Hurricane Highlights Important Health Insurance Differences
The recent tropical storm-cum-hurricane Irene ripped through North America, causing unprecedented damage in the Northeast. puts the importance of access to healthcare in perspective. While national debate rages on between Democrats, Republicans, and those more alienated from political power, many people have died or been beggared due to lack of care. A positive: Irene gives us new incite into the importance of, not only having insurance, but choosing an insurance provider with more than premiums in mind.
As GOP rally in South Carolina, hurricane spurs national healthcare debate.
Impact of Irene on Insurance
Whenever a natural disaster strikes, homeowners insurance and auto insurance claims see spikes. A reading of estimates from Kinetic Analysis Corporation, who specialize in predicting disaster effects, reveals that the storm cost insurers between $3 billion and $14 billion.
In New York alone, thousands of home and auto claims were filed the day after the storm.
These large claims events have actually not changed premiums very much in the past. Insurers use data gathered over a long period of time. Since climate data is relatively consistent over time, as opposed to weather, tropical storms and hurricanes usually fall into the historic patterns and do not make a difference in insurance prices.
As climate change grows worse, however, all bets are off. The increased frequency and ferocity of hurricanes is an example of the impact of climate change. Climate then becomes less reliable a factor for insurers. If climate does change for the worse, as even NASA agrees, people will be more vulnerable and insurance costs will increase.
How Healthcare Coverage Differs
Medical coverage works a bit differently. The statistical risk of people getting injured by or needing more care as a result of natural disasters depends less on natural disasters and more on affluence. When a hurricane of the same force hits Haiti, it does far more damage than when it hits New York. Likewise, when a hurricane hits the United States in a time of economic strength, the human cost is likely to be less than at a time of economic weakness. This is confirmed when you see the casualties and monetary damage from disasters in the Clinton years and compare them to those from the Bush and Obama years.
Without the millions more who had been insured under the Affordable Care Act, the damage might have been even worse.
The homeless and the poor are always hit the worst by hurricanes – people who are more vulnerable to storms and, due to a lack of insurance, are unable to get treatment and rebuild afterward.
For those who can still afford health insurance, it becomes essential to pick the right provider. Case in point: CIGNA insurance company. While most health insurance providers were panicking over the increased costs to them from Hurricane Irene, CIGNA extended a helping hand to its policyholders.
It lifted restrictions over which places customers could go to for medical procedures and medications. If someone had lost a refill or had prescriptions damaged, CIGNA offered to let them get their next refill early with full coverage. If they needed urgent care, they need not worry about which professional they went to, since CIGNA offered in-network benefits for any urgent care facility and any hospital admission.
Choose your health insurance provider carefully