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Healthcare System: Underinsured & Uninsured, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 848

Research Paper

In America millions of people go uninsured or underinsured every day. Children are denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, adults cannot get their insurance to pay for chronic illnesses like cancer and end up losing their homes, to many people cannot get health insurance or cannot afford the cost of private insurance because they do not make enough money. Insurance is so vital to people, but yet there are so many without it.

For many uninsuredthe hospital emergency room becomes their primary care location, because they don’t have insurance they cannot go to the doctor’s office but they need medical care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (2012) “Emergency care is the safety net of the entire national health care system, caring for everyone, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status” (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2012), this is why so many people who have little to know health insurance choose to go to the hospital, because at least there they will receive the treatment they need, without needing their insurance in order to receive the treatment. Most hospitals then have in place a system to where the uninsured or underinsured can get financial help paying for those uncovered medical costs.

Medicaid is a federally funded program that covers millions of people children and adults, but getting Medicaid can prove to be a hassle and sometimes not even possible depending on where a person may work, how much income they have, and how many people are in their household. According to healthcare.gov (5 November 2012) adults with disabilities and pregnant women may receive special Medicaid coverage while their disabilities continue and while they remain pregnant. With Medicaid coverage people have access to things that they wouldn’t typically have, this could include; x-rays, dental, prosthetics, medication, and much more (healthcare.gov 5 November 2012). Medicaid is very hard to get, there is paperwork and proving that you are pregnant or disabled and that there is no access to health insurance through the employer, if the employer offers insurance but the employee cannot afford it, one cannot qualify for Medicaid.

Many people are not eligible for Medicaid due to access of insurance at work or they may make a little over the income limit for Medicaid eligibility, they do not have disabilities or they are not pregnant. These people could benefit from the Medicaid program, because they may already have a chronic disease like diabetes, but because they do not have access to medical coverage they cannot receive treatment.

According to Schoen, Collins, Kriss, & Doty (2008)The number of underinsured U.S. adults—that is, people who have health coverage that does not adequately protect them from high medical expenses—has risen dramatically, a Commonwealth Fund study finds. As of 2007, there were an estimated 25 million underinsured adults in the United States, up 60 percent from 2003, (Schoen, Collins, Kriss, & Doty 10 June 2008).

They go uninsured or underinsured because they may have insurance that does not cover pre-existing conditions or they may be offered insurance through work and they cannot afford it, and they do not qualify for Medicaid. If the laws for Medicaid were change people like this could have the health care that they so desperately need.

Even though the hospitals and doctors know that they should be treating the uninsured and underinsured, it is not always easy. They want to provide care to these people, but the cost of doing so is not being met. They are sworn to provide for everyone regardless the ability to pay, but yet it is so hard to provide care for people and not get paid for it. The costs of care and supplies need to be met as well as the patient’s health care issues.

Santa Clara University (July 2009), Because it is unethical to refuse treatment to everyone who can’t afford it, and equally unreasonable to provide free care to everyone who might need it, a hospital must make an extremely difficult decision and evaluate patients on a case-by-case basis (Santa Clara University July 2009).

Keeping their ethical responsibilities and providing for those that cannot afford to pay is very costly but the doctors who do it know that they have too, because these people are in need just as much as someone with insurance.

If Medicaid would open up and allow people who may be offered insurance from their employer but cannot actually afford to buy the private insurance, to be covered then more and more people could actually be covered and have access to health care. Also the federal government could make every state have an option to offer Medicaid but where people can pay a small premium based upon their income. Allowing flexibility in the Medicaid program would accommodate so many that need medical coverage and give them a fair chance at living a healthy life.

Works Cited

American College of Emergency Physicians.2012.The Uninsured:Access to Medical Care.http://www.acep.org/News-Media-top-banner/The-Uninsured–Access-To-Medical-Care/

Healthcare.gov.5 November 2012.Medicaid. http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/low-cost-care/medicaid/#howmed

Santa Clara University.July 2009.A Hospitals Ethical Obligation to the Uninsured.http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/medical/hospitals-uninsured.html

Schoen, C.,&Collins,S.R.,&Kriss, J.L., & Doty, M.M.(10 June 2008).How Many Are Uninsured? Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2003 and 2007. Health Affairs Web Exclusive. Volume 102. Retrieved from. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2008/Jun/How-Many-Are-Underinsured–Trends-Among-U-S–Adults–2003-and-2007.aspx

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