Monday, January 31, 2011
"#9 Even as the rest of the country struggled with a deep recession, U.S. health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent during 2009 alone."
#1 According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills cause more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States.
#2 According to that same study, approximately three-fourths of those that do go bankrupt because of medical bills actually do have health insurance.
#3 If you have an illness that requires intensive care for an extended period of time, it is really easy to rack up medical bills that total over 1 million dollars.
#4 It is estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.
#5 One trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain "gross overcharges".
#6 It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don't know how the system works then you are out of luck.
#7 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#8 Health insurance premiums for small employers in the United States increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.
#9 Even as the rest of the country struggled with a deep recession, U.S. health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent during 2009 alone.
#10 Between 2000 and 2006, wages in the United States increased by 3.8%, but health care premiums increased by 87%.
#11 According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America's five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.
#12 The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States received nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.
#13 Health insurance premiums are once again soaring in 2011. Blue Shield of California recently announced plans to raise health insurance rates by an average of 30% to 35% this year, and some individual policy holders could actually see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent.
#14 There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits in 2008.
#15 According to one doctor interviewed by Fox News, "a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen" will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.
#16 Lawyers are certainly doing their part to contribute to soaring health care costs. According to one recent study, the medical liability system in the United States added approximately $55.6 billion to the cost of health care in 2008.
#17 According to a recent report, Americans spend about twice as much as residents of other developed countries on health care, but they receive much lower quality and far less efficiency in return.
#18 Approximately 46 million Americans do not currently have any health insurance at all. That means that 46 million Americans are just one really bad day away from financial ruin without any protection whatsoever.