Health Insurance and Poverty in the US

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Not having health insurance is not an option for those living in poverty in America therefore not only affecting parents as well as children in poverty; but the government has put programs to help people in poverty ;however, it’s not the best solution because there is still a debate if the programs are really helping or if they are still leaving people with many problems.

Not having health insurance is not an option for those living in poverty in America. Many people get affected by the simple fact that they don’t have health insurance, but what can they do when they can not afford it? How can someone who barely has enough money to help pay with there actual needs be left over with additional money to pay for their health insurance? Because of the "Emergency Medical and Treatment Labor Act (EMTLA)" that Congress passed in 1986, it denies the right of hospitals and clinics to refuse to treat any uninsured person because they don't have insurance or can not pay. So what do they do then? Well, they raise their medical bills. Uninsured people get additional fees for simple things like x-rays, labs, etc.

If that doesn't say much there are roughly 44 million people living in the United States who do not have health insurance and 8 out of those 10 people are workers or dependent. That’s just a few things to name. Many people get a fine if they don’t have health insurance. For 2018 the penalty for not having health insurance in America is $695 for adults and $348 per children a maximum of $2,085 for family or even up 2.5% of the household income.( Bunis 1) The way they choose which option out of the two to pick is the one that is the greatest. The only thing this does is just put people more in debt they take money that they already don’t have to pay for an essential that many people don’t even use or need. Health insurance affects many people not just people with jobs but it affects children as well.

Health insurance can affect children in poverty as well as parents. In the past years political and economic changes in the United States have had a huge effect on health insurance coverage for children and their parents. These policies have differentially affected coverage patterns for children and for low-income families. (DeVoe 1) Many parents relay and get health insurance off of their jobs but if they lose their job they lose their health insurance as well. In some situations, parents have to pay deductibles for a whole year before they can even get the full benefits of health insurance. After that Coinsurance kicks in meaning the insurance will pay roughly 80% of the medical bill and the rest of 20% will be the job of the person who has the health insurance. Between 2000 and 2008, fewer employers in the United States offered health insurance to families the rate of employer-sponsored coverage decreased 6 % during this time period. (Angier 1) Parents lose their jobs and many jobs now days stopped offering health insurance leaving the families without it. So they will have to go to a provider that offers health insurance that way they won't have to pay a huge fine for not having insurance when they are doing their taxes, but at the end, some parents can't afford health insurance for them and their children.

When they asked about experiences with their child's health insurance coverage, many parents spoke about their struggles obtaining and maintaining coverage for themselves and children. Low-income families experienced the most significant changes in coverage. Between 1998 and 2009, as US children gained health insurance, their parents lost coverage. Children's health is adversely affected when parents are uninsured. Investigation beyond children's coverage rates is needed to understand how health insurance policies and changing health insurance coverage trends are impacting children's health. (Kreisberg 2) This leads to children no having the medical attention they need. Poverty rates have been slowly dipping for Asian, black, and Hispanic children, though not for many white children. Still, more than a third of Hispanic children, nearly 40 percent of black children, and nearly 19 percent of white children remain poor and without health insurance. (Sparks 1) This leads to the conclusion that even certain race can affect the children the chance of getting Medicare coverage.

Statics started showing that even while the coverage of children health care increased for children with the help of the system CHIP (Children Health Insurance Program) which was put up to help children with no health insurance but with every program that is put by the government it has its disadvantages with parents having to meet certain criteria like Families who earn too much for Medicaid, but not enough for commercial insurance are the target market for the plan. But another disadvantage is that with the program you are only allowed to go to certain hospitals to get treated at. With the help of CHIP, the percentage of children uninsured all year decreased from 9.6% in 1998 to 6.1% in 2009 while the percentage of parents uninsured all year rose from 13.6% in 1998 to 17.1% in 2009. It’s been proved by Heather Angier that the lack of health insurance is associated with decreased access to health care for families, often resulting in unmet medical and prescription drug needs and a lack of recommended preventive health services all leading to generally poorer health.(1) "We fear that without a continuation of those services, we'll see an increase in illnesses, injuries and preventable deaths--and an increase in health care expenditures." (krisberg4) The only reason many people get cheated out and have to pay so much for health insurance is due to the fact that they use a certain terminology to make it confusing and difficult for people to understand.

