A medical emergency can bankrupt you if you do not have health insurance. If you are older, it has a higher chance of bankrupting you because recovery times are far slower, and there is often the interaction between different pre-existing illnesses and ailments. For example, something as random as a car crash may cost you more because recovering is difficult because of your arthritis, or healing is tough because of your blood-thinning medication, and so forth. Major accidents and devastating emergencies are not the only reason to get health insurance before you get too much older. Here are a few other reasons why getting health insurance when you are younger is often a good idea.
If you live your entire life with perfect health, then health insurance is pretty much a big waste of money with the exception of inoculations and such. Yet, let’s say you start your health insurance at 55yrs old, and already you have chronic back pain, mild COPD, and mild arthritis in your left hand. You may find that your health insurance premiums are a little unreasonably high. You are not knocking on heaven’s door, but you have pre-existing conditions, and they often bump up the price of your health insurance rather considerably.
Some insurance companies will exclude you because you have a certain condition, and some will demand that you buy extra cover for your condition. For example, if you have diabetes, then they will sell you health insurance and then an extra policy to cover just your diabetes. Or some may offer you health insurance but refuse to add your chronic/pre-existing ailment into the policy.
Another good reason to get health insurance when you are younger is that some insurance companies will outright refuse to offer you insurance past a certain age if you have a pre-existing condition. For example, General & Medical’s personal healthcare policy offers cover for most types of chronic illness but will only offer them to people under the age of 65yrs old.
Most articles say that you can save money on your health insurance if you maintain good health, stay healthy, and so forth, but no amount of good health can stop things like chronic rheumatism, or corns, or even lower back pain. Sometimes, all you can do is stay sensible, and hope for the best, and getting health insurance when you are younger rather than when you are older is a sensible thing to do.
While trying to get an all-round view of health insurance, there are country-specific rules that affect older people more than younger. For example, in Australia, there is LHC loading. There is Lifetime health cover (LHC) that the government instigated to encourage people to buy and maintain their private health insurance coverage. If you have not maintained private patient hospital cover from the year you turn 31, then you have to pay 2% LHC loading on top of whatever premium you have.
In this case, the longer you wait to buy and maintain health insurance, the more you pay on top of your premium. For example, start at the age of 40 years old, and you pay 20% extra for ten years. Start at 50, and you could pay 40% more for ten years. There is a maximum loading limit of 70% for ten years, so if your premium is already high, then a loading premium may make your health insurance premium unaffordable. You will need to load for a continuous ten years before the added premium goes away, so starting earlier is better if you live in Australia.
Getting older is only a negative if you are unable to experience gratitude. Many people never reach their later years because life is unpredictable and unfair, which is part of its beauty. Yet, if you have not had health insurance for a while, perhaps because of your job, or because of a nationalized health service, then it is perhaps time to compare health insurance providers.
The older you get, the higher the chances are that the illness you get will be chronic, or even deadly. Your earlier years and your later years are really the hotspots for the sort of illnesses that can kill you. They are, for want of a better word, your more vulnerable years. Even if you think health insurance is a waste of money, it may be worth wasting a little money just in case your luck runs out.