It may not be a surprise to hear that the healthcare industry is a big one in the United States, and of course many statistics are being kept to track who needs health care and what it costs. Americans young and old sometimes need to visit healthcare providers, whether for a checkup at their doctor’s office to women delivering a baby in a hospital all the way to intensive care for a trauma victim, and anything in between. Healthcare is a business, though, and like most other enterprises, it charges its customers. In this case, patients. This is where health insurance companies come in, and a health insurance company will help its policyholders afford the expenses of any medical service that they get. This could be an average health plan all the way to catastrophic health plans for adults. What is there to know about health insurance companies and what they provide, and American healthcare as a whole? There’s plenty to consider.
American Healthcare Today
The total American health expenditure is enormous, and according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, American healthcare expenditures totaled up to $3.2 trillion, and this figure may only grow in the coming years. In that year, about one third of all healthcare spending was for hospitals in particular. Bear in mind that healthcare providers are not only hospitals, but urgent care clinics, pediatricians, dentists, and more. If a place has professionals who look after your health, it’s a part of this system. And more recently, in 2017, $689.3 billion total was spent on physicians and clinical care across the United States. Meanwhile, on average, a visit to the ER (emergency room) racks up a bill of $1,233, and that’s not a total for a patient to take lightly. Spending on prescription drugs, checkups, baby birth, and care for chronic conditions and more adds up in a hurry, and a new adult may not be sure where they fit in to this. Fortunately, there’s just a few terms and parties to know about, and this can help someone figure out what sort of healthcare plan is right for them.
Health Insurance Companies and More
These health insurance companies are one major party that a young adult should consider. There are quite a few of them, and they offer varying plans, or policies, that vary both in cost and coverage provided. A customer may look for any plan that suits their current or anticipated healthcare needs, one that is tailor-made for them. After all, a “standard” healthcare plan is a nonsensical idea, since everyone has different health needs. An elderly man with chronic conditions is different from a woman in her thirties who is different from a younger man in good physical shape. There are no wrong customers, but there are wrong policies for a shopper of health insurance. Fortunately, buying health insurance is fairly straightforward and can be done entirely online.
Premiums are another key word to remember. The owner of a healthcare plan, or a policyholder, will make monthly payments (along with every other holder of that policy) to help fund it. This could be thought of as a membership fee for a gym, for an analogy. Or dues to pay for being in a club. When a policyholder gets care at a healthcare provider, whether a hospital or walk-in clinic or anything else, insurance will play an active role. Based on the healthcare policy of a patient, they may pay for part of the total bill up to a point, known as the deductible. This is paid out of pocket, and their health insurance company will pay for everything beyond that. Healthcare policies might may for percentages of some services or products, such as X-rays or prescription drugs of certain types.
When a patient gets care, the healthcare provider will generate a bill and send it to the patient’s healthcare provider, which may then either pay their part or not. If the service is not covered by them, they won’t pay, but otherwise, if the paperwork checks out, they will pay for the healthcare service after the patient has paid any necessary deductibles first. This can turn a very expensive session of healthcare into an affordable one for the patient.