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affordable health insurance

43 Fascinating Things You Never Knew


Affordable health insurance act has so many years & man hours in making that it is simply fascinating just to think of it. It is epic in every way. That’s why we are listing here the most fascinating, interesting & useful things or issues related to this. I hope you will find it as much interesting to read as I did while writing it.

Caution : A word of warning – Pl note that these 73 facts are gathered from various sources. So some of the things won’t be applicable today. You are advised to consult your health insurance advisor.

Alternately, you can get advice from an excellent team at Q Q Benefits.


  1. In 1916, living Fisher said, “At present, the united states has the unenviable destination of being the only great industrial nation without compulsory health insurance.”

    Today, we are in 2014.

  2. Many trade unions did oppose the idea of health insurance when it was prepared in 1914. They feared that in some way it would lessen the union’s power.

    Later, they voted in favour

  3. Initially, health insurance was termed as ‘Sickness Insurance’
  4. A curious & melancholic fact – “Insurance & especially health insurance was & is supposed to help poor people. Because their need for health insurance is greatest.

    One reason is that the worker was more likely to lose his health was than a rich person. Because to their living style & standards they used to get sick more often. Secondly, any loss from sickness affected poor people much more than rich ones”.

    Maybe, that is where the idea of the word “affordable” got attached with the health insurance.

  5. In England, when compulsory health insurance was introduced in 1911, the number of the insured was doubled at once, presumably, the half that needed most were not able to get it.
  6. Affordable health insurance is like elementary education. In order that it shall function properly it needs must be universal, and in order to be universal, it must be obligatory.
  7. Another reason for less premium costs in affordable health Insurance - “In addition to the primary advantage of universally, there are incidental advantages. There are important economics in administration coming to the elimination of the cost of collection, the cost of advertising and the other costs will go down. & may result in less premium costs.”

    a. Great virtue of health insurance
    “After some fifteen years study of the preventability of sickness, I am convinced that the great virtue of Health Insurance will lie in the prevention of illness. For decades, perhaps centuries to come.”

  8. A research was conducted about benefits of having affordable health insurance. Here are the key points of that –

    - Health insurance increases the life span
    - Health insurance indirectly but powerfully tend to reduce poverty
    - Health insurance helps in prevention of disability & diseases
    - Health insurance not only prolongs the working man & woman’s life, but also prolongs his earning period.

    This was in 1917. How different it is today?

  9. “Last year in Buffalo, less than 1 percent of our poverty was due to lack of work, and more than 76 percent due to sickness. That’s why need for health or sickness insurance is more than ever.”

    Charity Organization Society, Buffalo. 1916

  10. In all countries, at all ages, it is sickness to which the greatest bulk to destitution is immediately due.

    Mr & Mrs Sidney Webb

  11. “We conclude that Health Insurance is needed in Unites States in order to tide the workers over the grave emergencies incident to illness as well as in order to reduce illness itself, lengthen life, abate poverty, improve working power, raise the wage level, and diminish the causes of industrial discontent. It is not a panacea. It will not bring the millennium. But there is no other measure now before the public which equals the power of health insurance towards social regeneration.”

    Presidential Address, Columbus, Ohio, Dec 27, 1916.

  12. “Before 1909, health insurance was not covered by insurance companies. It all started in president Roosevelt’s presidency.”
  13. The Loyal Protective Insurance was among the first companies to offer health insurance at the start of 19th century.
  14. “In 1835, New England Life became the first mutual life insurance company to be chartered in America.”
  15. “The combined efforts of insurance industry & organizations like Blue Cross & Blue Shield – since world war II, produced dramatic change in the voluntary health insurance.”

    Marion B. Folsom, Insurance Would, 1957,
    Secretary of U S Dept of Health, Education & Welfare

  16. “First came Life Insurance. Second was retirement insurance. Third was Health Insurance.”

  17. “The concept of making health insurance affordable is not mew. Read this statement from secretary of U S Dept of Health, Education & Welfare, Marion B Folsom. In 1957.

    “We should recognize, & think that the improvement and expansion of health insurance will not in itself be the total answer. We still have the problem of those who cannot afford to buy such insurance. The plans men in the insurance industry and we in government have in mind, we believe, will help lower the cost of health insurance so that many more low-income families will be protected.

