In today’s world with the ever-increasing cost of insurance, the decrease in coverage and the countless hoops, red tape, requirements, and limits, some may ask if insurance is even worth it. Sure, you may be relatively healthy and require little or no medical care throughout the year, but even one major illness, accident, or hospital stay can put you into financial bankruptcy.

Finding Affordable Health Insurance: The Cost of Being UninsuredScenario #1: Your wife calls and says she is not feeling well, she feels faint, her hands and arms feel tingly and numb at times and she is having trouble concentrating. You take her to a hospital, which results in a three-day hospital stay for diagnosis and treatment. Your total bill is roughly $27,984.

Scenario #2: Your daughter wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, you rush to her bedside to find her doubled over in pain. After a race to the emergency room she is quickly admitted and an hour later has undergone an emergency appendectomy to have her appendix removed. Total bill: burst appendix - $48,151

Scenario #3: Last weekend, you are playing football with your buddies when a friendly neighborhood pickup game goes too far. After scoring the winning goal you are tackled by an opponent, land directly on your knee and hear a loud crack before you experience excruciating pain. A few hours later, you are in surgery and three weeks later, your bill arrives for $48,302.

These scenarios are not uncommon; they are not caused by irrational, irresponsible, or consistently ill individuals. Everyday life causes injuries. These three scenarios would cost the average family over $100,000 in medical bills each year. This doesn’t include the everyday maintenance of dentist appointments, eyeglasses checkups, immunizations, and annual exams.

Affordable health insurance is crucial. Our bodies are fragile and the world is a dangerous, unpredictable place. Without affordable health insurance, a major illness or accident could result in serious financial losses.

According to the U.S. Census, 47 million Americans were without health insurance in 2006, and the vast majority of those individuals are employed. At any one point in time, roughly 1/3 of the population is carrying on through life without health insurance. A single ambulance ride is thousands of dollars without insurance. According to a recent survey, less than half of Americans could come up with $5000 within a week if they had to.

The cost of affordable health insurance is a no-brainer. It is simply too big of a risk to go without. Going without health insurance even while you’re young and healthy puts you at risk for obtaining future coverage. In a good year when you don't get sick, your medical costs may be zero. But if you should fall ill and require surgery, you'll be faced with tens of thousands in medical bills if you don't have affordable health insurance.

The best way to keep your health insurance costs low is to compare multiple rates. Shop around to find similar coverage at a more affordable rate in your area. Carry a high deductible so your monthly payment is lower, but be sure to save for that deductible over time so you are prepared if it becomes necessary to pay that amount out of pocket.