By Arjun Chandrasekar.
The urge for the US healthcare system to be at peak performance has never been at such high demand, considering how the COVID-19 pandemic affected our lives. The government administration has therefore been influxing federal cash in the economy for healthcare for spendings such as technology in hospitals, job salaries, etc. “The United States has the most expensive healthcare system of any country. A medical consultation with a general practitioner costs, on average, $190 or around €170. A stay in hospital can result in bills amounting to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.”(msh-intl.com). But why is US healthcare so expensive, and what are some of the reasons for the hike in costs? Today we’ll be covering exactly that.
Various Systems and Plans
The US is known for its crazy amount of different healthcare systems and plans, and because of this excess amount of different pipelines, the rules, regulations, and costs to cover vary. For example, there are so many healthcare insurance agencies including: Kaiser, UnitedHealth, CVS, HCSC, etc. There are also various forms of healthcare insurance like Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and more. Within these come insurance plans, some of which include: HMO, PPO, EPO, POS, etc. This causes tangled issues between the government and healthcare systems, and the costs to repair or fix these problems will increase a ton.
Medical Practitioners’ Salaries
Medical practitioners often are paid more than expected and it surprises many people. According to salary.com, “The average Physician General Practitioner salary in the United States is $212,090 as of May 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $183,690 and $237,290.” Compare that to the average worker: “The median average salary for workers in the United States in the first three months of 2020 was $49,764 per year.”(policyadvice.net). That’s more than 4 times less, insane! It makes due sense because of the sheer amount of effort, training, studying, and hassle physicians have to go through everyday, but it also eats up US Healthcare’s funds. “As of 2018, there were over 985,000 practicing physicians in the United States.” (wikipedia.com). And this number most definitely will increase by 2021, probably toppling over the 1 million mark. When also considering pension, benefits, raises, etc, it just keeps adding up. Healthcare is the second most expensive sector, coming up against social security.
Costs Based on Location
The costs of healthcare and insurance vary according to location in the US. While the average is $5940 annually, individual states have different plans, rules, and regulations. For example, in California, the average is $7056, while in West Virginia, it’s $8540 annually. It’s extremely difficult to incorporate 1 singular healthcare plan for all 50 states because of politicians or governors different viewpoints and their positions of power, but it would be the most beneficial if we could not only reduce the healthcare insurance costs, but also distribute the plans across the entire nation.
Overall, US Healthcare will face extreme cost-cutting in the near future unless we come to a viable plan that we can enact across the nation. With such factors like salaries and location differences, money is being cashed out everywhere to reduce problems and keep healthcare in line.
We hope this article helped in any way and if you’d like to learn more about business and finance, be sure to check out the other articles!