Medical care is one of many things that young Americans tend to take for granted. You can visit a hospital or urgent care center when you get sick, but young, healthy people are generally more focused on other pursuits like education, careers, and relationships. Unforeseen medical needs, however, can derail a life that is otherwise on track. Here are some of the most important reasons to plan in advance for medical care.
1. Needing medical attention may affect your ability to earn money.
Whether it’s a chronic disease or an injury that only needs a few months of bed rest, significant health problems can affect a person’s ability to continue working. Some jobs are too physically demanding, and some conditions may make it impossible even to get out of bed. Individuals with stable, lucrative careers may forget that a serious injury can make it necessary to take months away from the office.
2. Some injuries and illnesses come without warning.
Relatively young and active people are more prone to feeling that they only need the bare minimum amount of health insurance coverage. Unfortunately, those same populations are particularly likely to engage in risky behaviors that result in traumatic and often debilitating injuries. Racing motorcycles and extreme sports are two examples wherein thrill-seeking young people make risky choices.
Individuals who make relatively safe choices and avoid extreme sports are still at risk of developing physical conditions that require expensive treatment. Cardiovascular problems and cancer can sometimes reach advanced stages before a patient gets a diagnosis. While any sharp or persistent pain can be worth mentioning to a doctor, patients often dismiss symptoms as common discomforts.
3. It can be more expensive than you expect.
As the result of generations of for-profit healthcare in America, the expense of treatment can seem disproportionate to products and services involved. It can be hard to see the whole picture, especially when you go to a large hospital network with a lot of overhead and liability coverage. Ongoing care for chronic conditions can add up over years of treatment.
4. Not all insurance coverage plans are the same.
Focused on getting the premiums as low as possible, young people often want only the bare minimum coverage. When unexpected problems arise, they may be surprised by the downsides of minimum coverage. Not only does a patient often have a higher deductible, but also they may find that the insurance company has a limit to how much they will pay.
5. Medical coverage is now a requirement.
The federal government’s online marketplace is a good location to learn more about coverage options. You can find out about the next open enrollment period, as well as plans for individuals and families.
Ultimately, medical care is an important concern for people of all ages. Parents make sure that their kids go to the necessary doctor’s appointments, and schools all the way up to universities require certain immunizations. It’s when youths are newly independent that they feel that coverage is an unnecessary expense. Still, planning is an important consideration, even for people with limited funds.