Living Without Health Insurance in 2020
When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, it was a major victory in the Obama administration. Millions of Americans were able to get health insurance for the first time. Even Medicaid was expanded to held any poor adult, regardless of whether or not that adult had children.
However, the cost of premiums keeps rising, forcing some Americans to risk going without health insurance. The Affordable Care Act was a good idea, but it didn’t do much to cover the cost of insurance. So, as a result, premiums are raising without any relief for people and families. Now people are choosing to risk going without health insurance.
Some Americans engage in medical tourism to help with the cost of health care. In medical tourism, people will fly to another country to get healthcare in America for a cheaper price than what they would in their home country. The cost of healthcare in America is significantly more expensive than it is in other countries.
The CDC estimates that about 750,000 seek healthcare through medical tourism. It’s a trend that’s been growing so much that health insurance companies, like Anthem Blue Cross, are starting to look into it as an alternative for cheaper health care. The CEO of the industry, herself, has stated she may never have surgery in America again. The costs of different medical procedures abroad can be up to a third of the cost of the same procedures in America.
There is a slight risk of medical tourism. If a patient doesn’t do their homework before the meet up with the doctor for the procedure, they could end up paying more for their medical procedure than they planned. But with the proper research, people end up saving more money than what they would if they stayed with their home country.
The industry hopes that with the growing trend of medical tourism, hospitals will take a step back and look into the costs of different medical procedures and eventually start lowering their prices to compete with other countries. Other countries can experience more Americans touring their country too.
This is also a growing number of doctors that are frustrated with the health care system. These doctors are leaving hospitals and starting their own private practices that treat people and families for much cheaper than a hospital when someone doesn’t have insurance. Instead of dealing with insurance companies, they charge the patients directly. These doctors felt insurance companies were telling them how to do their job and blocked treatments for some patients. So they decided to open private practices that don’t take health insurance.
However, these doctors also warn they’re not the perfect replacement. There are only some things that doctors can treat. If they can’t stop bleeding, for example, they recommend skipping the doctor’s visit and going straight to the emergency room.
Healthcare Share Ministries Religion-based Cost Sharing Plan
Another growing trend with uninsured Americans is a healthcare share ministries religion-based cost-sharing plan. Religious organizations would build a cost-share plan through multiple families. Individuals would pay a certain amount of money per month. They also get a premium, just like a traditional insurance plan.
However, there is a catch to this. These religious groups have to promise to have Christian ideals. That means they will only cover medical costs that they deem moral. If a patient receives injuries as a result of being a drunk driver, the individual isn’t getting covered. If a woman wants to be on birth control, she will have to pay for that out of pocket. The immorality of any kind will not be tolerated in these groups.
These share plans act like insurance coverage. But doctors don’t need the approval of these groups to have medical procedures done. The premiums rise every year, just like insurance, but they are cheaper than actual health insurance.
All of these ways to get healthcare for their families are risky. They are all great alternatives for people that find health insurance too expensive. However, each of these alternatives comes with a risk. Until something is done about the rising costs of premiums, there will be more alternatives coming up to find healthcare.