In troubled financial times, cutting costs wherever possible often seems like the wisest course of action for many people. While cutting back on eating out or discretionary spending can certainly be financially advantageous during tough times, one area that should remain high on the priority list is spending for health insurance. It can be difficult to justify the monthly financial outlay for insurance premiums when you’re struggling to make ends meet, especially if you’re relatively healthy. However, when you consider the benefits of maintaining coverage versus the dangers of not being covered, the wisdom of keeping adequate coverage becomes clear. Rising health care costs have put a squeeze on everyone. Employers pay for fewer benefits and government programs are looking for ways to cut expenses as well. While these rising costs may mean higher premiums for you as the consumer, remember that without health insurance you could be stuck with the entire health care bill in the event of an accident or dangerous illness. As many as 50% of the people who file for bankruptcy each year cite health care costs as their reason for filing. The last thing you need to be worried about as you lie in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment is how you will pay for the bills piling up at home. Stress levels can be the cause of additional physical difficulties and can even play a part in whether and how soon you experience full recovery. Maintaining health insurance coverage means that when a crisis occurs, at least one source of worry will be reduced. In addition to the financial protection afforded by health insurance, research indicates that people with adequate coverage are more likely to get annual physicals and to go to the doctor when they’re sick. This means that serious illnesses and potential problems will be discovered sooner and be more easily and effectively treated. While treatment is still available for people without coverage, most of these people rely on emergency room visits for standard illnesses which results in clogged emergency rooms, increased wait times, and longer than advisable lag times for true emergencies. Adults with children or other dependent family members have an additional reason for maintaining health insurance not only for their dependents, but also for themselves. If health problems should keep you from performing your job, your family could be placed in severe financial distress if they are left to cover your medical bills as well as normal living expenses. Financial and physical peace of mind are hard to come by, but maintaining your health insurance coverage will ensure that you and your family are protected in times of crisis.