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Health Care Costs Decrease Due To Economic Woes

Feb 3rd, 2012

health care costs decreaseHealth care costs decrease all over the country in 2011. This is an indication that people did not spend as much money for health care access or they did not use their health insurance coverage the same way they did in the previous years. Furthermore, the health expenditure rate only raised by 0.1% in 2010 based on the previous year. This shows that less people are making insurance claims.

While it may seem like a decrease in health care cost is a good thing, the reality is that this dip may spell trouble in the future. From a diagnosis and treatment standpoint, individuals who avoided making insurance claims can increase future expenses in addition to putting their health at risk. When people choose to ignore those medical issues and put aside nagging aches and pains, the underlying issue will still remain and will cause health problems to fester and worsen over time.

In some states, like New York, where some residents enjoy the state-sponsored Healthy NY program, problems with health care access may not be as bad. The program offers benefits that cover essential health needs at more affordable rates. However, in some states, people are having a more difficult time getting access to health care.

The current economic problem is a major factor for this downward trend. Visiting the doctor sadly was not an option anymore for many people. This led to insurance claims going down and health care costs went down with it. This trend however, is not seen to last long. At the moment, the economy is showing some signs of improvement and health care reform will be fully implemented in 2014. This is expected to raise health insurance claims in the future.

In 2014, the U.S. will shift from company-based health insurance model into individual-based models. Also, defined benefit models will shift to defined contribution models. The health reform law will give employees more control when it comes to choosing which plan suits them best. This makes it more important for employees to learn about their health care wants and needs.

The reform law’s individual mandate will also require every individual to get health insurance coverage or pay a fine beginning 2014. Around this time, consumers can purchase health insurance through an insurance exchange, also a provision in the new law.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already scheduled oral arguments for the health care reform law in order to decide its constitutionality. The high court will review the law’s key provisions and make its decision.

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