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Why Health Insurance is Important at Every Stage of Life

Help Maintain Your Health with Preventative Care.

Health insurance makes a difference in how healthy someone is. Uninsured people are far more likely than those with insurance to postpone health care or forgo it altogether. The consequences can be severe, especially when preventable conditions or chronic diseases go undetected.1

Maintaining affordable health insurance for self employed workers throughout your life means that you will always have access to free preventive care and free preventive health screenings. Routine visits can help catch health concerns early to prevent them from skyrocketing into a big issue and a hefty price tag.

Preventive care is key

Health insurance for self employed workers provides you and your loved ones with access to a host of free preventive health screenings that can reduce the risk for diseases, disabilities, and death. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Marketplace health plans and many other plans are required to provide preventive care without charging a copayment or coinsurance (even if the annual deductible hasn’t been met.)2

The importance of health insurance for young adults

Self employed health insurance puts you on the right track to living a long and healthy life. As previously mentioned, health insurance for self employed workers provides you and your loved ones with free preventive services designed to monitor your health, recommend changes when needed, and diagnose diseases early on so they can be treated.

Busy work and family lives keep healthy adults from seeing their primary care provider. Still, health insurance for self employed individuals and their families makes staying healthy a part of your routine for life. Between the ages of 18 – 34, an annual preventive health screening would typically include:3

  • Weight and height
  • Blood pressure
  • Annual cholesterol check if there are known risk factors; otherwise, every five years
  • Skin screening for lesions or moles that look suspicious
  • Historical illness health screenings for known family medical issues such as heart conditions, diabetes, and cancer
  • An annual diabetes health assessment if there are known risk factors, otherwise bi-annually, if BMI is greater than 25 or other lifestyle factors are present
  • Immunizations 
  • Depression screening
  • Screenings for sexually transmitted infections
  • Blood work is done annually and may include: 
    • HDL and LDL cholesterol
    • Complete Blood Count
    • Basic or Complete Metabolic Panel 
    • Thyroid Panel
    • Liver Enzyme Markers
    • Sexually Transmitted Disease Tests 
    • Plasma Glucose
  • Additional preventive health screenings for women
    • Cervical cancer screening and pap smear every three years
    • The HPV vaccine if not received as an adolescent
    • Annual breast exam by a medical provider
  • Additional preventive health screenings for men
    • Annual testicular exam by a medical provider

More health insurance benefits

You will never be younger or healthier than you are right now – which makes it the opportune time to invest in the best health insurance plan for you. The earlier you lock down health insurance for self employed workers, the less likely you are to have pre-existing conditions that could be excluded. And the healthier you are, the more affordable health insurance premiums will be.

Health insurance between jobs

Proper health care can be a significant expense, which is why health insurance through an employer can appear attractive. However, there is also a considerable downside to not being in control of your health insurance.

When you have an employer-sponsored health plan, you are at the mercy of your employer. Your employer could decide to fire you or roll back benefits, and then you would be left scrambling to find health insurance between jobs.

The Economic Policy institute estimates that nearly 6.2 million workers lost their jobs and employer-sponsored health insurance during the pandemic. And when you include  spouses and dependents, the number jumps to almost 12 million people who lost their health insurance.4 When people needed health care the most, nearly 12 million people across the country were left to pay for skyrocketing costs on their own because their health plan was at the mercy of someone else.

Health insurance for marriage and children

At this stage in life, you likely have a family or loved ones that depend on you. A growing family means growing financial obligations—both present and in the future. Any medical expense might cost you a fortune and jeopardize your retirement plans or your children’s future.

Cost of pregnancy

No matter how you look at it – having a baby is expensive. You have to buy a crib, a car seat, diapers, baby food, toys, and about a million other things. But what about all of the expenses before you even get to bring your new bundle of joy home? Having a baby is priceless, but health insurance can help make sure your money is spent well.

If you have health insurance for self employed workers, prenatal visits, health assessments, and any diagnostic tests (such as ultrasounds) will likely be covered. They are generally considered “preventive” care. But, if you don’t have health insurance, the average cost of prenatal care is about $2,000.5

And then, there is the cost of delivering the baby. Without insurance, the average bill for a regular birth is $30,000, and the average bill for a c-section is $50,000. In comparison, the average fill for a traditional birth WITH insurance is $3,400, and the average bill for a c-section WITH insurance is also $3,400.6 Of course, the amount covered by health insurance depends on the specific plan you choose, but you can be sure that it would be far less than the cost if you or your partner delivered the baby without insurance.

Health insurance for children

Every child deserves to grow up healthy and happy. To help them get there, kids need good health insurance for regular check-ups and medical care.

Children need regular preventive care and health assessments to track their development and find health problems early when they’re usually easier to treat. Services like health screenings, dental check-ups, vaccinations, and other health assessments are vital to keeping people of all ages healthy.7

And we can’t forget, children with health insurance miss fewer days from school, which means that their parents also miss less time from work.

