Pre-S: Open enrollment season has begun! If you are going to enroll in marketplace insurance, you have from November 1 until December 15 to do so. Don’t wait! Start your research and get yourself enrolled. Visit Healthcare.gov to get started.\ \ After the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) was passed in 2010, it became required for everyone to have health insurance coverage. Those who didn’t get covered would get financially penalized. This mandate was instated to encourage people who weren’t previously covered to enroll in health insurance. However, effective January 2019, the individual mandate is no longer part of the law. Regardless of how you personally feel about that, it’s still important for you to have health insurance. And here’s why:

Regardless of how you personally feel about that, it’s still important for you to have health insurance.

Healthcare is the Ultimate Self Care

We tout self care all the time these days. And that’s great! But on Instagram, it usually takes the simple form of a bubble bath or a shopping spree. The truth is, real self care takes more planning and effort than that. A lot of the time, it’s boring, responsible stuff. And healthcare is one of the most important ways that you can take care of yourself. Physically and mentally, if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, things can go downhill fast. So if you say that you prioritize self care, it’s time to make sure that you have the healthcare you need.

Medical Costs Are the Leading Cause of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts may seek relief from some or all of their debts. It is often viewed as a financial last resort. According to CNBC, two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy cite medical issues as a key contributor. This amounts to an estimated 530,000 families each year. That’s a lot of people being forced into bankruptcy due to medical costs. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you have adequate health insurance, so you can try to avoid the sort of debt that could be insurmountable.

Preventative Medicine Saves You Problems Later

It should go without saying that preventing disease is the better and more affordable option when it comes to medical costs. And preventative medicine is actually covered 100% under the Affordable Care Act. That means that well women physicals and annual physicals are covered without requiring a copay. Going to these appointments can prevent issues or catch them early, which makes treatment and recovery easier and less expensive. Have you had your well women visit yet this year?

You’ll Have Access to Your Medication

One of the most important parts of health insurance is getting coverage for your necessary or desired medications. In my life, I have at one point or another taken these kinds of medications: birth control, thyroid medication, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and nasal spray. If I hadn’t had health insurance, I may not have been able to afford my medications. That would not have been a big deal when it came to the nasal spray, but it was certainly a big deal when I was depressed and needed antidepressants. There are medications out there that are still unaffordable even with insurance (which is a problem on its own). But there are also lots of medications that are much more affordable when you have coverage. For example, birth control is still required to be cost-free under the Affordable Care Act (unless your employer cites a religious objection). So that means that if you have health insurance, you don’t even have to pay a co-pay for your birth control.

It’s Better For Society

As I mentioned in today’s podcast episode, it’s better for society as a whole if everyone has health insurance. That’s because the more healthy people that have health insurance, the more the costs can go down. Basically, if young, healthy people are paying their insurance premiums, but not needing as much medical care, that offsets the costs of older, less healthy people who are paying their premiums but using more medical care. Make sense? The more of us buying into the insurance system, the more affordable it will be. And honestly, the healthier our society will be. So make sure you’re doing your part for society and getting healthcare coverage.