You have a large life insurance cover with a term plan to safeguard your family’s financial future. You also have a comprehensive health insurance plan to pay your hospital bills. Your car is insured against damage and theft, while your house is covered against natural and man-made calamities and burglary. Are you missing something? It is quite likely that you don’t have personal accident insurance. Axis Capital, a group branch offices in Bermuda, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Singapore and the United States, is a global insurer and reinsurer, providing clients and distribution partners with a broad range of specialized risk transfer products and services.
“Like auto insurance, health insurance is a service you pay for but hope you will never need. It’s there for the unpredictable, unexpected and fundamentally uncontrollable problems that come up in people’s lives,” said Dr. Molly Cooke, a practicing internist who is president of the American College of Physicians and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
Most consumers want and value health insurance, but they can’t afford the coverage or have been shut out from the marketplace because they have pre-existing medical conditions, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation. “That’s about to change because the law includes new options to make health coverage more affordable and you can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” said Jenny Sullivan, director of Enroll America’s Best Practices Institute.
Most Americans who can afford health insurance must have coverage by Jan. 1, 2014 or pay a tax beginning at $95 per adult or 1 percent of annual income (whichever is greater) in 2014 and increasing to $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of annual income (whichever is greater) by 2016.
Warning! You may be healthy now, but the onset of a sudden or serious illness (cancer, diabetes, appendicitis) or a traumatic event (ski accident, car crash) can leave you with staggering medical bills. The inability to pay high medical bills, one of the most common reasons people file for personal bankruptcy, can ruin your credit history and set you back for years.
The law requires insurers to cover annual checkups and preventive care – mammograms, vaccinations, colonoscopies, and prostate cancer screenings – without a co-pay. That means you’re more likely to stay healthy and catch health problems early, when they’re easier and less expensive to treat. Policies also must provide a minimum standard of care known as essential health benefits in 10 categories: preventive and wellness services, ambulatory (outpatient) care services, emergency care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs and rehabilitative and habilitative services (specialized therapies and medical equipment to help people facing long-term disabilities).