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The Cost of a Cared-For Nation

Jul 25 2011

Health Care Information Technology - Infographic
[Via: Carrington College's Health Information Technology Program]

The Increasing Cost of Health Care

Health care costs in the United States have continued to rise steadily for quite a few years, and they show no sign of slowing down. At the same time, there is a large and growing percentage of the population with no health care coverage at all and an even larger percentage that depends on government-funded health insurance for their health care needs. These factors are making good health care a luxury available only to the wealthy.

Why do health care costs continue to increase? There are various reasons driving the increase of health care costs in the U.S. A population that is growing older and therefore needs additional services has been cited as part of the reason for higher health care costs. The U.S. population is living longer, but that longevity also includes many chronic illness sufferers who need long-term treatment. This also impacts the costs of health care.

The development of new technology and medications has also affected the costs of health care. The companies developing the new technology and medications have to raise costs to recoup their initial investments. Additionally, patients prefer using the newer products, even when there is no need, increasing demand for more costly services.

The health insurance system is another culprit. The cost of insurance premiums, both for individuals and families, is quite high nationwide and continues to increase. Even though most people covered under health insurance are covered by plans through their jobs and the companies cover most of their premiums, the premiums have risen steadily for the past 5 years. Premiums for private insurance also increase sharply as people get older. However, as people get older, they do qualify for Medicare, which is government-funded health insurance for senior citizens and some disabled persons.

Finally, administrative costs also have an impact on the increasing health care costs. These costs include things such as marketing, billing and payroll and only help in causing health care costs to continue increasing.

As the costs of medical treatments, operations and health insurance continue to increase, many people are left without any viable avenues for their health care. Since about 13 percent of the population does not carry health insurance at all and about 27 percent depends on government-funded health insurance, there are many surgeries and treatments that are simply not an option. Preventive medicine might be one way to manage the increasing costs. If more money is invested in prevention now, there is less chance that costly, chronic illnesses will develop later.

CareerExplorer has a great number of schools in the health care industry, feel free to use our school search or job search tools to find the best career path for you.