Why is Health Insurance Important?

family healthcare

If you have heart disease or stroke, health insurance can help. You’re more likely to get the care you need, have shorter hospital stays and live a longer, healthier life compared to people without health insurance.

Heart disease and stroke can be very expensive; in fact, they are leading causes of medical bankruptcy. Enrolling in high-quality health insurance can help you avoid being stuck with large medical bills and access the care you need to improve or manage your health.

If you have health insurance, you can:

  • Go to the doctor for preventive services and get the care that you need to stay healthy and prevent serious illnesses;
  • Be treated sooner if you or one of your family members get sick or diagnosed with a heart condition or another serious disease; and
  • Avoid having an existing condition worsen.

Understand Your Options

Health insurance can be confusing and overwhelming. The good news is that there are several resources that can help you understand and compare health plans:

Summary of Benefits and Coverage:

If you have a private health plan, you should get a standardized, easy-to-understand form called the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. You can use it to help you compare different insurance options.  Ask your insurer for it if they don’t provide it.

To see a sample of this short form and learn more about how it can help you, Consumer Reports magazine has developed this helpful guide.

Glossary of Health Insurance Terms:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed a glossary for common terms related to health insurance, such as deductible, co-payments and out-of-pocket limits.

Reading up about health insurance can take a little time, but it will pay off — for your heart health!

Paying for Health Care or Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows qualifying individuals and families to receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of premiums. Known as the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit, this subsidy helps people who need health insurance afford their coverage. Resources like HealthSherpa and Healthcare.gov provide resources that can help you find out whether you are eligible for the premium tax credit and shop for and compare the different health insurance plans available to you in your state. They may also be able to tell you if you qualify for programs like Medicare or Medicaid.

Check out HealthSherpa.com or Healthcare.gov if you would like to learn more about health insurance options available in your state and what you need to do to get ready to enroll.