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How does US health insurance work

by Guest Author

How does US health insurance work ? Health insurance in the United States is any program that helps pay for medical expenses, whether through privately purchased insurance, social insurance, or a social welfare program funded by the government. The question of which expenses health insurance should cover is a key issue in health policy.

The share of the U.S. population without health insurance has been decreasing since the mid-2000s due to an increase in coverage by public programs, and a decline in private coverage through employer-sponsored health plans. In 2011, roughly 84% (55 million) of non-elderly Americans had some form of health insurance, compared to about 78% (52 million) in 2010 and 83% (56 million) in 2009.

Out-of-pocket costs (such as deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance) can vary depending on the insurance plan.
In 2008, the average insured person spent $1,429 on health care expenses. In 2010, this figure had increased to $2,313 (in 2007 dollars). In 2000 it was roughly $900. These figures do not include spending on prescription medications. The increase of costs and health insurance premiums have also affected employers and employees; an employer who pays a penalty for not providing health insurance to his/her full time employees would have to pay more taxes otherwise. As a consequence, some employers have chosen to hire fewer employees or a smaller number of full-time employees. Synonyms for this usage include “health coverage”, “health care coverage”, and “health benefits”. In a more technical sense, the term “health insurance” is used to describe any form of insurance providing protection against the costs of medical services. This usage includes both private insurance programs and social insurance programs such as Medicare, which pools resources and spreads the financial risk associated with major medical expenses across the entire population to protect everyone, as well as social welfare programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which both provide assistance to people who cannot afford health coverage.

The USA health insurance market is very complicated. Here, the article will try and explain the basics of how it works. How does us health insurance work

The US health care system works by coverage type: private insurance, government-provided (or public) insurance, or uninsured. Most Americans get their health coverage through a workplace-sponsored group plan; however, some people are unable to access this due to prohibitively high premiums or restrictions on eligibility. Health insurance offers a way to reduce such costs to more reasonable amounts. The way it typically works is that the consumer (you) pays an up front premium to a health insurance company and that payment allows you to share “risk” with lots of other people (enrollees) who are making similar payments.

Further Reading: https://www.usa.gov/health-insurance

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