The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) serves independent local Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies as its trade association. The BCBSA is one of the nation’s oldest and biggest health benefits company, widely recognized in the health insurance industry, given its 800 strong employee strength, across 39 companies in Chicago and Washington D. C. BCBSA companies together cover about 98 million people or about every one in three Americans. The reach and spread of the BCBSA is really immense covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in contract with over 90% of the hospitals and 80% of physicians.
The products serviced by BCBSA covers individuals to small and large employers, ensuring coverage to all citizens. Through its several unprecedented and innovative schemes, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association tries to bring healthcare insurance to all people providing hope and security to everyone. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is an insurance provider covering healthcare for more than 98 millions, nearly one in three Americans. Healthcare insurance is a must for everyone.
It is necessary to keep the economy going and growing because once the people are covered under some healthcare insurance, their medical needs are adequately taken care of, which makes their productivity go up because better health obviously results in better work performance. If the concept of insurance were not Blue Cross and Blue Shield 3 there, then every individual would have had to save a huge amount of money as reserve to cover some unforeseen or unexpected calamities. Healthcare is one aspect which can never be compromised.
With the mounting medical expenses, people without a healthcare insurance can just not afford to avail proper preventive and therapeutic treatment. With the cost of medical services growing by leaps and bounds, healthcare insurance is imperative for one and all. Healthcare insurance company also stands to benefit because when they are likely to pay more in claims than what they get in premiums, a hike in the premium is anticipated. Under the employer-sponsored healthcare insurance, the employer spends roughly five times more than what the employee contributes.
But the increasing medical costs have a great impact on the employers who have to pay out huge sums as premiums for their employees. From 1998 to 2003, there was a national increase of 42% in individual premiums after adjustments made with regard to inflation. With the increase in medical costs, employees are forced to contribute a sizable amount towards their coverage, so they opt to stay away from the job-based health insurance plans. The employers depend more on part-time and contract workers who are often not eligible for coverage.
So fewer people access employer-paid healthcare insurance. The job instability too contributes in the steady increase of the number of uninsured people. And then there are some firms, which do not provide health insurance to their employees. With the shooting medical expenses, it is difficult for people to go for healthcare coverage, as the premiums are high. This leaves them uninsured, which again has drastic effects affecting Blue Cross and Blue Shield 4 both the people and the company.
So, healthcare insurance has now become something that people can neither do with nor do without it. To combat this scenario, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association brings various new schemes taking into consideration the needs of every individual. With no insurance and with the exorbitant medical expenses, the health care of the people is greatly compromised. They go in for lesser preventive care with the result diseases get out of hand before they are diagnosed, and even when diagnosed, the treatment costs are so huge that the therapeutic care is compromised.
With no insurance, people are expected to pay up-front for the medical services and so they defer medical care except when it is life threatening. This also affects the government because it has to cater to the medical needs of the uninsured, which has a terrible impact on the economy because the expenses of the emergency department is much higher than in the outpatient clinics, and the conditions are often those that could have been averted or postponed with preventive care.
Proper health insurance package is the icing on the cake. The medical expenses are so much that healthcare insurance acts as a major deciding factor when people seek jobs. With the ever-increasing medical expenses, every individual has to be insured medically so that they can avail the needed healthcare. But with the increased insurance premiums, the number of uninsured people is on the high. Furthermore, insurances have too many exclusions like certain drugs not being covered, certain Blue Cross and Blue Shield 5
procedures not being covered and the like, which again discourages people from being insured, which is detrimental to the citizens as well as the country at large. Even with insurance, the prospects of the people losing their jobs and thereby their insurances is there. There definitely have to be changes in the system so that every individual could be worked into the health insurance plan. The view of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association president and CEO Scott P Serota testifies this “With such divergent political ideologies, it is unprecedented for these groups to have a joint agreement.
Helping the millions of Americans who do not have health insurance is an issue that needs to transcend politics and partisanship, and that is why we worked together to give Congress a starting point that we can all support. ” The 2005 data shows that one in seven American was uninsured thus depriving them of basic healthcare. The Institute of Medicine has that approximately 18,000 die every year of diseases that could have either been treated or prevented had they had health coverage. Lack of insurance prevents people leading a quality life, and it also brings down their productivity because of their recurrent ailments.
The first annual National Walk @ Lunch Day to be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, by BCBSA (Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association) will definitely bring about an awareness among people about the need for an active lifestyle, which obviously would usher in better health. Unlike the usual health insurance companies, Blue cross and Blues Shield Association design innovative schemes to match the diversified requirement of the market. It does a Blue Cross Blue shield 6 lot of activity to keep the competition at bay. Even though profit making is the main
objective in any organization, Blue cross and Blues Shield Association takes care that it does not become the sole objective. A paradigm shift in this regard is obvious by the mere existence of CareFirst, the non profit health care company which provides health insurance products and administrative services. In the current scenario where the number of uninsured people is on the rise, Blue cross and Blues Shield Association has to be applauded for its efforts in trying to bring the maximum people under the healthcare insurance cover. REFERENCES www. nchc. org www. bcbs. com www. money. cnn. com