Cancer Survival and Health Insurance: Is There a Connection?
This paper explores the statistical data related to health insurance and cancer survival rates. A description of different health insurance options is covered, as well as disparities that are associated with these choices. It attempts to make the connection between certain demographic groups and their health insurance options and eventual choices and how these individuals fared if ever diagnoses with cancer. Most studies outlines in this paper studied more than one type of cancer so as to provide a clearer picture from many angles.
There has long been suspicion that the correlation between health insurance and better health care are undeniable. In reality, not only is the presence of insurance believed to allow the patient to fare better, but the better the insurance, the better the outcome. Generally, insurance is provided either through employer-based programs, government programs (i.e. Medicare, State Children’s Health Insurance Plan, Medicaid, etc.) or private (nongroup) insurance (Ward, Halpern, Schrag, Cokkinides, DeSantis, Bandi, Siegel, Stewart and Jemal, 2008). Insurance Descriptions
With employer-based programs, participants are either employees of a company or a family member of an employee of a company. In 2006, 62% of insured individuals obtained insurance through their employers. While employer-based insurance plans offer some advantages, there are some serious disadvantages to these plans. Not all employees choose to participate, whether it is purely by choice or because of inability to pay, which could lead to problems should these employees be diagnosed with cancer. Most tragically, if the insured employees do develop cancer, they may be at risk of losing their employment which of course would lead to losing their health insurance. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, leaves them with an often unaffordable option to maintain health insurance. It is usually very costly, particularly when one factors in their loss of income from the unemployment (Ward, et al, 2008). Government Programs
For most Americans over 65 years of age, Medicare is the automatic health insurance option, given they’ve paid into Medicare for at least 10 years. Upon their 65th birthday, enrollment in Medicare Part A is automatic if the individual is eligible for social security benefits (Ward, et al., 2008). Medicare Part A only covers hospital visits, which warrants the need or Medicare Part B. Part B covers physician services, diagnostic tests, outpatient care, specific preventative services ...