At least 44 million people in the United States don't have medical insurance, and the generation with the most people living without health insurance are Millennials. This is pretty terrifying due to the high cost of health care in the United States and how difficult it has become to afford treatment for serious diseases.
Currently, any person under the age of 26 can still be claimed by their parent's insurance, but what happens after that? According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, young adults have one option after turning 26 years old, it's called a special enrollment period. You have to fill out a form and apply, which doesn't necessarily mean you are guaranteed coverage.
Once you apply you have an option to choose plans and estimate prices based on what your income is. Another option you get is to qualify through Medicaid. To qualify you will need to have a limited income or a disability. After qualifying, you can enroll immediately. Keep in mind that every state has different rules and enrollment periods, this happens at the beginning of the year normally, so you will need to be quick and plan ahead.
Emergency Room Visits Without Insurance
Now, what happens if in the middle of trying to figure out a coverage plan, you get injured during an accident? If your injuries were severe enough where you need to go to the emergency room, you could pay between $150 - $3,000 depending on how bad your injuries are. If you are in need of critical care, you may be charged up to $20,000.
These costs may seem extreme, however, if you were injured in an accident while driving and it wasn't your fault, those medical costs may be paid by the guilty party. According to MaryAnna Penton, a Jackson personal injury attorney, you can recover medical expenses and other damages incurred in association with your injury, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Non-Emergency Doctor Visits
If you are wondering where to go when you need to see a doctor but are worried about the price, you do have options. You can visit your local doctor, and ask how much out of pocket charges you need to be prepared for. They can still take you regardless of having insurance or not, you will just have to pay full price out of pocket. There are clinics available everywhere, you just have to do some research before going.
Community Health clinics also have affordable care. Every clinic's costs differ depending on your income, but there are many available. Further test results, x-rays, etc. will cost you extra, but the important thing is to see a medical professional before your illness or injury worsens.
States With The Most Affordable Health Care Access
Health care costs vary per state, and according to US News, here are the top 10 states with the best healthcare access and the most affordable.
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
States With the Highest Amount of Uninsured Residents
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas has the highest amount of uninsured residents, followed by Oklahoma.
No matter your situation, you can get medical care if you need them. Affordable choices are available and if you are injured because of someone's recklessness, you still have options. Don't avoid the doctor because of the price, because you never know how severe it could become. If you ended up at the hospital after an accident that was caused by someone else, you can hold the guilty party accountable even if you do not have health insurance. There are many personal injury lawyers that will give you a free consultation, so you know whether you have a case or not.