Types of Health Insurance

Compare and contrast the major types of health insurance (private, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, etc.) in the U.S. Consider using bolded headings to organize and present your information. How would a single-payer system impact the current insurance providers in the U.S.? Respond to at least two classmates’ posts offering additional information, a different perspective, links to relative articles/websites, etc. Reply to discussion below: Private health insurance, or voluntary health insurance, is typically employment based, which is contrary of both Medicare and Medicaid because neither are offered by employers. However, employees have the option to not receive private health insurance through an employer if they so choose. Private health insurance offers more options than Medicare and Medicaid. Options of private health insurance include but are not limited to: group insurance, self-insurance, individual private health insurance, high deductible, low deductible, and short-term stop-gap coverage. Private health insurance is neither state nor federally funded, and is paid by the subscriber in an amount based on risk rating, which adjusts premiums to reflect one’s health status. One similarity among private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid is the use of deductibles, which starts over each year. Medicare: Medicare, a form of public health insurance, is a federal program that finances medical care regardless of income to three particular groups of people: disabled individuals that are entitled to Social Security benefits, individuals over the age of 65 years, and those who have end state renal disease. Medicare offers no state coverage unlike Medicaid. Medicare has four parts. Part A that covers hospital and inpatient costs, part B that is a supplementary insurance, part C adds additional options of health plans with an objective to channel beneficiaries into a managed care plan, and part D that covers prescription medications. An issue that has arose with Medicare is the increased number of beneficiaries secondary to the aging population, and there is a concern that funding will begin to lack. Medicaid: Medicaid is another form of public health insurance and is mainly financed through a taxpayer program with the intention of providing health care coverage to those with a particularly low income. Similar to both Medicare and VA insurance, Medicaid has particular qualifications. The state and federal government, whose contribution matches the states contribution based on each state’s per capita, finances Medicaid. This federal matching is referred to as Federal Medical Assistance Percentage and cannot exceed 83% or be less than 50% of the total state program cost. An issue that stands with Medicaid is provider reimbursement, which results in some physicians not accepting Medicaid. VA: Another form of public health insurance is Veterans Health Administration that is provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs and was initially established to provide services to veterans. The VA runs the “largest integrated health service system in the United States.” As with Medicare and Medicaid, there are eligibility requirements, which include type of military discharge and length of service. As with Medicare and Medicaid, the VHA system struggles from financing and capacity constraints, which leads to a lack of timely care and access. How would a single-payer system impact the current insurance providers in the U.S.? From my understanding, a single-payer system would expand such health plans (Medicare, Medicaid, and VA) that are government funded and would rid the market of private health insurance. This would result in all individuals having health care coverage. If a single-payer system were not required leaving private health insurance an option, this would still result in a reduced role for private health insurance companies.

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