young and healthy feature

Why health insurance is important

December 16, 2013 Ryan Schuster

It's not uncommon to hear people say, "Why do I need health insurance? I'm not sick."

Young healthy people sometimes wonder why they should bother getting health insurance when they are seldom sick and rarely go to the doctor.

You might be healthy today. But what happens if you get in a car accident tomorrow or get sick? Medical care is expensive. Health insurance helps limit how much of those costs you will have to pay. A recent study found that the median charge for an emergency room visit in the U.S. is more than $1,200 — more than most people pay for a month's rent.

Having health insurance can also encourage people, even young and healthy people, to have regular checkups and to get necessary screenings. This can help you better manage chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes and to diagnose more serious conditions right away when the odds of beating it are high (and the costs of treating it are lower). That's one of the reasons why the Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance by April 1, 2014 or pay a financial penalty.

If you're uninsured and aren't offered health insurance through an employer, you have several options. You can purchase insurance directly from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota or another insurance company. You can also shop for and purchase insurance online through the North Dakota health insurance marketplace at Depending upon your income level, you may also qualify for Medicaid or a tax credit to help you pay your premiums if you use the marketplace.

You can visit our health reform site at to get an insurance quote, use our tax credit calculator to see if you qualify for federal assistance, find out about health reform, and get started.