If you are one of the 46.6 million Americans that have joined the ranks of the uninsured, what you may not know is that you may have to pay more for your medical treatment than your privately insured counterparts. If those without insurance get sick, they usually have to pay much more for the same medical services, since insurance companies can negotiate discounts with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and others health care providers.
This means that the average uninsured working man or woman who suffers a mild heart attack can be stuck with a hospital bill that is in excess of $30,000 compared to the $10,000, negotiated rate, which is charged to an insured patient’s private insurance carrier. In many cases, uninsured individuals are charged 3-4 times more for the exact same medical treatment that is administered to patients with private insurance. Additionally, uninsured patient with huge medical bills are usually aggressively pursued by collection agencies and new bankruptcy laws make it extremely difficult to discharge medical debt.
If you don’t have health insurance coverage, you have a 25 percent greater chance of developing a life-threatening disease or condition than those with health insurance. Here are some startling statistics from the National Institute of Medicine (OIM) an arm of the National Academy of Sciences:
1. Lack of health insurance causes 18,000 unnecessary deaths per year
2. Adults without health insurance coverage have a 25 percent greater chance of dying from a disease or condition than those with health insurance coverage
3. The nation spends $65 to $130 billion a year in lost resources because of diminished health and premature deaths relating to uninsured Americans
Today, there are more uninsured Americans than any point in history. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 15.9 percent of Americans are walking around without health insurance coverage and paying for medical expenses out of pocket. Although treatment for a sore throat or broken ankle can be a manageable medical expense for some families, more expensive treatments like surgery or chemotherapy can be financially devastating. If you are the type of person that wouldn’t risk driving your vehicle without car insurance, consider the fact that there is a statistically greater chance that you will suffer from an illness or injury than an auto accident.