Health Insurance Reform Increases Need For Primary Care

Insurance With healthcare reform one step closer to becoming the law of the land, millions of uninsured people will find themselves better able to afford health care. Typically, the uninsured tend to visit doctors for preventative care far less often. While a person with health insurance can often go see a doctor for a nominal co-payment amount ranging from $15 to $50, a person without insurance would have to pay their full hourly rate. Depending on the physician, that charge can be over $100 an hour. Many of the uninsured are unable to afford the cost of a monthly insurance premium, so they would probably not have that money available. An option for them has been to visit an urgent care clinic located in a drug store or other location. Although such clinics are mostly staffed by doctors and can help with minor illnesses, they are unable to build relationships with patients. A solid doctor-patient relationship is essential for good health and managing chronic conditions. With the lack of that continued support, many uninsured people visit the emergency room for non-emergency conditions. They are more expensive to treat at that stage, since their illnesses have worsened. In addition, local taxpayers end up footing the bill. Urban or rural populations with high percentages of people living at or near the poverty level are disproportionately impacted. The health insurance reform bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would partially subsidize the purchase of health plans by the portion of 30 million uninsured Americans who fall under certain income levels. These people will then be in search of primary care doctors. Unfortunately, the United States is currently suffering from a shortage of primary care doctors. The crushing expense of student loans for medical school forces many graduates to enter more lucrative medical specialties. Even though the aforementioned exchange market will not be fully effective until 2014, that will not be enough time for enough potential physicians to make their way through undergraduate education, med school, and residencies. The entire process may take over eight years. With less than half of medical school graduates entering primary care, there is still a ways to go. As it is, many doctors have been forced to stop accepting new patients, or refuse to accept patients under Medicare or certain health insurance plans whose reimbursements they consider too low. The cost of medical malpractice insurance–which is not mentioned in the legislation–is an additional factor that prevents more doctors from opening their doors. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: