After record-low in the decade of 1990’s, the number of uninsured has accelerated maximally, as we near end of the 2000’s. With health care costs reaching higher levels, the role of medical insurance becomes crucial. Also, the economic slowdown has aggravated these complexities and has also reduced the public resources required to address them. So, an effective health insurance system is needed to compliment the health care delivery system, and ensure that all citizens are provided the best-quality medical care.
This paper by focusing on the issue of health insurance will discuss some of the reasons for underinsurance and the solutions that can be implemented by the government to optimize insurance coverage.. Expansion of Medicaid The main solution or challenge which can decrease the number of uninsured is to reduce the number of low income Americans who are uninsured, without exposing the states or the federal government to large financial obligations. That could hamper their overall ability to aid all those people who require help.
This problem can be solved by expanding or fine tuning the government insurance programs like the Medicare and the Medicaid. The first step that can be taken under this fine tuning process is the expansion of Medicaid by bringing in more non-working class and also low-income families as the target group. That is, this target group is the ones, who need the medical insurance the most, and so they need to be brought under the Medicaid in a maximal manner. Gruber (2008) considers the effects of extending Medicaid to all individuals under 100% and 185% of the poverty line, respectively as a stand-alone before.
The more restrictive expansion would reduce the number of uninsured persons by 5 millions…The larger expansion would reduce the number of uninsured persons by 10 million. So, expansion of Medicaid will provide health insurance to a large population and thereby increase the number of insurers. Smaller Companies Small employers normally pay higher volatile premiums, for less than liberal health insurance. Most of the uninsured workers are working with small firms. Government’s public policies have tried to make health insurance more affordable for the small businesses but only few programs had proved to be effective.
Some public policy options that can be tried to increase the target base of insured people includes providing subsidies to small firms or their employees to increase coverage, promoting them to indulge in collective buying in an attempt to reduce cost. The 1996 Act of ‘Health Insurance Portability and Accountability’ (HIPA) guarantees the employees that their company authorized health insurance cover will not be revocable under any preexisting exclusions. (Patel and Rushefsky 2006).
Importantly, Obama’s plan to create a small business health care tax credit and at the same time allow businesses to shop for health insurance across state lines could also aid the small firms to access health insurance packages and thereby provide its employees good medical care. “Small businesses currently get a tax deduction for health insurance paid… Furthermore, allow small businesses to get the best deal possible for their employees by letting them purchase health insurance across state lines” (Ellis, 2009).