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History Of Health Insurance Essay

2211 words - 9 pages

Healthcare didn’t always exist in the United States. Before the 1920’s, most people didn’t have health coverage. Most people were treated at home and hardly anyone, except a few large employers offered healthcare. Everyone else paid out of pocket. As the population shifted from rural areas to urban centers, families lived in smaller homes with less room to care for sick family members (Faulkner 1960, p. 509). Increasing requirements for licensing and accreditation, in addition to a rising demand for medical care, eventually led to rising costs. By the end of 1920s, there was an increased demand for medical care and the costs of medical care increased.
During the time of the Great Depression and after, medical service plans grew. In the 40s, prepaid group healthcare began and during World War 2, wage and price controls were placed on American employers, so employers started to offer health benefits in order to compete for workers. Healthcare expenditures were 4.5 percent of GDP in the 50s and hospital care doubled.
Also in the 1950s, more medications become available. During the 70s, healthcare costs escalate rapidly. One reason is because of the unanticipated high Medicare costs. Another is because of rapid inflation in the economy as well as changes in medical care which include a greater use of technology, medications and other approaches to treatment. Health insurance has increased and been an important issue for all employers, the government and employees ever since.

Importance of Health Insurance
Having health insurance is valuable for a number of reasons. Having health insurance is important for multiple reasons. One reason is that people without insurance are given less medical care and less timely care. People without health insurance are also less likely to have primary doctors to manage their health and care .Those people have worse health outcomes.
Also, a lack of insurance is a huge financial burden for individuals and their families. Lack of health insurance has social consequences, as well. Some diseases are highly contagious and can be spread easily to family members, friends, colleagues, co-workers and others, one may come in contact with. With health insurance, these contagious diseases can be contained and cured or treated more quickly and cost-effectively. People without health insurance have limited, reduced access to services of preventive care, like cancer screening.
Moreover, the benefits of expanding coverage outweigh the costs for added services. [4] Safety-net care from hospitals and clinics improves access to care but does not fully substitute for health insurance. These findings are supported by much research, although some cautions are appropriate in using these results. People with health insurance are protected against uncertain and high medical expenses and are more likely to receive needed and appropriate health care. In addition, having health insurance is associated with improved health outcomes...

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