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Health Insurance in General 

Economic productivity is measured by considering the level of output with respect to the input required in producing that amount. While certainly a device of luxury, only afforded to the wealthy and developed nations of the world, health care and insurance is a crucial factor affecting economic productivity.

A Healthy Society

Without a healthy labor force, the output of an economy is restricted and therefore the health of the population is of benefit to the community at large, as it is then more able to provide for its needs. The lack of health insurance has been successfully proven to be directly linked to an increase in the mortality rate of a society, and in particular reference to children health insurance has been found to be institutional to sound health in adult life.

Still, the debate as to universal healthcare, where every citizen is afforded a basic standard of health care when they need it, appears to revolve round a financial consideration that in turn relies on the concept of human rights.

Some proponents of a universal healthcare system suggest that it is basic right of all citizens to receive adequate health care, but others claim that it is not a right at all.

However, there is sound evidence to suggest that the current system is supported by a tax system that promotes a fee for service or indemnity type transaction with doctors and other intermediaries, and that the reimbursement to hospitals merely rewards cost increasing behavior by these commercial enterprises. In this instance governments pays more than half of the medical costs of those that can afford health insurance, through subsidies, and the poor who have no insurance have not the same benefits.

As an individual's health can often undergo unexpected change, health insurance is a mechanism designed to pay the costs of healthcare, particularly when large and unexpected charges are experienced after the need for sudden treatment. This type of insurance is available from those prepared to adopt the risk of liability for medical bills in return for receipt of regular premiums, and typically are made up of private organizations or government bodies.

While many developed countries have established universal health care systems, the United States, the largest consumer of health care services per capita in the world is yet to do so. This forces US citizens who fail to qualify for the limited government health care insurance available, to either seek private cover or to remain uninsured.

Expensive Service Industry

Health care is a highly specialized service that attracts the expertise and skill of appropriately qualified individuals, and similar to any other service in an economy, it attracts a price that, absent of artificial control, is dictated by economic laws such as that of demand and supply.

Market forces such as these are quite considerable in their marginal effect on the cost of healthcare, but the solution to the issue of cost is resolved by consideration of many variables and not merely one or two in isolation.

10 Often financial resources of a government are limited and in such an instance of universal health care, a lower coverage of health care is the only path available to the government. Alternatively, if an individual is able to procure private health insurance, the guarantee of a higher standard of healthcare is obtained in return for the premiums charged. It is this balance of quality, security and cost that underpins the issue of healthcare insurance.  

 

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