Make the right decision – get health insurance


Healthcare insurance costs are rising. It’s a fact. We also don’t plan to get hurt or sick. So you may be wondering is paying for health insurance worth it? This decision can be a hard one, but the answer is yes – if possible, we should all have health insurance. Imelda Cruz, Social Services Coordinator at Sixteenth Street, lays down some reasons as to why having insurance is important and why we should lean yes when deciding whether or not to enroll.

Free preventative care

When you have insurance you get free preventative care and annual checkups. Yep! That means NO copay! Preventative care includes very important things like vaccinations, colonoscopies, mammograms, some cancer screenings and more. All these things help you stay healthy and catch problems earlier when they are easier and less expensive to treat!

Regular care keeps you healthy!

When we don’t have insurance we often turn to emergency rooms and urgent care centers when we need to see a doctor. But these places don’t keep you as healthy as a primary care doctor. Having a primary care doctor means there is someone to watch over you, follow your health and care, be your point of referral and help prevent further illnesses. Having insurance helps you pay less for these visits and get all the care you really need to keep you healthy, instead of just in moments of emergency. It also lowers the costs of those emergency visits to WAY less!

Pre-existing conditions don’t matter

If you have a pre-existing condition, for example, diabetes, asthma or hypertension, you can still buy health insurance and it won’t affect how much your insurance costs. Having insurance when you have a pre-existing condition is very important because often times you need extra medical care and insurance can help pay for doctor and other types of visits.

Protection from unexpected, high medical costs

You may think, “I’m really healthy, I don’t need health insurance.” That could be true now, but you never know if some day suddenly you will be diagnosed with a serious illness (like cancer or diabetes), or have a serious accident or injury (like a car accident). These things can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and leave you with very high medical bills that are nearly impossible to recover from without insurance. You want to be protected from the unexpected!

Possible help with monthly payments

If you don’t get insurance from your job, a family member’s job or the government, the Affordable Care Act offers a variety of health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace for you. Depending on how much you make and how large your family is, they also offer help for people who qualify, to lower the cost of monthly payments. This makes your insurance more affordable if you are struggling to make the payments each month

Possible penalty

A new law says that you must have insurance by January 1, 2016 or you will have to pay a penalty of $695 per adult, or 2.5% of what you make each year (whichever is greater). There are some exceptions, so make sure you know if you will be charged that penalty or not.

By: Imelda Cruz, Social Services Coordinator, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers

Need help getting insured?

Sixteenth Street Social Services Department has Eligibility and Enrollment specialists that can help you with:

Sixteenth Street enrollment specialists will help you through the whole enrollment process. We offer services in Spanish and English and have one of the only Bilingual Certified Application Counselors (CAC) in Milwaukee County.

Visit our website for more information and details on how to get help enrolling.

Additional Enrollment Resources

BadgerCare Plus

Individuals and families can apply for BadgerCare Plus online or by calling 1-888-947-6583.

Health Insurance Marketplace

Sign up and find information online or call 1-800-318-2596 for more information and assistance with choosing the right plan and signing up.

Local Resources:

Free In-Person Enrollment Help
Insurance Facts | Milwaukee Enrollment Network
Milwaukee Area Qualified Health Plan Networks in the 2017 Marketplace | Participating Providers

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