When your child gets sick, you don't go shopping for the best bargain - Barack Obama
image by: Quinn Dombrowski
The rest of the world has it pretty easy when it comes to health insurance because most countries have single payer plans.
However when it comes to the United States, it is complicated, frustrating and comes in more forms, varieties, plans, and prices than any one of us can figure out on our own. Which do you choose? ObamaCare, PPO, HMO, HSAs, Critical Illness, Long Term, Disability, Vision, Dental...
Many people believe that the U.S. health care system is “sick” and needs resuscitation. But, doesn’t the United States deliver some of the best medical care in the world? And for heaven’s sake why would even Canadians cross the border for medical care when they already have a system envied by many?
So, why Obamacare?
Too many people are uninsured
In a 2009 survey of 29 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, basic health insurance coverage, “measured by the population covered, services included and the degree of cost-sharing – is substantial and fairly similar across OECD countries” except Mexico, Turkey and the U.S. where a large proportion of the population was not covered in 2009.
According to 2010 CDC statistics 18.2% of Americans, equivalent to 48.2 million people were without health insurance coverage. And as of 2012 it’s over 50 million. “In terms of ethnicity, 30.4% of Hispanics, 17% of blacks, and 9.9% of whites do not have health insurance".
The System is way too complex
Whereas most developed countries have settled on one main health care system for their population, Reid, author of ‘The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care’, explains that the U.S. has elements of all 4 models in a “fragmented national health care apparatus.” “All the other countries have settled on one model for everybody. This is much simpler than the U.S. system; it's fairer and cheaper, too.”
“When it comes to treating veterans, we're Britain or Cuba. For Americans over the age of 65 on Medicare, we're Canada. For working Americans who get insurance on the job, we're Germany. For the 15% of the population who have no health insurance, the United States is Cambodia or Burkina Faso or rural India, with access to a doctor available if you can pay the bill out-of-pocket at the time of treatment or if you're sick enough to be admitted to the emergency ward at the public hospital".
The U.S. currently has expenditures that cost twice as much, but with poorer outcomes when compared to other developed countries. Besides the usual statistics that the U.S. lags in the areas of infant mortality and life expectancy, have you heard of the following?
In 2011 a study by SAVE THE CHILDREN ranked the U.S. 31st out of 164 countries in the Motherhood Health Index, one of the lowest among developed countries, because it had the highest lifetime risk of maternal mortality among the industrialized countries.
A 2009 survey by the Commonwealth Fund revealed that despite spending the most for healthcare, the U.S. lags behind in terms of access to care, the use of financial incentives to improve the quality of care, and the use of health information technology and adoption of other innovations.
Obamacare is not the first attempt to try the reform the U.S. health care system and won’t be the last. It is the first major piece of U.S. health care reform legislation in decades.
The goals of the Obamacare reforms are quite noble namely; insurance coverage of every American, more transparency, cost efficiency and better outcomes. But, with its shortcomings Obamacare is far from the perfect solution to the U.S.’ long-ailing health care system, especially the punitive means that will be utilized to ensure health insurance coverage for everybody. It may unfortunately have the opposite effect...ensuring that millions of Americans will remain uninsured!
Then again, the solution is clear and it's next door, Canada. In fact, Tommy Douglas, the founder of Canada’s national health plan and one of Canada's most recognized heroes got his idea from guess who? someone next door - the United States.
In the meantime, Health WorldNet has attempted to break down the vast world of insurance into manageable pieces that are easy to digest so you can make informed, educated decisions. We hope! But wouldn't you rather have a single payer plan like the rest of the world.
Insured, but Not Covered
It is true that the Affordable Care Act has erased some of the more egregious practices of the American health insurance system that left patients bankrupt or losing homes to pay bills. But by endorsing and expanding the complex new policies promoted by the health care industry, the law may in some ways be undermining its signature promise: health care that is accessible and affordable for all.
National Health Insurance - 50 Million Reasons
Despite the advent of Obamacare, most estimates indicate that about 50 million Americans remain uninsured. So, why can't the United States insure all its citizens like the rest of the industralized world?
ObamaCare, Is There a Fix?
It’s not defunding ObamaCare or granting everyone the current ‘federal worker option’ or even socialized medicine. Just ask our neighbors, the Canadians.
Obamacare: Good Medicine, Bad Politics or the Other Way Around?
Many people believe that the U.S. health care system is “sick” and needs resuscitation. But, doesn’t the United States deliver some of the best medical care in the world? And for heaven’s sake why would even Canadians cross the border for medical care when they already have a system envied by many? So, why Obamacare?
