Unlike other developed countries, the US does not have a uniform national health system that requires the government to pay for public healthcare. Instead, funding comes from several different sources. In 2018, 91.5% of the total population had some level of health insurance coverage. Out of the insured segment of the population, most individuals received coverage from private health insurance companies as opposed to public health insurance. In the same year, however, 8.5% of the population—which is a staggering 27.5 million individuals—had no coverage at all. What’s more, this represented an increase of 2 million uninsured people over the previous year.
Pros of Insurance-based Healthcare
There is no denying that an insurance-based healthcare system has some advantages:
· As medical research progresses by leaps and bounds, adequate insurance cover ensures access to the latest treatments and healthcare technologies.
· There is some degree of freedom when choosing your healthcare provider, as you can browse through the in-network medical providers in your region.
· Insurance plans cover many essential health services, including laboratory tests and medications. Many plans will provide coverage for basic preventive services free of cost, such as vaccinations and screening for different diseases.
· Importantly, insurance-based healthcare offers a cushion against unexpected medical expense in a time when healthcare costs are constantly on the rise.
Cons of Insurance-based Healthcare
However, insurance-based healthcare brings along its share of downsides too:
· Due to an increase in the cost of healthcare, insurance companies charge a higher premium, which makes it difficult for certain segments of the population to obtain adequate insurance plans if they do not qualify for public insurance or do not receive health insurance as part of their employment benefits.
· Ethnic minorities, low-income households, and young adults make up most of the uninsured population. Apparently, an insurance-based system can marginalize those who need basic health access the most.
· Even with insurance cover, you are limited to healthcare providers who accept your insurance plan, without which you may be set back by a few thousand dollars for small procedures.
· Lack of transparency is a critical drawback of insurance-based healthcare as treatment costs are never explicitly stated until all required paperwork is filled out, which can take several weeks.
Costectomy aims to address the gap left by this insurance-based healthcare system. We do this by connecting doctors and patients directly to one another. Both parties can jointly decide treatment costs and payments so there is greater transparency, and patients can shop around for affordable medical care alternatives in their area. By eliminating the middle man, Costectomy simplifies healthcare for everyone.
1. Berchick, Edward R, Jessica C Barnett, and Rachel D Upton. Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018. United States Census Bureau, September 10, 2019. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2019/demo/p60-267.html
2. Brown, E Richard. Problems of Health Insurance Coverage and Health Care in the United States: Public and Private Solution Strategies. Cadernos De Saude Publica 8, no. 3 (1992). http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-311X1992000300007
3. The U.S. Health Care System: An International Perspective. DPE, 2016. https://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/the-u-s-health-care-system-an-international-perspective/