It goes without question that America badly needs healthcare reform in these strange times. We have seen the cost of healthcare rising even before the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading across the country. To say that we are in a crisis is an understatement. America has always been in crisis, and COVID-19 only made it more pronounced.
We can only hope that the outcomes of this year's election will produce transformative action to an admittedly dismal for-profit system. For now, ordinary Americans will have to perform a balancing act in order to access quality care at an affordable cost. It's possible, but it isn't going to be easy. Here are some suggestions for balancing the cost and quality of healthcare.
Know where to go in case of an emergency
According to an article by Debt.org, emergency care averages around $1,389 in 2017. In 2020, patients will need to pay a maximum of $3,000 depending on the severity of the condition or injury. With that being said, the best way you can reduce your payments is to determine how severe and complicated the emergency is.
Knowing what to do beforehand is supposed to help you decide whether to bring the patient to your care provider or to the nearest emergency center, but it's easier said than done during an actual life-or-death event.
Select a health plan that fits your needs
The American healthcare market emphasizes choice. You can pick the insurance and healthcare providers you want based on your socio-economic situation. The only catch is that you don't get the care you actually deserve if you opt for a nominal health plan.
The cost of health premiums are steadily rising while quality care remains dismally unchanged. While the federal and local governments can work together to address this crisis in accessibility, the current situation makes the perfect case for advocating for a single-payer system.
Save money for medicines
Those who continue to defend the current business model of healthcare in the country peddle the notion that healthcare accessibility is a financial issue requiring sound financial decisions. In other words, if you can’t pay enough to keep yourself from getting sick, you just have to make adjustments in the way you consume your prescription, compare generic and branded medicine, and use apps that allow you to pay your prescription at a discounted price.
To narrow down affordability as a matter of financial choice ignores a greater problem with price regulation. It is unfortunate that we have a system that sees prescription drugs as profitable products instead of public utilities like what other countries do. Along these lines, there is an even greater need to overhaul the current system so it benefits Americans across all income brackets.
It’s obvious that even with the right hacks and tips at our disposal, we still cannot enjoy genuine healthcare benefits. For that, there has to be a genuine conversation in balancing quality and cost, something we need in these uncertain times.