Consumer And Insurance Benefits Paper 1 Copy

Submitted By kundawg
Words: 2071
Pages: 9

Trends, Benefits, and Impact of Consumer Health Insurance
Health Care Delivery in the U.S./HCS235
July 17, 2010

Trends, Benefits, and Impact of Consumer Health Insurance Healthcare Insurance, better known as health insurance, like that of other forms of insurance has been around for a very long time, dating back to the first ever proposal in 1694 by Hugh the elder Chamberlen from the Peter Chanberlen family (Wikipedia). What is health insurance? Defined by a website entitled health insurance is; “insurance against expenses through illness of the insured” (, nd). Health insurance was originally established to provide accident insurance and operated like some of the disability insurance of modern times we have today. Today consumer health insurance programs have evolved into a comprehensive collection of coverage from accident to emergency room care and from the simplest minor scrape to the most difficult surgery. For one to have a better understanding of how the consumer health insurance works and has evolved from the past 75 years, one should be more familiar with some of the historical trends consumers have dealt with over the years, the type of benefits that are available, provider networks, some of the impacts benefits have on the healthcare delivery system, resource management and the overall health status of individuals and society. As a consumer of health insurance it is important to first have an understanding of some of the historical trends in how health insurance has evolved. Going back as far as the mid 1930’s health insurance has been an item of interest. During this time the Great Depression actually changed priority of health insurance, due to unemployment insurance and old age as well as the Social Security Act being passed, which by the way omitted health insurance. The priority was changed to bring the health insurance to the forefront of legislation. Influenced by the Roosevelt administration, despite the political conflicts and priorities and “against the advice of insurance professionals, Blue Cross began offering private coverage for hospital care in dozens of states” (Noah, 2007) From President Roosevelt to President Obama health insurance has always been a focus for these administrations. In the 1940’s prepaid group healthcare began to emerge and American companies started offering health benefits to their employees for incentives to bring people to their companies to work. As early as the 1960’s the expenditures of the health care insurance program had created the same type financial woes as we have today within the health insurance program and workplace insurance rates were becoming unaffordable for those outside the workplace and the elderly. According to Timothy Noah, a historian for the Public Broadcasting Service, in the 1970’s the “healthcare costs were escalating rapidly, partially due to unexpectedly high Medicare expenditures, rapid inflation in the economy, expansion of hospital expenses and profits, and changes in medical care including great use of technology, and medications…” Ironically in the 1990’s Noah reports in his article entitled Healthcare Crisis: Healthcare Timeline that health care cost was on the rise again and at a rate double the inflation rate. The 1990’s brought about reform just as today has. During the 1990’s the health care reform bill was a failure and did not make it past the scrutiny of Congress. By the start of the new decade of the 21st century, more than 44 million Americans, roughly about 16-18% of the entire nation’s population came up short on having health insurance at all, Noah went on to report (Noah, 2007). Benefits for consumers since the beginning of health insurance have always been in and out of use and continue to bring about great discussion. Today in 2010 the trending continues. Although there has been tremendous progress in health insurance, and substantial technology improvements that directly