As students, you might think insurance isn’t necessary. After all, you’re young, probably healthy and have suffered few illnesses that required extensive hospital visits. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t care and your current situation can easily change. It’s essential that, like finances, we care about our medical situation now before it becomes too late. There’s no point trying to fix our problem when we’re knee-deep in it. As everyone knows, the best defence is a good offence.
In the same way, we should begin planning our health prospects now. No one is immune to accidents and we can’t avoid our bodies aging.
What is health insurance?
Insurance itself is obviously about putting funds aside that helps us in dire situation. When it comes to health, there are various aspects. As Medical News Today summarises: “Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers the cost of an insured individual’s medical and surgical expenses.”
Different kinds of coverage also exist. For example, some pay costs out-of-pocket or the insurer pays the provider directly.
Again, like any insurance, it helps cover costs when emergencies strike.
Why do you need it?
As we’ve noted, we are all vulnerable to medical emergencies. There is simply no way to avoid our health failing in some way. When that happens we will be in no position to deal with the issues at hand. Furthermore, even if we’re fully rational and capable, it still could have massive impact on our financial situation.
As About.com notes:
“If you have a medical emergency without insurance, it is easy to find yourself with a crippling amount of medical debt, and seemingly no way out of the mess. One accident on the ski slope could cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills, and it can quickly climb higher if you need surgery or anytime in rehabilitation.”
The problem with this is even wider than one person. When medical bills are not paid, professionals also lose out as they can’t maintain upkeep of services and equipment. After all, many items are expensive or used up – and government can’t cover all of it. This is particularly an issue in South Africa, where the majority of people have no health coverage. When emergencies strike, this creates a cycle where people need medical intervention, can’t pay, leading to lower and lower quality medical help.
It’s ideal then that we look for a broad medical coverage or even a hospital plan in South Africa. This puts us on good footing for the future and prevents us being damaged – from a health perspective and in terms of our money.