About Health Insurance



What Is Health Insurance?

Health insurance provides financial support for medical services and treatments. The benefits of a health care insurance policy usually cover routine consultations and procedures, preventive and emergency procedures. As of 2010, 84% of Americans were covered by health insurance. Up to 55% of covered residents had employer insurance, 31% qualified for public health insurance and 10% had direct coverage.

People who live in low income households qualify for Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The 16% of the population that is not insured amounts to around 49 million people. As rates of unemployment have increased and the cost of living has become over-inflated a growing number of people have chosen to cancel their health insurance or chosen high deductible plans. Research indicates, however, that a fifth of the uninsured can afford cover and a quarter should be helped under public insurance programs.

Employer insurance policies have been on the decline as 68% of the population was receiving an employer policy in 2000 which dropped to 61% in 2009. As people have struggled and lost jobs and employer health benefits they have had to rely more on state funded welfare and social security programs which has put the State under more strain and contributed to the ever-expanding financial deficit.

The state of health is a financial and medical concern as the population is plagued by heart disease, incidences of stroke, high levels of hypertension, obesity and diabetes. Research has shown that chronic health conditions always improve when a patient is on an insurance program, and people without health insurance cover have a 40% higher chance of death than those who do.

The Affordable Care Act or ACA has been implementing changes and will be complete by 2014, and its primary objective is to lower the number of uninsured people. One of the most significant clauses of the Act is that it requires everyone to have health insurance, and earners who bring in an annual income over a certain threshold will pay penalties if they are not insured. Another big difference is that health insurance companies will no longer be able to exclude people on the basis of pre-existing chronic illnesses so if you have been rejected before you can qualify for a policy now.

Chronic diseases are very expensive to manage and, given the prevalence of them in the United States they pose a serious economic threat to financial equilibrium for the state if people do not take their health into their own hands. People who have health insurance are more likely to seek medical attention when they are ill and prevent a small problem from turning into a big one. For a matter like blood pressure or symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes, that could be a life-saving decision for some people.

Having protection is an investment in a longer and more prosperous lifespan and a health insurance policy is no longer simply a luxury, it really can add to your quality of life for the long term.