    But all of us need to give more study to the problem of providing security against the costs of medical care for the hard core of families who may not be able to purchase insurance even if the premiums are produces.”

  18. “Initially, there was no guarantee that your insurance will be renewed. Shortly after 1900 guaranteed renewable policies were developed. Hospital, medical & surgical reimbursement coverage were developed in the 1930s & early 1940s.”

  19. “First successful accident insurance activities in US began in 1897. They were patterned after English companies that wrote railway travel accident policies in 1850s. Sickness or health insurance was born with twentieth century.”

  20. Health Insurance has been aptly described as, “One of the pillars of freedom in America’s democratic way of life.”

  21. “The first transaction of Group insurance is humorously traced to 1854 which guaranteed the safe shipment of coolies from china to panama.”

    Ray D Murphy, Chairman, Equitable Life Assurance Society Of The United States, 1957

  22. “The first group insurance policy was developed & written in 1911 for Chicago mail order house Montgomery Ward.”

  23. “Major Medical Expense Insurance is termed as most significant step designed to provide important protection against the more costly illness. “ It was in 1950.

  24. “Straight sickness insurance (popular as health insurance) appeared in the United States when that Massachusetts Health Insurance company formed in 1847.”

  25. “The first American accident insurance company, the Franklin Health Assurance Company of Massachusetts was formed in 1850.”

  26. An early graph showing how the health & medical insurance enclosed 100 times in short span of 14 years.

    Source – Health Insurance Initially Insurance World.

  27. “Blue Cross is the name applied to various hospital service plans which are loosely co-ordinated by the Blue Cross Commission.”

    “Blue shield is the name applied to the various associated Medical Care Plans which usually co operate with Blue Cross & which may be either group practice or medical pre payment plans.”

  28. “The large number of railway accident in the middle of the nineteenth century were instrumental in the developments and growth of accident and sickness insurance in their country.”

  29. Have a look at this humorous Cartoon that shows an idea of how to insure against Railway accidents when it were in abundance.

    Q - “How to insure against railway Accidents?

    A – Tie a couple of directors upon every Engine that start with a train. Pl note that this is an old cartoon meant to be for humour only.

  30. “Visiting Committee” – “In the early days of Health Insurance there was a “Visiting Committee” Which was formed by insurance companies. They actually used to visit the sick person to really see whether he is sick or not. In addition to this, they were required a Doctor’s certificate also.”

  31. “In early 1900, Doctors got $ 1 a year per member as remuneration for their services to insured people.”

  32. “Women were actually barred by many of insurance companies in their initial years.”

    a. Pillars of American Health Insurance – The American movement for health insurance rests upon the recognition of the following six points :

    I. High sickness and death rates are prevalent among American wage-earners.
    II. More extended provision for medical care among wage earners is necessary.
    III. More effective methods are needed for meeting the wage loss due to illness.
    IV. Additional efforts to prevent sickness are necessary.
    V. Existing agencies cannot meet these needs.
    VI. Compulsory contributory health insurance providing medical and cash benefits is an appropriate method of securing the results desired.

  33. Some of the famous quotes about health insurance or medical insurance

    "The failure of many persons in this country at present to receive medical care constitutes the best argument for a change to the more effectual provision for medical attention offered by health insurance."

    Journal American Medical Association, October 30, 1915.

    "Health insurance is essential to the toiler who earns enough to support his family and no more. When sickness comes he and his are subjects of charity. This is fair neither to the individual nor to the race."

    Brooklyn (N. Y.) Times, .May 13, 1916.

    "There is a great need for a law of this kind. The average wage-earner cannot afford to carry health insurance, and when laid up, is cast on the state institutions for treatment. Ultimately the public pay the bill."

    The Insurance Advocate, February, 1916.

    "As a public health measure, this ( health insurance bill) is one of the most important bills which has come before the legislature for many years."

    Weekly Bulletin of the Department of Health, New York City, January 29, 1916.

    "Workmen's compensation is just the beginning of a great movement that will result in the establishment here of sickness insurance of the kind already in existence abroad."

