Why do we need Medical Insurance ?

Why do you need medical insurance?
Consider the cost of not having health insurance. If you are involved in an accident on your way to work, or contract a serious illness, you have to pay the hospital bills from your own pocket. This also means that you have to pay a deposit before admittance to private hospitals. If your spouse or children get seriously ill or hurt, the medical costs can lead to a total depletion of your savings. It may even cause bankruptcy. Another reason is that your family will have to settle for public health care facilities, and wait in line with hundreds of other patients. Apart from that, you still have to pay for expensive operations that are not covered under public health care.

Reasons why you cannot afford not to have medical insurance:

  • Late diagnosis of serious diseases, and as a consequence, higher risk of mortality.
  • Workers and their families that are not insured don't go for regular medical check-ups.
  • Many persons, who lack health insurance, don't go to doctors, or make use of prescriptions. This means that people settle for over the counter medicine, even in cases where more advanced medication are needed.
  • A large proportion of uninsured people use the emergency care as their only medical facility. This indicates that injuries or illnesses are only medically treated when the conditions become critical.
  • Higher mortality rate in cases of diabetes.
  • Large medical bills that cannot be paid. This in turn may lead to unwanted lifestyle changes.
  • Hospitalization for conditions that could have been avoided, if proper and timely medical care was given.

Private or Group Insurance?
The two main types of medical insurance is private and group insurance. Group insurance is where the employer provides health plans, or assists the employee in obtaining medical cover at a better rate. The employer may carry part of the cost, or pay the whole monthly premium. If your employer provides a medical cover program, then make use of it. It is cheaper than individual or private medical insurance.

Group Insurance
Employers may offer free-service insurance, a health maintenance plan, or a preferred service supplier. Each of these types of medical insurance plans has their benefits and advantages. Employees cannot always choose, but may opt for additional medical cover. If an employee leaves the enterprise, he loses his group insurance. He may choose to keep the cover, but will then have to pay the full amount that is normally set for individuals.

Small businesses don't always provide medical insurance plans to their employees. The best option for the employees is to get group insurance through the employee unions or through club memberships.

Private Insurance

Many of the private medical insurance policies don't provide the wide coverage of group insurance. The individual cover is normally more expensive. It is for this reason that you should compare all the covers available to you. Use the following guidelines to select a medical insurance that fits your needs:

  • Get as many brochures and documentation from different health insurance companies as you can.
  • Compare the services offered, rates and what they pay.
  • Study the cover plan to make sure that the company will pay for the things that you regard as important.
  • Find out what illnesses or services are excluded from the policy.
  • The policy must have a payment starting and ending date.
  • Check to see when the cover starts, as some only cover you from the third payment.
  • Don't select a policy that doesn't offer you a period to decide whether you will stay with the cover or not.
  • Stay away from health insurance that only covers limited diseases.

Deciding on the Type of Medical Insurance

You should select the plan that fits your needs, whether it is the traditional cover, preferred service supplier, or the health maintenance plan. These questions serve to assist you in making a decision:

  • Do you prefer the freedom of choice in doctors and medical facilities, regardless of price or are cost a big concern?
  • Do you and your family travel to other areas where you will need medical facilities, or do you only need medical facilities in your area?
  • Do you mind completing forms and keeping record?
  • Do you want the cover to include routine visits to the doctor?
  • Do you mind waiting for available space or do you want immediate care, even late at night?
  • Do you want the freedom to choose a specialist, or are you comfortable seeing your general practitioner first. He may decide whether to refer you to a specialist or not.

You should note that most medical insurance plans have a policy that states that the hospital must contact them about covering you for the period in hospital. If they don't agree, you will be liable for paying the bills. The cost of not having health cover is much higher in terms of your family's health and security than paying the monthly premiums.