Health Insurance Laws and Policies
Healthcare insurance has been a fundamental aspect of many individuals’ lives. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine how people lived over a century ago when health insurance did not exist. In addition, the question of how ordinary people could afford healthcare comes into being as well as the people that assisted medical practitioners and healthcare institutions in financing practicable practices that could help in the provision of care and the advancement of medical innovation. Therefore, this paper looks at health insurance policy, the HIPAA law, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicare act as well as the factors that influenced the development of the laws. It also looks at how the laws and policies influence healthcare today.
Overview of Health Insurance Laws and Regulation Timeline
Health Insurance cover
Health insurance policy is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. The first modern health insurance plan was established in 1929 when a faction of teachers contracted with a hospital in Dallas, Texas, to offer them medical services in an exchange of a monthly fee (McDonough & Milbank Memorial Fund., 2011). The following six decades saw the rise of various health insurance coverage, including the Blue Shield Plans and the employee benefit plans to name but a few. Currently, health insurance policy is any form of program that helps insured United States’ citizens to pay for medical costs and has become a requirement for all, including non-citizens living in America.
Indeed, to allow continuation of healthcare cover in cases of job changes or loss, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability regulation was enacted. In fact, this paved way for the identification of not only the providers but also employers and healthcare insurance plans. HIPAA also works towards reducing abuse and fraudulent activities in the health care system and protecting patients’ health information. It is a requirement that all healthcare providers, organizations, and health business associates to ensure that health information is held in a secure and confidential manner, even when there is need to transfer it from one institution to another. The law states that only the minimal information regarding patient’s health should be shared when there is need for transfer.
The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable care Act also enacted in 2010 is another law that fundamentally altered the manner in which individuals were insured through reducing the cost of healthcare and ensuring that the previously uninsured individuals got access to the cover. Since its enactment, it has become a healthcare reform law that has expanded and improved access to healthcare. It has also helped in curbing high healthcare costs through formulating duties and guidelines as well as regulations that guide healthcare practices.
In 1930s, President Roosevelt’s headache shifted to the issue of old-age benefits and the insurance of the unemployed. He formed a committee to address the issues as well as insurance and medical care, but when the bill was passed as law, health insurance was not included. It was due to understanding that omitting health insurance would augment bureaucracy while interfering with the physician-patient associations, especially during this epoch that was characterized by hard economic times that the economic bill of rights was proposed, which saw Medicare being signed as law by President Lyndon in 1965. Currently, individuals who are 65years and above who are permanent residents of America or citizens are qualified for this program. Younger individuals living with disabilities are also legible to enroll for this program, which helps them acquire medical treatment at no cost.
Factors Influencing the Laws and policies
The rising cost of healthcare and the hard economic times are factors that influenced the development of health insurance policies, laws as well as regulations. Indeed, the signing of the health care legislation by President Obama in 2010 that required all individuals to be covered by 2010 has enabled individuals of diverse status to access quality health care (McDonough & Milbank Memorial Fund, 2011).
The health insurance and HIPAA are some of the healthcare laws, policies, and regulations that have had a wide range of effect on the healthcare sector. In these economic hard times, having a health insurance coverage is often the difference between living life with a sense of inner peace and security and tempting fate on an everyday basis. Through these laws and pooling together the resources of a community, every person gets the power to access quality care whenever needed. In addition to accessing quality care to all people irrespective of their social statuses, health conditions, and ethnicity backgrounds, health insurance reforms such as the Affordable Care Act also has impacted the manner in which health care services are delivered (Wang et al., 2012). With more people being insured, there is increased demand for medical practitioners and hospital services as well as health institutions. Older generations, as well as people with disabilities, have also been enabled to live a quality life through the Medicaid Act.