Blog by Joe Babaian
Healthcare Insecurity Unveiled
The rising tide of healthcare costs: It’s no secret – healthcare costs are skyrocketing. A study published in JAMA found that healthcare spending in the US increased by about $933.5 billion between 1996 and 2013. With this staggering rise, many are left wondering: Can I afford to get sick?
Insurance coverage: A safety net full of holes: Even with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs can still leave families in financial distress. A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that 41% of working-age adults with health insurance faced financial hardship due to medical bills in 2019. The safety net seems to be fraying at the edges.
Access to care: The locked door: High costs and inadequate insurance are creating barriers to healthcare access. According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, 11.5% of adults did not have a usual place of healthcare in 2019. This is a door that we must unlock.
Taking Action: Potential Solutions
Universal healthcare: A possible lifeline: Universal healthcare could potentially provide a safety net for all, ensuring that nobody is left out. Countries like Canada and the UK have adopted this model, providing healthcare for all residents regardless of their ability to pay.
Increased price transparency: Unmasking the costs: Greater transparency in healthcare costs can empower patients to make informed decisions and promote competition among providers, potentially driving down costs.
Enhancing primary care: Strengthening the first line of defense: A strong primary care system can improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Encouraging investment in primary care can ensure that more people have access to preventative care and early treatment.
Healthcare insecurity is a growing threat that we cannot afford to ignore. By acknowledging and addressing the rising costs, gaps in insurance coverage, and barriers to access, we can pave the way for a more secure and equitable healthcare system. It’s time to take a stand for the health and well-being of all our citizens.
This week on #HCLDR we’ll discuss Healthcare Insecurity and what comes next.
Please join me on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at 8:30pm ET for the weekly #hcldr tweet chat to discuss healthcare insecurity.
T1: How can we effectively manage the escalating costs of healthcare to reduce the burden on individuals and families?
T2: What role does health insurance play in alleviating healthcare insecurity, and how can its effectiveness be improved?
T3: What specific strategies can be implemented to eliminate barriers to healthcare access?
T4: How can universal healthcare, improved price transparency, and a more robust primary care system contribute to resolving healthcare insecurity?
Image Credit: Photo by Nik on Unsplash
Dieleman JL, et al. (2017). US Spending on Personal Health Care and Public Health, 1996-2013. JAMA. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2594716
Collins SR, et al. (2020). U.S. Health Insurance Coverage in 2020: A Looming Crisis in Affordability. The Commonwealth Fund. Retrieved from https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/aug/looming-crisis-health-coverage-2020-biennial
National Center for Health Statistics. (2019). Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–June 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/insur202005-508.pdf
Reid R, et al. (2020). Universal health coverage in high-income countries. The Lancet. Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X1930463-2/fulltext