, others don’t. Those can include:

High blood pressure, which can be found in nearly half of all Americans older than 20.

Prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes, which is found in a quarter of all young adults.

Borderline high cholesterol levels, which affect more than a quarter of young adults.

In addition to preventive care, your health care provider can treat you for common illnesses, refer you to a specialist if you need one, and answer any questions you may have related to health and wellness.

Drugs and medical devices

Nearly 50 percent of young adults take at least one prescription medication per day, and the cost of many drugs continues to rise.

A typical health insurance plan can relieve some of that cost burden, enabling you to pay much less for many drugs than you would if you bought them without insurance. Insurers list the drugs they cover in documents called formularies.

Health insurance also covers the cost of many medical devices. For example, if you have sleep apnea, you may need a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help you breathe at night. Many implantable devices are also generally covered, such as a pacemaker, which helps your heart beat at a regular rhythm.

The bottom line

You may be very healthy now, but it’s important to be prepared should life throw you a curveball.

Independence Blue Cross offers the widest selection of health insurance plans in the Philadelphia area. With so many options, it’s simple to find a plan that fits in your budget and serves your individual health needs.

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