Health Insurance Facts and Figures
It’s amazing to read about the fact companies pay their top CEOs millions of dollars per year but that more than 40 million Americans – and more than 8 million children – can’t afford health insurance and don’t get it through their small business employer.
The Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 aims to change this. Some of the new changes include that EVERYONE must have health insurance by 2014 or face penalties from the IRS. Small businesses will also receive large tax breaks and government stipends to help get their employees insured.
Here are some more interesting facts about health insurance:
Health care costs typically covered by insurance include doctor visits, hospital visits, surgery, advanced procedures, tests, home care, routine and advanced treatments and other services. Typically, the people who qualify for Medicare are those who are 65 years or older, as well as younger people with disabilities and people with permanent kidney failure. Medicaid is for people who are receiving federal government aid. It typically covers hospitalization, doctor’s visits and other types of services. Prescription drugs, chronic illnesses, uninsured patients, and longer life expectancy are adding to the rising cost of health care. Supplemental insurance covers treatments and services that regular health insurance doesn’t.
Worker’s compensation covers health care costs for illnesses and injuries that occurred because of a person’s employment.
Types of Plans:
-Fee-for-Service: Fee-for-service plans allow you to choose the hospital and doctor you want, but you have to pay a monthly premium fee.
-Health Maintenance Organizations: HMOs are prepaid health plans that require you to pay a co-payment when you visit a doctor. The plans concentrate on preventative care to keep costs down (the costs involved in treating someone with advanced illnesses are much higher).
-Health Savings Accounts: These savings accounts help pay down high deductibles. They often carry over from year to year.
-Point of Service Plans: These plans allow you to see doctors who aren’t inside your plan.
-Preferred Provider Organizations: Like HMOs, there is a small co-payment for visiting doctors inside your plan. Unlike HMOs, you can see doctors who are outside your plan, but you’ll have to pay more of the bill yourself.
-Self-Directed Health Plans: This is a PPO plan combined with a quarterly allowance that you can use for preventative health care. Like a health savings account, the money rolls over to the next year if you don’t use it.
Health insurance figures:
Millions of Americans are uninsured or under insured because of the soaring costs of health care. The U.S. paid almost $2.5 trillion in health care costs in 2008, and the average health care cost per American is $7,400 per year. Uninsured patients who also don’t pay their medical bills are driving up the cost of health care. Hospitals cover approximately $30 billion every year in unpaid medical bills. There are more than 40 million Americans who live without health insurance every year, and more than 8 million of them are children. Employers pay a premium of about $12,500 per year for insurance for a family of four. Economists predict that health care costs will rise to more than $3 trillion per year during the next decade.
People who wait to see a doctor even though they are ill or injured often end up facing higher medical bills. Preventable hospital visits can end up costing those people more than $3,000 on average.