A lot of ground work has to be done along with the help of the public to bring down the number of people who lack health insurance. It is one of growing issues and if not dealt properly would lead to a serious problem. Harris County, US is at the epicenter of this huge medical crisis. According to the statistics it has the highest (32%) uninsured rate in the country. This poses a severe set back both in the social and financial scenario harming everybody.
Starting from the public health facilities to the emergency rooms all are overburdened and packed with patients seeking routine treatment. The insurance costs are raised to pay for the subsidizing of the cost to the nonpaying customers. According to the data in 2004, Harris County public and private hospitals provided more than $2 billion in uncompensated care. In Texas, insured residents subsidized the care of the uninsured through $3 billion in higher premium costs.
Due to this high number Houston will be one of the 10 target markets for the nationwide campaign to promote plans to widen health insurance coverage in response to the celebration of the Uninsured Week. Already the nonprofit Harris County Public Healthcare System Council plans to spread the costs among uninsured low-income workers such as the consumers, their employers. It also hopes to receive $90 million federal grant via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. With this it can offer a basic health insurance policy for $150 a month, with the cost equally shared between the employee, the employer and the grant. By 2008 the main aim is to provide insurance to about 100,000 people in the Houston area.
The program is offered to those receiving a salary less than $50,000 a year. Even uninsured rates are on the rise among more affluent segments of the population, private insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, are marketing affordable hospitalization and basic care plans. One of the aims of Uninsured Week in Houston will be to publicize the availability of a range of low-cost health insurance products. But to put end to this the federal government has to intervene. Meanwhile such approaches can only lower the uninsured rates and not completely abolish.