Browse YouTube long enough and you’ll find a compilation of “fail videos.” These videos are a human smorgasbord of human stupidity. It’s not just that people are falling down and hitting their faces, it’s that they’re voluntarily putting themselves in these dangerous situations.
While these videos should be a black and white case as to why young people need health insurance, it’s actually a better illustration as to why young people don’t have health insurance. They think they are invincible.
When you’re young, you’re healthy. You don’t need medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol. Your body doesn’t ache the day after a game of basketball. You’re not thinking about the end, you’re too busy enjoying the beginning. Nothing can hurt you.
Except when it does.
Everyone, no matter your age, needs to have health insurance. If you’re a young and health individual, here are a few analogies that will clarify why you still need health insurance…even if you don’t use it.
Would You Buy a Car with Cash Or Take Out a Loan?
When you’re healthy, you think your monthly premium is expensive. Paying $100 or $200 a month for health insurance you’re never going to use is seems like a waste of money. That’s like a car payment, except you don’t get a car!
This is true, but can you afford the $200 a month? Yes. (If it’s tough, here’s our list of ways to save money to afford your health insurance.) Now let’s go back to the car payment analogy. Would you rather buy a car with cash or take out a loan to buy it?
Can you afford a $40,000 lump sum payment? Most likely not, which is why people take out car loans and pay them off $200 a month.
Which payment scenario would you prefer with your healthcare? A bunch of smaller payments that add up over time? Or one large payment? If you don’t have health insurance, you might be able to avoid these small payments for some period of time. But when something unexpected happens with your health, you’ll be forced to buy a car. Is that something you can afford?
Health Insurance Is Like a Low Risk, High Upside Stock
We’ve written about it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Health insurance to meant to help you avoid worst case financial scenarios. But is that the best way to think about it?
Try this on for size, think of your health insurance like a low risk, high upside stock. Each month you pay $100 for health insurance, like you might a stock. It’s not fun, but it’s a manageable amount. The value of the stock stays the same for months. But then you get in a car accident and you need surgery. All of a sudden your “stock” is much more valuable.
Here’s a similar, real life example of this from the movie (or book) the Big Short. Dr. Michael Burry created credit default swap trades with big financial institutions, like Goldman Sachs. These trades were really insurance policies on a corporate bond. Since it was an insurance policy, Burry was forced to pay premiums to keep the policy, like you do with health insurance. But when the worst case scenario hit, the value of the his stock skyrocketed. Burry made hundreds of millions of dollars.
It’s well documented that health related costs account for the majority of bankruptcies. This doesn’t have to be the case. Health insurance ensures you’re taken care of.
Would You Rob a Bank?
Robbing a bank is illegal. If you break the law and rob a bank, there are consequences. These consequences are a strong enough deterrent to prevent most people from robbing a bank. You’re a good person, you don’t want to break the law.
Having health insurance is the law. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, having health insurance is no longer a luxury, but a mandate. According to the ACA, if you do not have health insurance, you can be fined.
You wouldn’t rob a bank because it’s against the law, why would you not have health insurance if it’s against the law?
Paying your monthly premium can be a huge buzzkill on your monthly finances. You’d rather spend that money on a night out with friends or that pair of shoes you’ve been eying. You’d get more use from that you would your health insurance.
If that’s how you think of your health insurance, it’s time you reframe your mindset around the topic. If you think about your health insurance with these three analogies, you’ll understand why it’s so important to have health insurance, even if you don’t think you’ll use it.