Insurance is essential, but no type of insurance is more important to Americans than medical coverage. It can be the difference between life and death when something serious arises. The big tragedy is that there is a worrying trend in families with no health insurance, or simply have inadequate coverage. Why is this though, and how do we address this concerning void in provision?
Until fairly recently, the jobs market was not looking that bad. Numbers filing for unemployment were falling, and generally the mood was one of optimism. But there’s no need to tell you of what happened next, the global coronavirus pandemic hit, and we are staring a global recession with substantial job losses. Other than not having the necessary income, one of the worst aspects of losing a job is the loss of medical benefits.
Based on statistical data, the country’s unadjusted unemployment rate is 3.7% as of December 2021, which is equivalent to approximately 5.96 million unemployed people. With many Americans losing jobs due to economic crises, their health can be at stake with the loss of medical benefits.
Part-Time & Underemployment
Other than being unemployed, another scourge is facing the modern worker. Part-time employment or underemployment, often in the guise of a zero-hour contract, or deviously referred to as the ‘gig economy.’ This trend in casual working arrangements often coincides with the complete lack of any rights and benefits such as paid holidays or medical insurance. It’s been reported that one-third of the workforce is looking for a new job at any one time.
Some are covered in some way, such as being eligible for Medicare, and this can be positive as no matter what your employment status, you feel you have cover. This cover, though, does not necessarily take care of everything. There are often out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare, but you can take out supplemental insurance like Aetna Plan G to meet this shortfall.
You can also check what Medicare Advantage provides and its difference from Medicare Supplement. A Medicare Advantage plan has a lower or zero premium than other Medicare insurance policies, covering doctors and hospitals and prescription drug coverage.
Determine the right health insurance option for you by calculating the premiums and out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. The calculations can be complex, but you can ask the help of an insurance agent to calculate and obtain cost-saving recommendations.
Public Health Systems
But many are not covered by any system, and this means that they are left at the mercy of public health systems. This can be a terrifying situation to find yourself in as healthcare provision for those without insurance is not something that there is much appetite for here in the US. In other countries like Europeans, it is almost seen as a source of pride that healthcare systems are free of charge to every citizen. There is no federal right for healthcare in the USA, nor is there any provision of one, so technically, you could find yourself on your own. There is some help out there, though, in the form of free clinics provided for by charitable donations from benefactors and medical professionals giving their time away. You can find a free clinic near you by checking this site.
With the current status of the country’s public health systems, Americans are forced to get their health insurance coverage to ensure they get excellent quality medical care when they need it in the future. While many insurance providers offer flexible healthcare plans, not everyone can afford them. You can also use Medicare which is made up of four parts that you can choose from to fit your needs. So, they settle with what the public health system can offer. Hence, the government should improve public health systems, making them more accessible and of good quality, especially for unemployed and underemployed individuals.
The Way Forward
How do we move forward from where we are today? For the short to medium term, it’s likely that more not less of us will struggle for health insurance. Is this going to be enough to make any real changes to how America’s healthcare industry operates? It’s difficult to see any real change, although we may have yet to see the full impact of current events.