Health Insurance During The Great Depression Essay

Health Insurance During The Great Depression Essay

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Health insurance in the United States is relatively new and constantly changing. The concept of health insurance began during the Great Depression. Local hospitals, just like banks, were affected by the Depression. Between 1929 and 1930, Baylor University Hospital saw its receipts drop from $236 to $59 per patient. Occupancy rates dropped from 71.3 to 64.1 percent, and contributions were down by two-thirds. (Morrisey, 5).
An administrator at Baylor University Hospital, Justin Kimble, organized a way for people to pay for the cost of hospital care. Kimble enrolled approximately 1,250 Dallas school teachers into what became known as the Baylor Plan. For 50 cents a month, Kimble promised to provide up to 21 days of care in Baylor Hospital. American Medical Association policies caused this plan to cover only hospital stays and not physician services. (Morrisey, 5).
As hospital plans developed, so did commercial insurance and prepaid group practice plans. Commercial insurance became popular because it offered surgical coverage, which hospital plans did not provide. (Morrisey, 7).
Private health insurance grew rapidly during the 1940s and 50s because of three things: the imposition of wage and price controls during World War II, the expansion of organized labor during this time, and the treatment of health insurance in the federal tax code. (Morrisey, 8). During this time, the Blue Cross Commission of the American Health Association broke away and formed the Blue Cross Association. In 1977, Blue Cross merged with Blue Shield to form the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. These plans gave patients options for hospital care and physician service coverage. (Morrisey, 11).
Soon after the formation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, ma...


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...3). Some people still believe paying for medical insurance is not worth their money. However, once other costs are considered, such as the deductible and copayments, the price for paying for private health benefits is less than paying for medical care without insurance. (Richards & Baker, 14). Without health insurance, a basic checkup can cost an individual a few hundred dollars. Through the University Health Plan, the cost of a having a baby (normal delivery) at SLU Care is $170. Without that insurance, the same delivery would cost $7,540. (UHP, 2014).
Health insurance and access to care is the reason why the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Many Americans struggle with paying their medical bills or simply cannot afford insurance. The primary goal of the Affordable Care Act is to make health insurance more affordable and easier to obtain for all Americans.

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