The sorry state of affairs in the American medicare industry reflects the inability of many Americans to afford quality healthcare. Many can’t afford medical billing despite having insurance. The Obamacare premiums are making it difficult for them to continue with the payments.
Can’t Afford To Go To the Doctor – HealthPocket
A recent survey by HealthPocket revealed the difficulties that many Americans face. The Affordable Care Act is reducing people’s ability to afford health insurance. They have so many other expenses that they can’t afford take out money for health insurance.
The survey results show that a lot of Americans can only afford $100.
Here are the results.
- Around 52.5% say that they can only afford $100 or more.
- Only 15.95% can afford $200 each month.
- The number of Americans drops 11.6% who can pay $300 each month.
- The percentage further reduces to 5.5% for $400 health insurance deductible assistance.
- Only 4.8% say they can set aside $500 each month.
- Only one out of ten Americans, or 9.8% say that they can give away $500 a month for health insurance.
Medical Billing – A Difference of Perception
If you talk to someone who represents the health providers, you may not get a clearer picture on medical billing. However, if you talk to someone who is at the receiving end of the medical billing, you understand the underlying issues..
Here is how a medical billing advocate, Maureen Lamb explains the situation.
“If you are talking to someone who is sympathetic but unable to fix your errors or negotiate a discount, you are wasting your time. It may require unique approaches to break through the resistance. When phone calls, faxes and emails don’t work, it’s time to write a letter documenting your request for a discounted bill, and request help from the management team of an organization.”
Crowdfund Provides Limited Relief
Many Americans are turning to other options. They consider crowdfunding as a way to get assistance. If they can’t afford to go to the doctor, they turn to crowdfunding. It may include relying on different options including business startups and charitable organizations. However, they only offer limited funds and many find it hard to meet their medical bills.
There is a long way to go before we can see these crowdfunding sources catching up to the medical needs of many Americans. However, their strong social presence does suggest a ray of hope for the future. These platforms relying on websites like Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks to get assistance.
We are hearing many success stories from the charitable institutions helping troubled patients. Cassidy did come up with thousands of dollars for the chemotherapy. However, she had to manage so many other expenses that it was becoming difficult for her to afford her medical bill. She was able to get some funds to get herself treated in the hospital. Such efforts shows a strong community, willing to stand with each other and overcome the difficulties in paying medical bills.
Some Ways to Overcome the US Healthcare Problems
Here are some of fixes that can help the struggling US healthcare industry.
- The current NIH spending stands at around $34 billion. However, it does not have the purchasing power which hurts the welfare of patients relying on medications. The increase in taxation on pharma industry would help sort some of those issues out. Here is what CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer institute has to say about NIH. “I believe they’re the crown jewel of the healthcare system. Glimcher says of the NIH. They train the next generation of American doctors. They take care of very complicated patients. They are the place where new ideas are born, but we are starving.”
- There is a hope that the smartphones would help revolutionize the way healthcare industry uses IT. The use of smartphones can help increase patient engagement, a significant step towards improving quality of healthcare.
- Some healthcare industry experts also believe that patients need to have adequate housing and high quality food. The access to healthy food and safer housing will help them fight many of the illnesses caused due to these reasons.
- Bring the scientists to the forefront of the research in healthcare industry. The innovators need to be rewarded and incentivized for their contributions. It will help motivate more scientists to come with cures of the most deadly diseases.