With all the recent changes to health care, many people who have never felt financially able to buy health insurance before, now have the opportunity to do so. In fact, for a time, the Affordable Care Act enacted under President Barack Obama, required all Americans to have health coverage. Some people- especially young, healthy people who don’t visit doctors on a regular basis- may wonder why they need coverage.
Now that the financial penalty imposed by the ACA may be gone forever, agents can no longer use the threat of “it’ll cost you 2.5% of your income” to instill a sense of urgency in individuals considering buying.
That means we go back to the old way of selling: pointing out that going without health insurance is running the risk of financial ruin. Even if a client is currently healthy, a sudden diagnosis of a serious and costly disease or accident could leave them with astronomical medical bills. Staggeringly high medical bills is one of the most common reasons people declare bankruptcy.
Another reason cited by healthcare reform lawmakers over the past few years is that people without health insurance don’t have access to preventative care. ACA laws required insurance companies to cover annual checkups and preventive care like immunizations, some cancer screenings, and mammograms. While we’re not sure what Donald Trump’s presidency will bring, that type of care was more likely to help people stay healthy and catch health problems earlier, when they’re easier to treat.
Under ACA laws, clients may have trouble obtaining follow-up care without insurance. While emergency departments at all hospitals are required to care for patients, regardless of their ability to pay, they are not required to cover follow up care. Rehab, supplemental care, and other services required to fully heal from an injury or illness is often going to cost.
It’s important to remember that the government mandated “Open Enrollment” is still in effect until otherwise stated by new legislation. Consumers can only purchase individual health insurance during that “Open Enrollment.” Unless they qualify for a special enrollment period, if they miss the deadline, they are unable to purchase health insurance again until the following “Open Enrollment.”