Monday 6 May 2019

Health Insurance Resource Manual: Options for People with a Chronic Disease or Disability

Health Insurance Resource Manual: Options for People with a Chronic Disease or Disability by M.S.W. Dorothy E. Northrop A.C.S.W., Stephen E. Cooper

Health insurance is one of society’s most pressing issues. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide health insurance for everyone. The uninsured as well as those with inadequate health insurance coverage are increasing at alarming rates. In 1992, 38 million people in this country were without health insurance. Today it is estimated that over 43 million Americans lack health insurance coverage. Most of the uninsured are under 65 years of age, as Medicare covers virtually all elderly Americans (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured).

In addition to the uninsured, millions of people have health insurance that is inadequate to meet all of their health care needs, particularly those with chronic disabilities. In an informal survey of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), the most frequently cited unmet needs included:

  • Medications
  • Home care 
  • Rehabilitation services (physical therapy, occupational therapy) 
  • Durable medical equipment 
  • Mental health counseling

This book contains information about a wide variety of options that will be of assistance to individuals who are uninsured, underinsured, or who have questions about insurance and don’t know where to begin. The first section presents an overview of health insurance plans, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and federal legislation that impacts health insurance coverage. The second section includes directories and resources to assist in researching health insurance options. 

This book was developed to assist people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, and health care professionals, to understand the health care system and can maximize rights and entitlements within that system. It is important that this information be supplemented and updated with local and state legislation and regulations on an ongoing basis.

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