Not Having Health Insurance Could Haunt You With Cringe-Worthy Bills for Years to Come

October 28, 2014

Halloween-in-EuropeIt’s Halloween season, thus the right time of the year to share some stories about the frightening cost of high medical bills that can result for consumers who do not have health coverage. The dollar amounts can be ghastly. Medical costs can be hair-raising for the uninsured, skyrocketing with every procedure and test needed for diagnosis and treatment.

Top five spooky stories about the high cost of not having health insurance:

1. Cacti are everywhere in Arizona, much like sneaky spiders. Being as clumsy as a poltergeist could pit you against the spines of a cholla or prickly pear, which stick in your skin like white to a ghost. An emergency visit to get them removed could make $525 of your hard-earned money vanish into thin air.

2. Not drinking enough water during the warm, fall days in the state’s deserts leaving you dry as a bone? Getting dehydrated could cost you nearly $200 at a health care facility for a hydration infusion.

3. Everyone in Arizona hikes the peaks or canyons at some point during the year. Sometimes the rocks get loose and move on their own like an apparition, prompting you to trip and fall, possibly breaking a leg. The price? Without health insurance, it could cost $2,500 to treat.

4. What’s that? You didn’t hear the rattle of the poisonous rattlesnake that just clamped down on your ankle and feasted like a hungry vampire? Anti-venoms aren’t cheap and neither is the cost of treatment. The bill on this one could run you a terrifying $15,300.

5. Maybe you haven’t exercised in a while and are a bit out of shape, but want to get started now so you can escape trick-or-treaters with their increasingly fearsome costumes. Climbing treacherous peaks and mountains could cause a heart attack if you’re not used to them. A lot of specialists might be involved in caring for you, including through surgery and a stay in the hospital, adding up to a spine-chilling, blood-curdling $65,000.

The solution is simple: plan to get covered by shopping for a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace as soon as open enrollment begins on November 15. There is no need to be alarmed by the cost, as 77% of Arizonans who purchased a plan during the first open enrollment cycle (which ended in March) qualified for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums. Intimidated by the process? Call 2-1-1 and you can be directed to in-person, free enrollment assistance.

More than 400,000 Arizonans have enrolled in coverage since October 2013, either through the Marketplace (120,000 enrollees) or Medicaid (more than 300,000) through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

Open enrollment runs from November 15 to February 15.

(Cost source: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, HealthCare.gov)

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