The Economic Downturn, Healthcare, and Catastrophic Health Insurance Plans
The United States today has experienced an extended period of economic and general upheaval. This has left a great percentage of the population struggling to make ends meet, often ripped away from the many comforts of their corporate jobs including their basic health care insurance. Many are not sure where to go next, or how to provide even basic necessities such as health coverage to themselves and their families. This often means they go without health insurance completely, or they rely solely on catastrophic health insurance.
Another consequence of the economic uncertainty that is now being felt the world over, is that health care costs are rising at exponential rates. In countries such as those in Europe, who have a strong, multi-tiered national health care system, this can be controlled in many ways without compromising patient care or access.
The same cannot be said for the United States, no matter what a person’s beliefs are on whether or not there should be.
Because of the unique structure of the governmental system in the States, there is no large scale national health care system, and the American view of what it means to participate in such a “socialist” set up makes some things even more difficult. These statements are made of course excluding what used to be the federal CHAMPUS program, Medicare and Medicaid which have very specific criteria to be met for coverage and the program administration problems of their own.
Due to the fact that there is no large scale, federally mandated health coverage available as of yet, this also means that third party insurance companies can come in and make the rules, while charging high premiums or imposing incredible limitations with very little oversight. Until very recently health insurance companies could exclude people from coverage, and deny treatment based on a wide variety of standards, and so, many people again either were without coverage, or relying on only catastrophic health insurance plans, while neglecting their basic medical needs.
Are Catastrophic Health Insurance Plans a Wise Choice?
Is this a good thing? On the one hand, the high deductible set ups, like catastrophic health insurance plans, allow for people to pay a lower monthly premium in return for basically only using what they need, or being willing to pay a higher price for medical services rendered. These insurance policies obviously favor healthy people, and in these situations, the overall cost of a person’s health care goes down.
On the other hand however, because these plans favor healthy people, and a good portion of the U.S. population has some type of severe or chronic medical problem, these polices are either useless because the applicant can’t get coverage, or they have a hard time paying enough to meet their high deductible to get services rendered. In that case they merely wait until they are sick enough to either have the catastrophic coverage kick in, or they utilize some form of medical charity care. This brings the overall cost of health care for people in the nation up substantially, in the context of all parties whether they are sick, healthy, or a medical care provider. Both sides of the coin are true for many reasons when it comes to whether or not the current set up of these HDHPs and whether or not they are useful, and more arguments than can be presented here have been made on both counts, but one does have to wonder how we can fix this situation which results in a large portion of uninsured, or underinsured Americans.
In order to choose what type of coverage is best for you, you’ll need to carefully consider your individual situation. Every health care plan has it’s own set of pros and cons, catastrophic health insurance plans included.
Keep checking back to learn more about health insurance and especially catastrophic health insurance plans. Feel free to leave us a comment and give us your opinion on catastrophic health insurance plans.