When you’re healthy, having multiple health-related insurance policies can seem irrelevant. Technically, it’s cheaper to save money each month and pay out of pocket when you need to visit a doctor or go to the emergency room.
This works when you only experience occasional minor health issues, but it won’t work out as well if you experience a serious injury or illness. Having health-related insurance policies is really insurance against the larger, unexpected life experiences that can leave you disabled for long periods of time. For example, nobody in Yosemite expected to breathe in hazardous smoke from wildfires. However, many people had to seek medical treatment after this unexpected event.
If you’re healthy, don’t discount health-related insurance policies. Here are four policies with big benefits for healthy people.
1. Short-term disability insurance
In a nutshell, disability insurance provides financial compensation if you become disabled for any length of time. There are several types of disability insurance that you can get, starting with short-term disability insurance (STDI).
Short-term disability insurance is the most common type of disability insurance. Employers tend to offer STDI plans for free or just a few dollars per paycheck. If you are injured or become ill and can’t work, disability insurance will give you between 60 and 80 percent of your normal income for a set period of time.
Short-term policies usually provide benefits for between 3 to 6 months and will cover pregnancies. If you can get a policy through your employer for just a few bucks each paycheck, it’s a wise investment.
2. Long term disability insurance
If you work in a dangerous or risky industry like construction or manufacturing, long-term disability insurance is worth considering regardless of the cost. Although more employers are starting to provide policies, if you can’t get LTDI from your employer, it’s wise to get a private policy.
Depending on your policy, long-term disability benefits won’t kick in for about 90 to 360 days, but once those benefits start rolling, they will last for years as opposed to months.
You may not need health insurance to get access to testing and doctor’s visits, but long-term disability insurance is worth getting, especially when you have a family depending on your income.
3. A basic health insurance plan
If you can afford a low-cost, basic health insurance plan, there’s no harm in being a healthy person with a policy. You may never need to use it, but if you do, you’ll be thankful you have it.
One way healthy people make use of basic health insurance plans is by getting routine lab work done to find out how well they’re absorbing nutrients.
Under a basic health insurance plan, you might even be able to get simple things covered like hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can be costly out of pocket. The downside is you may not have access to bioidentical hormones, but if your doctor recommends HRT, you may want to at least try it out.
4. A discount prescription plan
There are some discount prescription plans that don’t cost a dime. Most of these plans are only offered to people on Social Security or Medicare, but if you qualify, don’t pass them up. You may not need any prescriptions now, but you might need some extra strength prescription ibuprofen or something simple in the future.
Another benefit to having a discount prescription plan is being able to get name-brand drugs for less. Sometimes people can tell the difference.
You might also find that you can get certain drugs at no cost. For example, some prescription drug discount plans will cover albuterol inhalers 100% for certain patients. The only downside is there are limits on the quantity you can get each month. If you’re used to keeping spare inhalers in several places, you may not be able to get all of them for free. However, even getting one prescription covered is good news.
Insurance policies are designed for an unknown future
Remember that insurance policies are designed to protect you in a future unknown scenario. You can’t know when or if you’ll experience an injury that will make you disabled. It’s equally impossible to predict if you’ll come down with a severe illness out of nowhere.
The best you can do is get the insurance policies you feel will protect you and your family in case you suddenly can’t work for an extended period. You don’t need to buy a bunch of policies, but you should have at least one if other people depend on your income.