Sick and Uninsured

August 3, 2009 The cost of health care is increasing every year. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2008, it cost $12,700 per employer for a health plan covering a family of four. This number is 12 percent higher than the amount paid in 2007.

On top of the inflating costs, co-pays and deductible costs are rising and are being required at the time of treatment. The combination of all these costs is limiting the use of health care by United States citizens.

OBAMA'S PLAN: President Obama wants to reform the health care system by lowering costs, improving quality, and holding insurance companies accountable. Obama then plans to promote scientific and technological advancements. His third step is to improve preventive care. He says we need to stay healthy, and he promotes cancer screenings and better nutrition, according to

TIPS FOR BUYING HEALTH INSURANCE: It can be easy to purchase health insurance online, but one should be cautious of who to trust with their personal information. U.S. News and World Report offers the following tips to keep in mind when purchasing health insurance:

Shop with a licensed agent: An agent can help you expand your options. Agents can also answer questions without bias, give you advice, and help you find the best deal to meet your needs. Licensed agents must follow the guidelines given to them by insurance companies and the government. Make sure your agent gives you access to their state license number. Buying insurance through an agent does not cost any more than buying it directly from the companies.

Phone support: Make sure your agent gives you easy access to his/her phone number and is available to answer your calls and questions. The phone number should not take extraneous effort to retrieve. You should be able to call your agent back even after your purchase should you find the need.

Quality Ratings: Companies will typically display the high ratings they receive from consumer reports such as the Better Business Bureau. A high A.M. Best Company rating also tells you the company is credible in the insurance industry.

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