You need full risk coverage

Age-related diseases are illnesses and conditions that occur more frequently in people as they get older, meaning age is a significant risk factor. Some of the most common age-related diseases are:8

  • Cardiovascular disease, the most common of which is coronary artery disease, is a narrowing or blockage of the main arteries supplying the heart with blood. Obstructions can develop over time (or quickly) and cause potentially fatal heart attacks.
  • Cerebrovascular disease, more commonly known as a stroke.
  • High blood pressure can cause severe problems for your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other systems in the body.
  • One of the most significant risk factors for many types of cancer, in which abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, is age. According to the American Cancer Society, 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in people over 55. Some cancers are more common as we age, including skin, breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, bladder, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and stomach cancers.9
  • Type 2 diabetes becomes more common after age 45 and involves resistance to insulin that causes the body to process glucose improperly.
  • Characterized by a loss of brain function, dementia can manifest as memory loss, mood changes, confusion, difficulty communicating, or poor judgment. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but several other diseases can cause it as well.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by a reduction of airflow in and out of the lungs and is an age-related disease most common in people over 65. The condition cannot be cured, but it can be treated and, perhaps more importantly, prevented.
  • Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs more commonly as people age, and it’s more prevalent in women.
  • Also known as “brittle bone disease,” osteoporosis is characterized by bone mass loss, which leads to thinning and weakening bones.
  • A cataract is a progressive cloudiness in the lens of your eye resulting from several factors, including age, exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking, and diabetes.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common age-related disease in adults over the age of 50, is the most common cause of blindness in older people

To combat the increase of age-related diseases, an annual preventive health screening between the ages of 40 – 64 would typically include the previously mentioned health assessments plus additional health screenings, tests, preventive care, and vaccines, including:10

  • Two doses of the shingles vaccine given at age 50 and up
  • An annual flu shot
  • Colorectal screening for age 50 and up unless other risk factors are present
  • Colonoscopy
  • Osteoporosis screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Depression screening and mental health assessment
  • Additional preventive health screenings for women 
    • Annual blood work will continue
    • Annual or bi-annual mammogram based on your risk factors
    • Pelvic exam and pap smear every three years or more frequently based on history and risk factors
  • Additional preventive health screenings for men 
    • Prostate exam for 50 years old and up unless other risk factors are present

Getting ready for retirement

You spend your whole life working, investing and preparing for retirement and having health insurance throughout your life is another essential part of the preparation. Health insurance for self employed workers keeps you healthy so you can work hard and save hard in your youth and kick back and relax for retirement.

More health issues

Many tests and health screenings that were optional for younger generations will become recommended by age 65. And as age-related diseases occur more frequently in people as they get older, preventive health screenings for those 65 and older would typically include the previously mentioned health assessments plus additional health screenings, including:11

  • Colorectal cancer screening and continued tests based on baseline results
  • Height and weight: although these health assessments are performed every year, they become more critical as you age
  • Fall prevention screening: baseline and then as needed
  • Depression screening and mental health assessment
  • High dose flu vaccine
  • Additional preventive health screenings for women 
    • Cervical cancer screening: most women can stop having pap smears if they have no history of cervical cancer
    • Women are at higher risk for osteoporosis and will be screened more regularly at this age
  • Additional preventive health screenings for men
    • Prostate screenings will continue annually
    • Osteoporosis screening every five years after the baseline is established

Protect your nest egg

No one knows what health problems they may have in the future or the medical expenses they may incur throughout retirement. Healthcare costs could wipe out your nest egg and leave you with critical financial challenges if something drastic were to occur.

You can limit this risk by getting high-quality health insurance for self employed workers early on and holding onto it. Why? Because health insurance makes getting routine health screenings easier and protects you from high health care costs.

Woligo offerings

Health insurance for self employed workers at every stage of life is a necessity. Quality health insurance helps pay for medical expenses, eases access to care, and makes getting preventive care and health assessments easier so you can live a long and healthy life.

Most of us rely on business income to pay our bills, provide for our families and save for retirement. For an independent contractor, a medical issue might mean losing out on revenue and missing retirement goals, which is why you also need disability insurance. If you become sick or injured and can’t work for some time (and it’s confirmed by a doctor) disability insurance is designed to cover up to about 60% of your paycheck or income. That’s why it’s sometimes nicknamed “paycheck protection.”

Woligo established a strong team of professionals for this very reason – to be able to offer you a quick and easy process of finding the best health and disability insurance for self employed workers.  Whether you are a freelancer looking for your insurance or a small business owner seeking a health plan for your employees, we are ready to find the best option for you here

Every stage of life needs individual health insurance

Health insurance for self employed workers protects you from high health care costs, reduces barriers to needed care, and promotes regular access to health screenings and preventive services. Nearly 12 million people unexpectedly lost their health insurance during the pandemic because it was tied to their job. If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that something as essential as our health insurance shouldn’t depend on our employment status or the health of the economy. It’s far too valuable.

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Sources:

  1. The Uninsured and the ACA: A Primer – Key Facts about Health Insurance and the Uninsured amidst Changes to the Affordable Care Act – How does lack of insurance affect access to care? – 7451-14 | KFF
  2. Preventive care benefits for adults | HealthCare.gov
  3. https://www.columbianps.org/healthy-life-blog/guide-to-annual-health-screenings-by-age/
  4. https://files.epi.org/pdf/206003.pdf
  5. https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/cost-of-having-a-baby#1
  6. https://wise.com/us/blog/cost-of-having-a-baby-in-united-states
  7. https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/preventive-care
  8. https://www.verywellhealth.com/age-related-diseases-2223996
  9. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/age
  10. https://www.columbianps.org/healthy-life-blog/guide-to-annual-health-screenings-by-age/
  11. https://www.columbianps.org/healthy-life-blog/guide-to-annual-health-screenings-by-age/