The United States is the most expensive health care system in the world.
The high cost of American health care has priced out tens of millions of Americans from needed health care. Before Obamacare, we had around 40 to 45 million Americans without health insurance. Whether they received health care was based not on their health care needs but on their ability to pay.
Currently the number of Americans without health insurance is approaching 30 million and continuing to grow once again. Part of the problem is that most of the uninsured do not have employer-based health insurance, where the majority of the cost is paid by the employer.
Be thankful if you have an employer that has a benefits plan. If you have to find coverage on your own, premiums for individual coverage through Healthcare.gov averaged $440 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $1,168 per month. If your income is low enough, you may qualify for government subsidies to help pay for your premiums. If not, you have to pay it on your own.
Which brings us back to the problem of 30 million Americans going without health coverage.
We also have tens of millions of Americans who are underinsured, and, as a result, they cannot afford to access the care they need either because their particular insurance plans do not cover the services they need, or because of the high deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. A familiar example is the high prices of prescription drugs that effectively prevent millions of Americans from getting needed medicines.
What would you do if you did not have any health coverage or your high deductible health plan effectively keeps you from getting the care you and your family need?
How would you pay for a doctor or hospital visit due to an injury or illness?
That’s a problem that millions of people face every day. And it’s especially frightful if you have kids without any health coverage.
As we look towards 2020, this problem for our uninsured and underinsured fellow Americans is actually a problem for all Americans. Health Insurance plans are changing every year and the trend is moving towards more cost shifting to all of us. When providers are not adequately reimbursed for providing emergency care to the uninsured, those cost are passed along to all of us.
One thing we must all do as Americans is to become more engaged in the health care conversations occurring in the political arena, as well as in our companies. Employers continue to express their concerns with the never ending annual cost increases and they are speaking out to our political leaders, at the local, state, and national level.
No one wants to talk about any significant changes in our healthcare system but something has to give. If not Medicare for All or Universal Healthcare, what is the solution?
The Affordable Care Act was an attempt to bend the cost curve however, costs continues to keep Americans from getting the care they need. It is in effect a form of rationing for those who are not making a ton of money.
Let’s hope for some new and innovative ideas soon. In the meantime, I suggest you try to stay safe and accident/illness free.
Interested in looking at some personal solutions to your unique health coverage problems, well that’s why I’m here. Call me at 404-335-8798 and we can talk.