More Essential Than Ever
The need for the Ingham Health Plan is undeniable. Today in Ingham County, 1 out of every 5 adults under age 65 is uninsured, and the number of uninsured grows as unemployment increases and the economy continues to languish.
Without the Ingham Health Plan, the uninsured are forced to get medical services at emergency rooms, the least efficient and most costly form of healthcare. Those fortunate enough to have health insurance help pay for the cost of uncompensated medical care, equal to more than $1,500 per insured family in Ingham County per year. Meanwhile, many people who are uninsured don’t seek treatment until their conditions become serious, making care much more expensive than preventative doctor visits.
The nonprofit Ingham Health Plan is a cost-effective solution that helps ensure that medical costs won’t soar further.
The Consequences of Being Uninsured
Uninsured persons are sicker and die earlier than those with healthcare coverage. According to national statistics:
- 1 in 5 uninsured individuals reports fair or poor health compared with 1 in 9 for the insured.
- Lack of insurance leads to 18,000 unnecessary deaths annually among Americans aged 25-64.
- Uninsured adults have a 25% greater risk of premature death than insured.
People without insurance often go without preventive care, delay or forgo needed medical care, and skip taking prescription medications. The uninsured are more likely to turn to hospital emergency rooms for care, and without a consistent source of care, the uninsured have less control of their chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
People without health insurance may pay more for medical care because they are unable to obtain the same discounts that insurance companies receive. That can be disastrous, because a high proportion of the uninsured are in the low-income, younger adult or minority populations.
Living without health insurance creates a fear of being denied healthcare or being bankrupted by illness. It forces individuals to choose which medical services to utilize or choose between healthcare and other costs of living.
Families without health insurance pay up to 40% of their medical costs out of pocket and finance 88% of their prescription drug costs.