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What’s the Real Cost of Being Uninsured?

Posted on January 14, 2014 by Comments are off

Have you ever considered not having insurance?  Dropping the insurance you currently have in order to “save money?”  Many people have.  This article takes a look at what it really costs you to be uninsured, and if the “cost savings” are worth it.

Everyone knows the cost of insurance can get expensive.  And in today’s world, everyone wants to cut costs as much as possible.  Insurance is a common expense people look to cut.  Is this a wise choice?

 

Health Insurance

According to Healthcare Bluebook, below are the average costs that are considered “fair price” for various common medical and dental procedures:

  • $39 to $272 for an office visit for an existing patient  – depends on the severity of your issue, the treatment involved, and the length of time you’ll spend with the doctor. 
  • $83 to $387 for an office visit for a new patient.
  • $636 to $5,100 for a visit to the emergency room (not including an overnight stay at the hospital if needed) – depends on the severity of the problem and what tests and scans are needed.
  • $74 average cost for teeth cleaning, not including fluoride (though dental costs are some of the most widely varying fees across the country).
  • $10,091 to have your appendix removed – one of the most common and simplest of surgical procedures.

 

Those are just average costs, based on healthcare providers across the United States. Healthcare Bluebook also points out that the cost of in-network procedures can vary by over 400%, depending on where your care is provided.

Imagine having to pay those costs on your own, without any help from insurance. Just a simple visit to your family doctor could easily cost a hundred bucks.  Multiply that by the number of people in your family and it adds up quickly.  Not to mention anything serious happening that requires hospitalization or surgery.

If you have insurance, however, you would know that your medical costs wouldn’t go over a certain amount (your deductible, or out-of-pocket maximum).  Plans range in terms of the cost to you and what is covered, but you can certainly find a plan that limits your financial burden and gives you peace of mind.

 

Long-term Care Insurance

The average price for nursing homes in the Pittsburgh area is $9,720 per month, according to the CaregiverList.comAnother source cites that the cost for a single-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility can range $1,995 to $5,600 per month.  If your loved one (or you) prefers to stay at home and receive at-home care, 24-hour care in your home can run around $310 per day.  That’s $9,300 per month, and over $110,000 for an entire year!

These are just examples, but they are real numbers from real facilities. Imagine being in your seventies, eighties, or nineties, and needing long-term care, and not having insurance to help cover those costs!  Foregoing LTC insurance could end up costing you nearly $10,000 each month!

 

Life Insurance

Unlike health or auto insurance, not everyone necessarily needs life insurance. If you have debt or dependents (be that children or a spouse), who you would like to provide for financially upon your death, then life insurance is for you.

Waiting until you are 65 years old to purchase life insurance could cost you over $500 more each month, than if you had purchased a comparable plan in your thirties, forties, or even fifties.

It certainly does not pay to wait to get life insurance.  Remember, the real cost of being uninsured when it comes to life insurance is the added burden and strain on your family upon your passing.  Paying as little as twenty or thirty dollars a month now (depending on your age and lifestyle) could drastically reduce or even eliminate that burden.

So, do you need insurance? That’s your call.  Hopefully this article showed you what it could very well cost you much more if you choose to go uninsured.

 

 

 

Sources:

Healthcare Bluebook  (https://healthcarebluebook.com/page_Results.aspx?id=43&dataset=hosp)

AssistedLiving.com

The Caregiver List  (http://caregiverlist.com)

The Care Registry (http://thecareregistry.com)

Trusted Choice (http://trustedchoice.com)

 

 

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