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The Problem with Accessing Healthcare Part 2: Limited Access To Insurance

Insights
February 2, 2021

In this blog series we're exploring the problems with accessing healthcare in the U.S. In our last post, we discussed the challenges with the overall increasing costs across healthcare. In this post, we'll explore how limited access to insurance, especially for employers affects individuals.

Limited Access To Insurance

For most people in the U.S., the only way to afford regular healthcare is through insurance, as the costs to the individual can quickly sky rocket.  Around half of the U.S. population relies on their employers for health insurance - a group for whom the costs of healthcare and insurance are also becoming increasingly difficult to afford.

 

This problem is particularly difficult for small employers. Large companies are typically able to get health insurance at lower prices because they are essentially buying in bulk and can leverage their large budgets and large number of employees with insurance companies. This isn’t the case for small employers, who often end up having to pay more per employee to provide the same level of coverage.

 

Small employers, those with roughly 50 to 1,000 employees, represents over 55% of all employed individuals in the U.S.. At 50 employees, an employer is obliged to offer health insurance to its employees. At this size, however, the employers also don’t have the buying power that a major corporation would have. 

 

This leaves many employers in a difficult spot. With the increasing rates we touched on in our last article, insurers have slowly been increasing the rates and passing those on to the employers and you, the consumers. This means that the small employers simply can’t afford to offer high-quality health insurance, so they either offer subpar or extraordinarily expensive coverage to their teams.

At 100 employees, employers may start looking at becoming what is known as “self-insured”. When self-insured, rather than paying an insurance company a flat amount each month to hold the risk of the employees’ health, the employer holds that risk. That means that if the company’s employees are healthy, the company saves money, but if they get sick, the company is at risk for a lot more. 

As employers get bigger, the impact of a single big medical bill gets minimized, making it more likely that they self-insure. For the small employers, however, the problem remains: should they risk the chance of high costs for the chance of significant savings by being self insured, or remain "fully-insured" and surely pay high costs? How can they make healthcare affordable?


At Hamilton Health Box, we’ve made it our mission to make healthcare accessible, convenient, and affordable. It is our mission to make sure that employers and employees can afford their healthcare. With our telemedicine enabled onsite clinics, we can serve clients with as few as 100 employees, allowing you to get the healthcare when you need it, where you need it.

In our next post, we'll explore why patients are avoiding care altogether, whether they're insured, or not. Subscribe below to keep on reading!