As Americans continue to face rising health insurance costs, concerns over affordability and access are at an all-time high. Over the years, health care costs have been increasing significantly, making it an alarming issue for many Americans to cover their expenses adequately. In turn, the rising health care costs have left many individuals and families struggling to keep up with premiums, copayments, and deductibles.
The burden of the rising health care costs is not limited to low-income Americans, but it impacts everyone, including middle-class and wealthy Americans. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), national health care expenditures will reach $6.2 trillion by 2028, comprising almost one-fifth of the total gross domestic product. Furthermore, a study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund found that between 2008 to 2018, health insurance premiums have gone up by almost 55%, causing many Americans to worry about their health insurance.
One significant factor contributing to rising premiums is the increasing cost of prescription drugs. Many Americans rely heavily on medication and drugs to manage acute and chronic conditions, which have resulted in increased demand, leading to high costs. Another contribution to rising premiums is the cost of medical procedures and technologies, such as diagnostic tests, surgeries, and imaging tests. These procedures’ expenses are high due to a lack of universal coverage and record keeping, which ramps up the cost of the treatment for the people who seek health care services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse as it put a financial strain on many individuals and families. Over 30 million Americans lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and many of them now face the burden of paying for their healthcare independently. Without jobs or unemployment benefits, many Americans struggle to afford healthcare, and medical debt has already become substantial for many. This situation is so dire and stressing that it forces many to avoid necessary medical care to avoid medical bills that come hand in hand with the procedures.
In conclusion, the rising cost of health insurance is a significant burden for many Americans. The high premiums, copayments, and deductibles limit people’s access to health care, and it is only going to get worse if the federal government takes no steps to ensure better medical insurance and lower costs. Clearing universal coverage to every American is one way to shift focus to a single-payer system, which experts say would significantly reduce premiums, copays, and deductibles. As Americans strive to get an affordable health insurance plan, policymakers need to work together to address the issue and find a way to make health care accessible and affordable to everyone.