Why Would I Buy Health Insurance?
I live in America and I am 25 and in one year I will not be covered on my father’s insurance plan. Time to start looking for insurance plans? Maybe not… The more I think about it the more I have the thought, “WHY THO?” With the repeal of the individual mandate (the penalty in the ACA that required you to either have health insurance or to pay a penalty fee yearly) many young people will soon be in my shoes, thinking to themselves, “why would I possibly spend money on this? I’m healthy!” But it’s not like I don’t want health care, I do, and not for the reasons you might think, stay tuned.
Of course, states could come into action and place individual mandates, but how many is the question. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the effects of the mandate repeal:
“Federal budget deficits would be reduced by about $338 billion between 2018 and 2027.
The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.
Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.”
Non-group being insurance not provided by workplaces. So, what’s the problem? Well, the mandate was mostly for one thing: if everyone had to opt into the program, the prices for the people that need the healthcare will go down because healthy people, like me, do not use their health care as much as them. The problem is the 26-year-old male. Straddled with college debt and trying to propel themselves into a career in the face of a saturated job market, you know what they certainly want? More bills.
Yeah, that would be great. I have sit down with a bottle of scotch just to buy my $350 liability car insurance. If you think I am among the minority and most young males will get health insurance, well isn’t there a proclivity to risk taking among young male adults? Yup, and not to say this means they will not buy health insurance, but I would say it is likely that a large portion of them will NOT. *Peter Singer cries in a far off place*
Specifically talking about dental and eye care, they are useless. Walmart will give you an eye exam for around $64. You can take that prescription, and for about $12 you can get a pair of prescription glasses shipped to your house. So, $76 dollars a year for eye care. Compare that to the 20 damned dollars I must pay even WITH my insurance plan for an eye exam and the most basic lenses MINUS the frame. Can you imagine the face I made when the optometrist asked if I wanted their anti-reflective material for a low rate of $85 while wearing anti-reflective lenses WITH a frame that set me back $12 off the internet?
But you have to go to the dentist twice a year, right? Weeeell, after reading this BBC article and seeing the flimsy evidence for that I would say no. At the minimum, seeing the dentists twice a year seems like a waste of money and time. So, I would be willing to bet if you take that dental insurance and put it towards having an exam every two years, you would probably have some money left over.
If up to this point you think I am happy about gaming the system and not paying a greedy insurance companies, you’re wrong. I don’t want to waste brain power finding websites to buy glasses from and looking up what the fuck a pupillary distance is. But the biggest reason I want health insurance is because healthy 25-year-olds like me drives down the cost for people who need the insurance. I see them every time I go into work, I work in private EMS which is medial transportation and not 911 response. I know the only thing that separates me and the person who just lost a leg in a car accident, who was born with a neurodegenerative disease, or even someone who just made a bad decision is luck. Through no accomplishment of your own did you evade disease and degradation. This fact should make us feel indebted to these people.
It is disgusting that I would rather opt out than help the people who need cheaper insurance. The U.S. has such an overblown medical industry that it is spending more money than other nations but to less effect, and in some U.S. regions the average lifespan is declining (complex issue that is highly related to drug overdose mainly no doubt, but is dying from an overdose not a health issue?)
I try not to lie to myself and even if the U.S. medical system was cost effective, I would not opt into medical insurance. The odds of me needing insurance in the next 10 years are next to nothing. As a person who thinks quite a lot about bringing the human experience up to a bare standard that everyone can enjoy with minimal suffering, whatever the pretentious fuck that means, just the fact that I am not going to opt in is quite depressing to myself. For this reason I question the future of medical insurance for all in America.
Originally published at brandondot.wordpress.com on August 15, 2018.