Should Health Insurers Cover Infertility Treatment?
Laws in 15 states mandate that health-insurance providers cover infertility treatments, and there's a push to make it more. But should health insurers be required pay to for a service unrelated to ensuring health?
AARP makes available a range of health related products, services and insurance programs.
AIS develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations.
America's Health Insurance Plans
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is the national trade association representing the health insurance industry. AHIP’s members provide health and supplemental benefits to more than 200 million Americans through employer-sponsored coverage,
California Healthline is a free, daily digest of health care news, policy and opinion. It is designed to meet the information needs of busy health care professionals and decision makers.
Council for Affordable Health Insurance
The Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) is a research and advocacy association of insurance carriers active in the individual, small group, HSA and senior markets.
Health Insurance for Pregnant Women
The American Pregnancy Association is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, research, advocacy, and community awareness.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way for you to buy health insurance. In the Marketplace, there are 4 categories of health insurance plans based on how you and the plan can expect to share the costs of care.
HMOHelp - California
There are several things you can do if you have a problem with your health plan. First, contact your health plan to file a complaint. (A complaint is also called a grievance or an appeal.) You can file a complaint with your health plan over the phone or in writing. You may also be able to file a complaint on your health plan's website.
If your health problem is urgent, or if you already filed a complaint and are not satisfied with your health plan's decision, contact the Help Center at the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). An urgent problem is a serious threat to your health. You can also file a complaint with the Help Center if your HMO does not make a decision within 30 days.
How to Choose a Managed Care Plan
AllBusiness.com helps business professionals save time and money by addressing real-world business questions and presenting practical solutions. The site offers resources including how-to articles, business forms, contracts and agreements, expert advice, blogs, business news, business directory listings, product comparisons, business guides, a business association and more.
Insurance Information Institute
The mission of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is to improve public understanding of insurance -- what it does and how it works.
As the Internet's premier provider of insurance industry information, InsuranceNewsNet is all about keeping professionals current on critical, need-to-know industry news.
Updated Blogs on Insurance Issues, Principles, and Solutions.
Insure Kids Now! is a national campaign to link the nation's uninsured children -- from birth to age 18 -- to free and low-cost health insurance.
Kaiser Health News
The mission of the Kaiser Family Foundation is to provide timely, reliable, and non-partisan information on national health issues to policymakers, the media, and the general public.
We relieve the pain of company health plan and benefits decisions. Save money and deliver better outcomes for everyone.
Your guide for up-to-date managed care information.
MediBid is an online marketplace which is about quality, choice, and value. Many insurance companies show you no more than whether your doctor is “in-network” or not. MediBid allows you to see the training, education and experience of the doctor before you make your selection.
Medical News Today
Medical News Today is updated with more than 60 articles every day, 7 days a week - more than any other health news site. The site is divided into 101 medical categories/specialities allowing you to browse only the news relevant you.
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization providing the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels.
The ObamaCare Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace opened Oct 1st, 2013. The ObamaCare health insurance exchanges, or ObamaCare exchanges, are online marketplaces for health insurance. Americans can use their State's "Affordable" Insurance Exchange (also known as a marketplace) to obtain coverage from competing private health care providers.
Office of the Patient Advocate
Our site will give you tools to get the most out of your medical care, including a Report Card on the top HMOs and medical groups in California. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about your health care and to become your own best advocate.
Patient Advocate Foundation
The Process is Simple. Patient Advocate Foundation's Patient Services provides patients with arbitration, mediation and negotiation to settle issues with access to care, medical debt, and job retention related to their illness.
PPO Quality Ratings Summary
This PPO Report Card shows the quality of health care for over 7 million Californians who get their care through Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO). The 6 largest PPOs in the state are included in this Report Card.
Medicare’s popular prescription-drug program now serves more than 35 million people, but the names of prescribers and the drugs they choose have never previously been public.
Private Healthcare UK
Private Healthcare UK helps people make informed decisions about private healthcare services and providers by providing information and medical websites resources which are current, and comprehensive.
Here at Privatehealth.com.au it isn't just statistics and facts it allows you to share your views and experiences and gives you all the information you need to make the right health insurance decisions.
U.S. Census Bureau
View the most recent reports, short reports, and data on Health Insurance.
Where is Managed Care Now?
The challenge of managed care today is not whether we should be for it or against it. The alternative - totally unmanaged care - comes with the price tag that neither the public sector, nor the private sector can afford. Global economic competition and the impending retirement of the baby boom generation means that neither corporations nor taxpayers can go back to the old fee-for-service, use-whatever-you-want system.