In short, health insurance protects you against expensive, unexpected medical expenses. It also decreases racial and ethnic disparities in a special screening and preventive services. But why is it so valuable? Here are some reasons:
Health insurance protects you from unexpected, high medical costs.
If you are like most people, you don’t have insurance, and the cost of getting sick or hurt can be overwhelming. Even an emergency room trip can cost you up to $7500. Health insurance protects you from those high costs by paying for the costs of medical bills before you incur them. Health insurance plans can cover more than 60% of your covered expenses. Most plans include preventive care, too.
While medical care costs are constantly increasing, you’ll still benefit from having health insurance. You can get a low-cost plan that provides the minimum coverage you need to stay healthy, such as vaccines. But suppose you’re prone to catching illnesses and being sick. In that case, you may want to consider a high-deductible plan to cover the expenses. You’ll also be able to receive free preventive care visits as part of your health insurance plan.
Many health insurance plans like in iehp.org will allow you to choose your doctors. But this doesn’t mean you can go to any doctor you like. There are many other health insurance options out there. Medicaid, for example, is a state-run health care program. This program pays for preventive care and services. You’ll pay a small co-payment for each covered service, and the insurance company will pay the rest.
It reduces racial and ethnic disparities in receiving preventive and screening services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Disparities Action Plan provides an ongoing commitment by HHS to address disparities in health outcomes and access. It outlines strategies and goals to reduce health disparities and promote evidence-based approaches across the department. It includes five goals:
In the last decade, several cancers have fallen for all racial and ethnic groups. Overall cancer mortality rates have declined for Black and AIAN people while remaining relatively stable for Whites and Asian and Pacific Islanders. Prostate cancer incidence rates have also decreased for Black and AIAN people. Although cancer mortality rates for both races remain relatively stable, the disparities have reduced in those groups.
A recent study in California found that Blacks are significantly less likely to receive a mammogram. And compared to whites and Asians, African Americans are considerably less likely to receive a flu vaccination than whites. These findings suggest that the lack of access to health care is one of the primary causes of the racial disparities in cancer.
However, even after accounting for these factors, disparities in the incidence of cancer remain. The discrepancies are not caused by genetics or other factors but are influenced by socioeconomic conditions. Therefore, racial and ethnic disparities in cancer screening may be caused by a combination of risk factors and the environment. However, it is crucial to identify any underlying reasons for these differences and act accordingly.
It reduces cost-sharing for specific services.
The HIE report found that reducing cost-sharing for specific services increased health care quality. Still, the study also revealed that participants in cost-sharing plans used fewer health care services. This reduction in spending was not due to lower prices. Participants with coinsurance of 25 percent spent 20 percent less on services than those with 95 percent coinsurance. This reduction was due to fewer services being initiated by participants. Cost-sharing had only a modest impact on the intensity and costs of care.
Medical benefit cost-sharing is a significant factor in determining how much a person will have to pay for certain health care services. This can be done in several ways. For example, insurers can lower out-of-pocket costs by lowering maximum out-of-pocket limits and reducing co-payments and coinsurance. Some states also have specific standards regarding how much a person must pay out of pocket.
Many cost-sharing programs are complex and difficult to predict. Because cost-sharing programs are not easy to understand, the average insured person cannot accurately determine the amount of money they are expected to pay. Additionally, cost-sharing for specific services varies across health plans. Further, some individuals are more comfortable understanding complex health information. This study aims to understand what characteristics of cost-sharing programs help people adhere to recommended health care services.