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Universal Health Care

Universal Health Care (sometimes abbreviated to Universal Healthcare) is the idea that everyone should be offered health insurance that is paid, in whole or in part, by public funds (taxes or some form of tax contribution system). Universal healthcare is also synonymous with terms like “single payer healthcare”, “National Health Services” (the National Health Service in the United Kingdom was the first form of Universal Healthcare provided by government), or even “socialized medicine” by its adversaries.

It is estimated that approximately 85% of Americans have some form of health insurance. The United States government does not have a Universal Healthcare system (like in Canada) but rather an open market approach to health care and health insurance where citizens can obtain health insurance through private insurance companies that compete in the market to offer competitive health insurance plans and quotes.

That being said, the United States does have certain Universal health care like initiatives including Medicaid (Universal Healthcare for low income people), Medicare (Universal Healthcare for the elderly and the disabled), and various Federally funded state sponsored programs like Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS) (Universal Healthcare for children under the age of 18). These programs will take care of your healthcare needs if you are poor, elderly, disabled, or a child but how do you go about finding affordable health insurance if you do not fall into any of these categories?

There are many pros and cons to universal health care. Many would argue that middle class Americans are facing increased pressure as they try to maintain health insurance and still stay within their budget. When an employer offers health benefits and will pay for all or most of the group health insurance plan then it is a no-brainer to “take the free money” and enroll in the group health plan. However, what if the employer only pays a small portion of the monthly premium cost?

There are many questions when it comes to the health insurance system in the United States. What if there are not very many attractive group health plan options available from the employer? What if the employer will not cover the cost of the premium for the employee’s spouse and children? What if the employer does not offer a group health plan or what if the individual is self-employed?

Some politicians would seek to implement a Universal Healthcare initiative nationwide (Hillary Clinton’s “HillaryCare”, or Barack Obama’s Health Plan Initiative) much like the state plan instituted by Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is also seeking health care reform in the state of California and trying push some form of California Universal Healthcare.

Some would argue that the solution to health care reform in the United States is for more consumer education and greater transparency in health care pricing. American has the best open market free trade system in the world which has fostered innovation and done great good for the American people yet according to the World Health Organization (WHO) the overall performance of the United States health care system was ranked 37th in 2000.

Also there is the issue of guaranteed issue policies and its effect on the cost of health insurance. Everyone that applies for a group health insurance plan is automatically accepted while in most states those who apply for an individual health insurance plan must be somewhat healthy to be approved for an individual health insurance plan (unless the individual qualifies for a guaranteed issue HIPAA health insurance plan).

This is the reason why individual health insurance plans are approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a similar group health insurance plan (even from the same company). Individual plans are cheaper, even with the same amount of comprehensive coverage, because the insurance company can pick and choose who they will accept onto the individual plan. The technical insurance term is called the “Law of Adverse Selection” which means that the unhealthier a person is then the more prone they will be to make sure that they get and keep health insurance.

In other words, many people tend to be irresponsible when it comes to health insurance. Many just assume that they will continue to be healthy forever but after that person develops health problems then they will seek out health insurance and be prone to stay on the plan (this leads to higher risk for the insurance company which in turn leads to higher rates for everyone which leads to everyone feeling the pinch of the increased cost of healthcare). This is the reason why guaranteed issue group health plans and guaranteed issue individual health plans in states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and even sole proprietor “group of one” individual plans in Florida are so expensive.

So what can you do to find a cheap health insurance plan? Health insurance rates are constantly changing and one good thing about the current system is that there are many different health insurance companies across the country with low rates because of the increasing competition in the health insurance industry.

For the best rate possible be sure to compare health insurance quotes from at least 3 different insurance companies. Remember, insurance rates are set by the insurance company and regulated by your state’s insurance department so you cannot get a better price or “deal” like in shopping for a used car depending on where you purchase your insurance from.

To save time and money use our free health quote finder to compare multiple insurance companies’ offers and get free health insurance quotes now!