Why does anyone buy health insurance? To ensure they have access to the healthcare services they and their families need. Unfortunately, having coverage today doesn’t always mean care is covered, nor does having health insurance guarantee access to care in the first place. One global issue is that health insurers don’t always pay providers fairly for their services. Consequently, some providers won’t contract with certain plans because of the insurer’s history of failing to reimburse them appropriately. Another major issue is the scenario in which a patient technically has in-network access to a preferred provider, but their health insurance requires them to meet an exorbitantly high deductible that they cannot afford. While there is no single fix for healthcare affordability, it seems clear that at least some change needs to start with insurers. Because the whole point of buying health insurance is to ensure you can access the care you need.
Health insurance doesn’t assure you of anything in the U.S.
On July 15, 2019, Forbes described how having insurance doesn't guarantee access, and having coverage doesn't mean you're actually covered. And that's even as one in seven people have no healthcare insurance at all. Here we untangle why this is so problematic.