Starting a family is a huge decision, and it is important to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. For many young couples, there are scenarios to prepare for such as the likelihood of a child needing medical care early on in life, dental coverage, allergies, and number of possible health concerns.
Although many countries offer health care as part of the state package, some are left in the unfortunate situation of being uninsured. This can cause enormous financial strain and hardship, but a young family could explore the option of obtaining private health insurance at a low cost to cover part of the risk.
Health Care Worldwide
Although countries like the United Kingdom and Canada offer nation-wide health care to their citizens, there are still countries that have yet to implement universal care. This leaves a majority of people to either have health coverage through their place of employment, or obtain coverage through private health insurance.
Reports and studies have argued that uninsured patients receive lower quality medical care in a less timely manner. This results in worse health outcomes, and leaves the financial burden on the patient’s shoulders. A study commissioned by Families USA in 2007 found that people without insurance often go without medical screening and preventive care. They are also less likely to have a same doctor who knows their medical history and manages their care continuously.
The Importance of Preventative Care
In a nutshell, preventative care helps you avoid health problems from developing. Arguably, the most important kind of preventative care is cancer screening as catching cancer cells in the early stages will stop tumors from growing and spreading. If uninsured patients are not being offered these services, then they are more likely to develop potentially life threatening medical problems. Also, health insurance helps with the cost of expensive prescription drugs. If uninsured patients do not buy the medication they need because of high cost, they risk not curing their health problems.
Primary Care, Keeping Children Healthy
A child’s wellness directly affects their growth, development, and capacity to learn. Having stable and excellent primary care will provide a family with continuous and effective health care and it all begins with having a regular health provider who follows the child from day one. Reports show that uninsured children are six times more likely than insured children to have a different doctor several times throughout their development. Furthermore, a quarter of uninsured children don’t see the same doctor even if they do attend the same clinic.
Common childhood conditions such as colds, ear infections, and asthma have serious consequences on a child’s health if left untreated. Families without health insurance are at least 70% more likely to not seek medical attention for such problems. Children with no health coverage are twice as likely to go without medication for a recurring ear infection—which, if untreated, can lead to permanent hearing loss.
What Kind of Coverage to Choose?
As with car insurance or travel insurance, there are several subtypes of health insurance. Major medical plans typically cover a comprehensive array of healthcare needs such as doctor visits, prescription drugs and emergency room visits.
Limited plans provide coverage for particular settings, ailment or disease. This would typically mean limiting the amount of days in hospital that a patient is covered for, only covering basic surgeries, accident only coverage, or coverage for only a particular disease.
There are also specific private health cover plans that pertain to disabilities. Many people do not consider the probability that a disabling injury or accident can happen, and how it will affect their family and ability to earn a living. Looking to your options as a precaution is a good idea, as different insurance companies may have different definitions of what the term “disabled” means.
Kate Simmons is a freelance blogger and writer on various topics related to health care, medical conditions and health insurance.