Why Do You Need Health Insurance?

What's at stake if you decide not to get health insurance.

Out-of-control hospital bills lead some to crowdsource for funds. Here’s how to meet your goal

A short hospital stay can cost thousands of dollars. If you don't have insurance, you could be responsible for the entire bill.

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You may need to wait to get coverage

Typically, consumers can only purchase health insurance during certain open enrollment seasons or within 30 days of life-altering events, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or a change in job status. For example, policies in the new health insurance marketplaces will be sold from Oct. 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

"There's a fantasy out there that if you're in the emergency room waiting to see a doctor, you'll be able to hop on your iPad and sign up for health insurance," said Cooke. "It's not going to work that way."

More News:

  • Study: Half of Those Who Buy Health Insurance Now Would Get Aid Under 'Obamacare'
  • How 'Obamacare' Will Affect Insurance Rates by Age Group
  • The U.S. News & World Report Guide to Buying Healing Insurance

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