Medical services and surgeries have become prohibitively expensive due to the high cost of living in the United States and worldwide. As a result, many poor people who cannot afford to pay for services live very unhappy lives due to their inability to obtain medical care. Health Insurance is one of the most important schemes that have been implemented to ensure that all people, regardless of their income or social status, have access to medical services and surgeries at a low cost. I intend to take advantage of medical insurance coverage; however, people must be educated to purchase insurance policies. The paper critically examines why medical insurance literacy enlightens the people about taking insurance policies and thus making the cost of medical care and surgeries affordable.
The question of Health insurance is one that has been emphasized by a lot of the people but yet still an ignorant subject amongst a large size of the American population. One thing remains clear that there is not enough literacy amongst the people about what medical insurance is and the advantages arising out of it. President Obama thus made it one of his top agenda in enlightening the people about medical insurance (Kim, Bonnie & Andrew, 8). This was done through the enactment of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 which is often referred to as the Obamacare (Kim, Bonnie & Andrew, 8). The Act was meant to make it compulsory for every person to be part of a health insurance scheme with his major message being the reduction of the burden of healthcare on the people especially the poor.
To thus know how vital the Health Insurance Literacy is, it is necessary to look at the statistics of insured people in the United States of America. Currently, for example, there are about 6.7 million people of the United States who have purchased their health insurances through the government and the state provided marketplaces (Levitt, 555). Roughly 9.1 million other people are insured as a result of the Medicare-provided for under the Affordable Care Act (Levitt, 555). The rest of the population were either struggling online looking for the best kind of premiums, best policies and so on. However, out of all these people, only very few understand what their policy is all about and what is covered or not. Further, amongst the uninsured folks, a very high percentage of them do not even know that premiums are supposed to be paid monthly (Levitt, 556). Health insurance literacy is thus important because it educates the people about the best available health insurance companies and the best policies to take to be fully covered in the event of any medical emergencies.
Secondly, health care literacy enables the people to know how effectively to use their insurance and access health services. For example, it makes the patient realize that an out of network physician is very expensive when done through out of pocket payments (Parragh & Deanna, 72 ). The literacy thus enables the people to know what a health provider network is and how it affects the costs that the client is likely to pay. When it comes to surgery, without any knowledge of health insurance, it very difficult for a patient to know whether his or her insurance plan covers the costs of the surgeon especially in an in-network (Parragh & Deanna, 72). There are numerous cases where a person has a health insurance policy, but then while undergoing surgery, he is told that the insurance provider cannot take care of the bill because it was never covered in his plan.
Third health insurance literacy informs the people about the right place and provider to shop for their insurance coverage. A person goes to take a policy knowing exactly what he or she wants and goes for it. For example, an informed person will make sure that the cover takes into account any medical surgery expenses, covered a wide network, has less premium but with a bunch of good health services covered, etc. (Parragh. & Deanna, 76 ). For this reason, the knowledge aids an individual in avoiding a lot of confusion because most insurers won’t concern themselves about what you want, but rather they are in business. An informed person is one that will be availed with ten insurance plans and pick one that is suitable and at a lower cost without any form of confusion.
Fourth, the Health Insurance literacy also enables the government to reach out to the uninsured and sell out their policies to lower the cost care on its people. Expensive health services are one of the main reasons as to why a lot of people become poor. When an individual is uninsured, he or she spends a lot of the out of pocket money and thus meaning that they will have little to save (Stern, 17). In return, the same affect the education of their children and the provision of other necessities. For this reason, health insurance literacy ensures that the people become more enlightened about how saving on their costs of health care will boost their savings and also ensure that they have good health to carry out their day to day operations.
Lastly, there is a relationship between health Insurance literacy and surgery. By its very nature, surgical operations are some of the most expensive procedures in a hospital (Stern, 17). They thus really drain the savings of the patients and their families to the extent that they cannot move on with life in a very appropriate manner. It is for this reason that many insurers would not disclose to an individual whether the policy covers surgery or not (Vardell, 23). This is because even majority of the insurers do not what to incur the heavy bills. For this reason, knowledge about the insurance plans is vital to evade such eventualities and enjoy the healthcare services at a cheap cost.
In conclusion, Insurance is a very complex subject that cannot be understood by the public without proper education. Health insurance, in particular, is very key to the quality healthcare of a patient and thus getting the right cover is essential. Health insurance Literacy thus comes in to ensure that the people know where to shop, what to shop for and ask questions about whether their preferred healthcare services are covered under the policy. It is the literacy that is thus the foundation of seeking for a proper insurance plan and eventually enjoy a cheap cost of medical care and surgery.
Kim, Jinhee, Bonnie Braun, and Andrew D. Williams. “Understanding health insurance literacy:
A literature review.” Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal 42.1 (2013): 3-13.
Levitt, Larry. “Why health insurance literacy matters.” Jama 313.6 (2015): 555-556
Parragh, Zsofia A., and Deanna Okrent. “Health Literacy and Health Insurance Literacy: Do
Consumers Know What They Are Buying?.” Alliance for Health Reform, Jan (2015).
Stern, Sophie. “A framework on health insurance literacy for the outreach and enrollment
community.” Enroll America (2015).
Vardell, Emily. “Health Insurance Literacy.” The Medical Library Association Guide to
Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act (2015): 23.