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Health insurance is important for everyone, because a person never knows when he will need it. Due to advances in modern medicine, medical diagnosis and treatment procedures are now much more expensive than they used to be. Not everyone can afford the full cost of medical care, and these costs can easily add up to thousands of dollars.
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The tremendous increase in health insurance prices in recent years has been attributed to various health-related factors such as lack of regular exercise, unhealthy food choices, the exodus of doctors from poor and rural areas, the prevalence of alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, increased body fat leading to obesity and the sedentary lifestyle of most people today.
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Health insurance originated in 1694 when the concept of health insurance was first thought of by Hugh Chamberlain Sr. In the late 19th century, health insurance was called disability insurance because health insurance was limited to medical expenses for such injuries that had the potential to cause disability.
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Health insurance is a plan whereby the insurer pays the medical expenses of the insured if the insured becomes ill as a result of an illness or accident covered by the insured’s plan. There are a number of private organizations and government agencies that offer health insurance.
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Health insurance can be divided into private or non-government insurance and government sponsored health insurance. Private health insurance is purchased from a private health insurance company and it is further classified as employment-based health insurance if it is provided through a person’s employment.” Direct purchase” refers to a plan in which an individual purchases health insurance from a private company on his or her own.
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Private health insurance is controversial because the insurance company needs to remain solvent and the insured is expected to remain healthy.
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When health insurance includes a government-funded plan, it is called government health insurance, and it may be at the federal, state or local level. Such health insurance includes Medicare, Medicaid, military health programs, state programs, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
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Medicare is a type of government health insurance that pays for medical care for people age 65 and older. Medicaid is a government health insurance that helps families with dependent children, people with disabilities, people who are blind and other people with disabilities who need health insurance. These two health insurance programs complicate the current health insurance crisis in the United States because they inadvertently determine the price of medical diagnoses and treatment procedures.
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State children’s health insurance programs provide health coverage for children of low-income parents who are not eligible for Medicaid, while military health care is health coverage provided by the Department of Civilian and Veterans Affairs (VA). Some states offer health insurance for uninsured low-income voters in what are called state-specific programs.
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Individuals wishing to purchase health insurance should first complete a comprehensive medical history form that includes smoking history, personal weight, personal past illnesses and hospitalizations. This is done because individuals with pre-existing conditions are not eligible to purchase this health insurance. Discounts may be given to applicants who are proven to be healthy and free of vices such as smoking and regular alcohol consumption.