How Insurance Companies Are Working for Your Health

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Health Insurance

Medical insurance is a major concern for most Americans. With the rising cost of medical care, health insurance is an ever increasing portion of the monthly budget. Depending on your employer and the region of the country where you live, a family health plan can set you back as much as $1000 a month. The high cost of health insurance is directly tied to the high cost of medical care. The costs of caring for a broken arm, for example, can run up into several thousands of dollars when you count in casts, X-rays, pain medication and lab tests.

While accidents and catastrophic illnesses can take a chunk of cash in one fell swoop, the costs of managing chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease is even higher. Between daily medication, periodic testing and emergency care for related conditions, it can literally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to manage care for active diabetes.

That fact lies behind many of the initiatives and changes to typical health insurance over the past twenty years. These are some of the things that health insurance companies are doing to lower the costs of medical care - and encourage a healthier America.

Prevention lowers the cost of health insurance.
Nearly all major health insurance plans encourage and pay for routine medical care. It only makes sense - healthy people need less medical care. The best way to lower the cost of medical care overall, the insurance companies finally realized, is to make sure that their subscribers have access to preventive and maintenance care. Many health maintenance organizations offer annual checkups and medical screenings for conditions like high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels for free because catching health conditions early means managing them more effectively - and less expensively.

Knowledge helps reduce costs for all.
Nearly every major health insurance company in the country underwrites millions of dollars worth of research annually to help identify the best ways to provide and track treatments for various medical conditions. Working on the belief that preventive care reduces later medical costs, health insurance companies fund initiatives to offer health insurance for free or at reduced rates to underinsured populations, educate their subscribers around health issues and bring eye, dental and medical care to populations that can't afford routine care.

In doing so, they lower the cost of health insurance for everyone by lowering the expense of caring for uninsured patients in medical crisis. Those costs, usually footed by the hospital or medical facility, are passed on to the insurance companies in the form of higher medical costs for everyone, and to the consumer as higher cost for health insurance.

Opening the door to alternative and complementary treatment opens the door to lower costs.

Many health insurance companies now offer benefits for subscribers that aren't usually considered as �medical care�. These things include health club memberships, nutritional consultations, yoga and meditation classes and smoking cessation programs. Most cover counseling sessions for stress management since stress is recognized as a major contributing factor to illnesses. They may fund wellness clinics to educate consumers about the value of exercise and balanced diets, offer the loan of medical equipment for special situations and cover acupuncture, chiropractor sessions, massage therapy and even vitamin and mineral supplements.

By taking the initiative in education and research, the major health insurance companies are working hard to reduce health care costs for all. Check with your health insurance company to see what benefits they offer that could help you stay healthy.

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