    S. S. Goldwater, M. D., Superintendent Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City.

    "Balancing all objections against sickness insurance over against the good that would come from a thorough system, I find the scale coming down heavily on the side of the latter."

    E. P. Lyon, M.D., Dean of the Medical School, University of Minnesota.

    "Health insurance represents a high type of public health measure of the utmost importance. It would provide the machinery for securing data in re morbidity that would serve as the groundwork for the most rational educational developments for the prevention of sickness among our industrial workers. It places a premium upon health."

    American Medicine (Burlington, Vt), March, 1916.

    "All health boards and similar institutions are vitally concerned in this subject of compulsory health insurance. All persons to whom the subject has been broached appear to be of the same opinion that universal insurance against sickness must come."

    Ohio Public Health Journal, June, 1916.

    "We believe it is no more than simple justice that men and women who devote their working lives to the telephone service should be assured of some income when they are sick or come to old age. ... If justice demands this, its cost is a fair charge against the business and so we regard it."

    Board of Directors, American Telephone and Telegraph Co.

    "It would seem reasonable to infer that both the medical profession and the people have much to gain and nothing to lose by adopting compulsory sickness insurance."

    Boston Post, February 13, 1916.

  34. How American adults rate their health? Here are the findings of behavioural risk factor surveillance system conducted in April 2013.

    Excellent - 18.6 %
    Very Good - 32.8%
    Good - 31.5%
    Fair - 12.3%
    Poor - 4.7%

  35. “For people who report that they are in excellent health average annual Medicare spending is $3,469; for those reporting poor health, spending is more than Six times as high $ 21,064.”

    American Hospital Association Where do you stand?

  36. Excellent Health Vs Poor Health – State-wide.

    These states have highest percentage of adults who rate their health as Excellent

    Connecticut - 88%
    Minnesota - 88.00%
    Vermont - 87.10%
    Alabama - 86.70%
    Utah - 86.50%

  37. As opposed to above, following states have highest percentage of people who ranks their health in poor condition.

    West Virginia - 25.10%
    Mississippi - 24.00%
    Alabama - 23.20%
    Kentucky - 22.30%
    Tennessee - 20.90%

  38. Surprisingly, maximum people are happy with the total cost they pay for their health costs. According to Gallup Poll 2012 -

    Satisfied with health care costs = 59%
    Not Satisfied with the health care cost = 39%
    No opinion = 25

  39. Maximum insured people’s costs are shared with the employers.

    Self / household pays for health insurance = 22%
    Employers pays all health insurance costs = 10%
    Health Insurance costs are shared – 64%
    None / other = 3%

  40. Americans prefer to get good healthcare even if they have to pay for itself. This normally happens when their health care coverage is in adequate. The Survey by Gallup shows this clearly.

    Did put of medical treatment because of no / low coverage For serious conditions = 19%
    Did put of medical treatment because of no / low coverage For serious conditions = 13%
    Did put of medical treatment because of no / low coverage For serious conditions = 68%

  41. On which diseases does America spend dollars for health care? These are the major diseases where Americans are spending their money on health care.

    Alzheimer’s disease – 5.2 million sufferers
    Arthritis – 50 million sufferers
    Asthma & Allergies – 60 million sufferers
    Cancer – 1.6 million sufferers
    Cardiovascular Disease – 82.6 million sufferers
    Diabetes -26 million sufferers
    Headaches – 50 million sufferers
    GIV & AIDS – 1.2 million sufferers
    Infectious Disease – 92,000 annual death
    Kidney Disease – 26 million sufferers
    Osteoporosis – 9 million sufferers
    Pain – 76.5 million sufferers
    Vision – 4.2 million sufferers

    The collective health care costs of the treatments run in billions.

  42. “If you are employed by your husband or wife, then you don’t need to deduct for health insurance in the old days.”

  43. “Insurance of a woman was suspended – both payment deductions & benefits – once she was married. If she continued to work, then only her own insurance was continued.” This was in 1900s.

    We plan to update this as affordable care act evolves. So tune in from time to time to check these fascinating facts. Hope you like this & make use of it in your health related activities.


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