Why Is Health Insurance Necessary?

Rising Medical Costs

The cost of health care is rising, as reported by Chris Roberts of the El Paso Times. Some of this has to do with the fact that inflation affects the health care industry in same way as all other industries. Other factors include the fact people are living longer and thus requiring more care over time. As this happens, fewer people can meet medical expenses on their own. Health insurance may be the only way these people can access the care they need.

Preventative Care

When you do not have insurance, your only option aside from a free clinic is to pay out of pocket for care. Subsequently, in an effort to maintain your budget, you may not go to the doctor unless you absolutely have to do so. The problem with this is that it may be too late to treat you well once you get to your doctor. For example, cancer that might be operable in early stages might spread to other areas of the body where doctors cannot excise the bad tissue. Roberts indicates that this problem is an unpleasant reality, particularly in Texas where many people lack insurance. In other words, insurance permits preventive care, which can save lives. When doctors are able to treat diseases and conditions early, they also can avoid charging for more costly procedures.

Civic Duty

In 2009 and 2010, President Barack Obama lobbied heavily for reforms to the U.S. health care system. Part of his message was that it is a basic civic duty of Americans to care for each other and that no one should be left without health insurance of some kind. These sentiments reflect the basic concept within the Hippocratic Oath all doctors take, that one should do no harm to another. Discussions on the necessity of insurance thus include moral elements; the use of health insurance is not purely a matter of economics.

Three Hindrances to Seeing Necessity

If people do not see health insurance as necessary, it typically is for one of three reasons, as pointed out by the Really Cheap Health Insurance website. First, people may look back on their previous health history and judge that there is a low likelihood of needing professional medical care. Secondly, people might not have a chronic condition that would push them toward help; they may tough out problems because they believe those conditions won't last. Lastly, people might not want to shell out the premiums. If a person is to see insurance as necessary, he must be convinced that his previous history is not a determinant of future need and recognize that even non-chronic conditions may become life-threatening and that the value of the coverage exceeds the value paid in premiums.

Reform

As the Obama administration looks at the health insurance system in the United States, it is modifying policies on what insurance companies are permitted to do and what is covered. These modifications may have an impact on the effectiveness of the system. This, in turn, may affect whether Americans continue to see health insurance as a necessity. Health insurance companies step in and pay some or all of your medical expenses if you get sick or hurt. They also handle preventative care like check-ups and physicals. Insurance companies make a profit from all the policies people buy, but policy holders don't purchase health insurance to line the pockets of their insurance providers. They buy them because they see the health insurance product as necessary.