Broker Check

Health Care Insurance

Health care insurance is the first component of risk management. In an age of growing health care costs, many believe that all consumers should have some form of health care insurance. Whether it is a low premium policy that just covers the policyholder from catastrophic events, or the use of an expensive boutique doctor who can see you the same day, health insurance is probably the most important coverage a person can have. Unfortunately, not everybody has health care insurance. In fact, the number of people without health care insurance has actually grown in recent years. There are currently 45 million individuals in the US who do not have any type of health care insurance. In other words, almost one-fifth of the population does not have health insurance.

There are five main reasons people don’t have health care insurance:

  • Unemployment
  • Not Eligible
  • Lack of Offerings at Work
  • High Costs
  • Turned Down 

There are two purchase methods in health insurance, which include individual and group policies. Group policies, are also referred to as employer policies, since that is typically the purchaser. Group policies are typically cheaper than individual policies, so it makes sense that almost all health care insurance is purchased in group policies. In fact, just 10% of health insurance is purchased by individuals. Individual health insurance coverage has been growing slightly in recent years. In 2000, there were 16 million people who owned individual policies. This number grew 1.5 million over the next three years to 17.5 million. Though this is a small percentage relative to the size of the population, it could be the beginning of a trend towards individual policies. On the same note, sales of group health insurance actually declined by 5 million people over the same period.

The health care industry has seen many innovations over the years as doctors seek higher salaries and consumers seek better, cheaper coverage. Some of the recent innovations in health care are the introduction of health savings accounts, boutique doctors, and even pet health insurance. While health savings accounts allow consumers to save for their own medical expenses somewhat inexpensively, boutique doctors are more expensive but provide convenience and better service to patients. Surprisingly, 5% of companies already offer pet health insurance to employees.

Big companies in the health care insurance industry are Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Aetna, and United Health Care.