The New Social Contract: Healthcare and Insurance

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Over the last 25 years we have seen a 180-degree change in insurance and how insurance is used. Government responsibility for the citizenry has changed as the American thought process about health care has changed. The new social contract would involve creating a system of care for all citizens that allows access to services in a financially responsible way. People would be responsible for their own buying decisions and how their healthcare dollars are spent. The idea that each individual is able to pay for and afford private health insurance has become less of a reality in the last 25 years. Under the new social contract, health care consumers would have to take a new level of responsibility for their care and their health. Those who can afford healthcare will be expected to pay, while those who cannot will be cared for by Medicaid or Medicare. The Medicaid program will be available to an estimated 20 million new patients in 2014 (Davis, Abrams & Stremekis, 2011). The future of care is about personal and social responsibility. New restrictions placed on insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act dictate that insurance companies must spend 80% of collected premiums on patient care. These restrictions create a financial concern for insurance companies and their investors. The failure of the HMO style of healthcare has led people and companies to look for better solutions for their healthcare needs. In 1988, the bulk of the insured population had conventional health insurance. Today, many private insurance companies provide a version of healthcare that reduces costs for companies providing health care to their employees. The HRA account style of insurance allows for employers to provide employees with a portion of the insurance deductible. Although the deductibles are much higher now, employees have more control over their insurance benefits. Once people have an understanding of how much money they have to spend and how much services cost, they are less...
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