The New York Times is running an interesting story on young under-insured Americans during the current economic crisis. Regulars to this blog will be aware that this is a favorite topic of ours, and really only serves to illustrate that serious changes need to occur in the USA’s domestic healthcare and insurance industries.
From the article:
“My first reaction was to start laughing — I just kept saying, ‘No way, no way,’ ” Alanna Boyd, a 28-year-old receptionist, recalled of the $17,398 — including $13 for the use of a television — that she was charged after spending 46 hours in October at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan with diverticulitis, a digestive illness. “I could have gone to a major university for a year. Instead, I went to the hospital for two days.”
“Most family insurance policies cut off dependents when they turn 19 or finish college, and many young adults start out in New York cobbling together part-time or freelance work with no benefits. To qualify for Medicaid, a single adult can earn no more than $706 a month — less than what a full-time minimum-wage earner makes. Yet the average insurance premium for a single adult is $900 a month, according to a spokesman for the State Insurance Department.”
Read more of the article, entitled For Uninsured Young Adults, Do-It-Yourself Healthcare, by visiting the New York Times website.
Its an interesting topic and one that bears further watching.
One of the biggest issues facing modern America is the fact that large portions of the population are underinsured, an no where is this more evident than within the nation’s tertiary student community. In fact, it’s not just underinsurance that is an issue; it’s the total lack of health insurance within 20%, almost 1.7 million individuals, of the American student population that is so worrying.
Even among those college students that are covered by some form of health insurance the prevalence of underinsurance is staggering. 31% of part time students (those attending college for less than 8 hours a week) and 18% of full time students in the
Of course the schools say that they’re not to blame, and that the problem is in the fact that insurance premiums (especially with domestic American insurers) tend to get more expensive each year, and that by obtaining these lower coverage limits the educational institution is actually helping their students by saving them money. In this regards many schools have these group policies, but it is up to the individual students as to whether they purchase it (the only variation to this rule is with regards to international students who are forced to obtain a university insurance plan prior to starting classes). Only 30% of the 4,182 tertiary education institutes in the
Where colleges and universities in the
That however, is a situation that may change. Senate Bill 1168 has been passed with the aim of providing ‘full time coverage’ to seriously sick students who are unable to attend classes full time for up to 12 months after the condition originally emerges. Known as Michelle’s law, the bill is aiming to support this large portion of the
There are other options, especially with regards to foreign students in the country. With the emergence of a strong international health insurance industry (as opposed to the local/domestic market) many major insurers have come to the realization that students deserve quality protection as much, and possibly even more, as the rest of society. This has lead to the creation of specialized ‘international health insurance student plans’ giving individuals around the world the security that they need in order to get the education that they deserve.
Despite this development of customized international student plans however, and the creation of senate bill 1168 the