Problems of Disparities in Health Care Insurance
The United States leads the world in spending on health care. Yet , other countries spending substantially less than the United States have healthier populations. America’s performance is marred by deep inequalities linked to income, health insurance coverage, race, ethnicity, geography, and – critically – access to care.
Employer-based Insurance plans
The United States is the only wealthy country with no universal health insurance system. Its mix of employer-based private insurance and public coverage has never reached all Americans.
All working Americans are categorized based on annual income – top-income (earning on average $210,100 annually), higher-middle-income (earning an average of $84,800 annually), lower-middle-income earning on average $41,500), and bottom-income (earning an average of $14,800 annually) (Auguste, Laboissière, & Mendonca, 2009). As the general population knows that those are in the both top-income category and higher-middle-income category can afford any expenses that are incurred in facilities, doctor visits, ER visits, etc. without any hindrance (Auguste et al., 2009). The lower-middle-income and bottom-income population have much harder time in paying for services because it puts them in a tight budget. Paying for out-of-pocket costs can be detrimental to one's credit and often those patients are sent to collections if they can't pay. As reported in the 2011 study done in Arizona by Herman, Rissi, and Walsh, it also confirmed that individuals who have higher incomes were able to pay for medical expenses without going through financial hardships. Cost
Its been reported that immigrants have less access to care due to having no insurance plans and the cost of services when they are sick than the general population born in the United States (Pandey, 2010). In Herman et al.'s study (2011), out-of-pocket medical expenses caused financial hardships and that...
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income disparity in the United States. Mckinsey Quarterly, (2), 50-51.
Copeland, V. (2005). African Americans: Disparities in Health Care Access and Utilization. Health &
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Herman, P. E. (2011). Health Insurance Status, Medical Debt, and Their Impact on Access to Care in
Arizona. American Journal Of Public Health, 101(8), 1437. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2010.300080
Quinn, S. (2011). Racial Disparities in Exposure, Susceptibility, and Access to Health Care in the US
H1N1 Influenza Pandemic. American Journal Of Public Health, 101(2), 285. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.188029
Pandey, S. (2010). Health Insurance Disparities among Immigrants: Are Some Legal Immigrants More
Vulnerable Than Others?. Health & Social Work, 35(4), 267.
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