Statistically, you and your family are just one serious illness away from bankruptcy, according to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health in 2019. In the Journal’s survey of more than 900 Americans who filed for personal bankruptcy between 2013 and 2016, medical problems—from bills, income loss due to illness, or both—contributed to two out of three bankruptcies.3
Those numbers alone should incentivize you to obtain health insurance or review and possibly increase your current coverage. But with rising co-payments, increased deductibles, and dropped coverages, health insurance has become a luxury fewer and fewer people can afford. When you consider that the national average cost for one day in the hospital was $2,517 in 2018,4 even a minimal policy is better than none.
The best and least expensive option may be participating in your employer’s insurance program, but many smaller businesses do not offer this benefit. The average annual premium cost to the employee in an employer-sponsored health care program was $7,188 for single coverage and $20,576 for a family plan in 2019, according to research published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.5
If you don’t have health insurance through an employer, check with trade organizations or associations about possible group health coverage. If that’s not an option, you’ll need to buy private health insurance.