The government makes it difficult for people to get insurance and understand health insurance. One of the many few programs that were put up to help many people and that has accomplished that is the ACA( Affordable Care Act) or how many people know it as ObamaCare. The purpose of the program was to make health insurance affordable and also protect customers from the big company of insurance that takes advantage of people who don’t understand health insurance.

The ACA has put people around the world to help people understand health insurance terminology. It was proven that the uninsured people tend to have little understanding of health insurance terminology which suggests that they may have difficulty trying to choose the plan that best meets their needs. However, several studies have shown that people remain uninsured because many reasons like individuals appeared to have psychological (anxiety of selecting a wrong plan, lack of knowledge), and economic barriers (affordability) to enrolling in marketplace plans. (The marketplace is a newly established individual market in which Americans can purchase health insurance regardless of their preexisting conditions or employment status. People with low- and moderate-income, defined as household less than 400% of the FPL, can receive income-based federal subsidies for coverage. As of March 2016, approximately 11.1 million consumers had obtained health coverage through the marketplace and 85% of those receiving premium subsidies.(Han 1) Also, some uninsured individuals appeared to be little aware of coverage options and financial assistance, thereby perceiving coverage as expensive(han1).

The ACA has helped many people but there is a discussion going on if they want to keep it or not many if they take away the pre-ACA funding offsets hospital care for the uninsured, eliminating the ACA's individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and subsidies it would lead to a $165.8 billion negative impact on hospitals. (DeVoe 1). "We do know the ACA has brought extraordinary success in bringing down the uninsured rate, has brought billions into state coffers and reduced uncompensated care. We know there's been a real impact and that's what we can measure any replacement against."(Kreisberg 3)Taking away the ACA will give limited options. On the insurance side, a January Congressional Budget Office report found that repealing the ACA's individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and marketplace subsidies, while leaving intact reforms such as barring discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, would result in 32 million additional uninsureds by 2026 as well as significantly higher premiums.(Krisberg 2) Many people believe that ACA is a great program to help all the people who don't understand health insurance or even don't have it but the government and president don't believe so some people believe the ACA get help from the government but with president Trump being in charge at the moment he is trying to repeal it.

The main reason that Trump doesn’t like it is that the ACA raised the taxation to those who did not purchase it and many people get to choose if they wanted to pay the tax rather than to pay for the coverage. This leaves the fact that the government would be losing money instead of gaining money for health insurance. Even though many people don’t know what is going to happen with the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain, the consequences of repealing the law are increasingly clear, with millions at risk of losing health coverage. It's anyone's guess what will happen," Leighton Ku, Ph.D., MPH, director of the George Washington University's Center for Health Policy Research, told The Nation's Health in February. "But I do think something will happen because there's been such strong commitment from Republicans and the president to keep their promises (to repeal). The potential adverse effects of that repeal could be disastrous, and then the problem becomes what to replace it with."(krisberg1)

The price that people pay for health insurance is outrageous. The main point of health insurance helps a family or even an individual pay for its care by helping them pay with high medical bills but at the end, health insurance cheats people out from their money. The only thing it is doing is raising poverty in America, because it doesn't help people who are already in poverty it just puts them more in debt or it even puts people who are not in poverty into it by raising their medical bills and fining them when they do their taxes to the biggest one taking huge pieces of their checks to pay for health insurance. The price you pay alone just for the having health insurance is already way to high as it is and instead of lowering the price to make it affordable for everyone or to even take away health insurance away because many people don’t even use it they just pay extra for something they don’t need that they are trying to take away one of the only good programs like the ACA that helps people in a lot of ways by helping them understand it to even showing them that there is more than one option that you don't have to go with the first one just because of the pressure you to it. At the end of everything you think is the price of the fine worth it more than the price of being poor to even ending up in poverty just because of the outrages prices.

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Health Insurance and Poverty in the US. (2020, Aug 25). Retrieved May 26, 2024 , from

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