Health Insurance Policies For Native AmericansFriday, August 27th, 2010 by admin
Everyone needs health insurance, and this includes Native Americans. Native Americans die from a variety of health related causes, such as tuberculosis, alcoholism, diabetes, pneumonia and the flu. And, American Indians are suffering because of the lack of quality health care. For Native Americans, quotes on health insurance can contribute to their own health and financial well-being. While government programs are in place, these programs are basic.
Many Native Americans belong to the federally-recognized tribes and are eligible for health insurance through the Indian Health Service (IHS). However, there is a misconception that all Native Americans have health insurance coverage through the IHS. IHS is only available for those who reside on tribal reservations. Given the fact that many Native Americans live in cities, not everyone is able to take advantage of this federal program. In order to obtain IHS benefits, Native Americans are required to travel to their home reservations. Also, IHS is rarely the same as private insurance.
Some Native Americans have affordable health insurance coverage through their employers, but most of them are not that lucky. Other sources of health care include private health insurance providers, Medicaid, Medicare, community or public health systems and sometime, their own traditional sources of health care.
While private health insurance coverage among Native Americans has increased in the recent past, health insurance quotes from private providers may not be cost effective for most of them. Since most of them fall in the low-income bracket, they either remain uninsured throughout their lives or have to rely on IHS coverage as their only source of health care.
Quite a few of the Native Americans also use federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is especially useful for non-elderly, poor Native Americans. Medicare, which is a major source of health coverage for the older population, provides coverage for basic health services. However, it usually doesn't cover outpatient prescription drugs.
Some Native Americans have access to both IHS and private health insurance. They generally use both services such that it maximizes choices which keeping the costs to a minimum. IHS is mostly used for simple or regular medical care and private coverage is used for specialty care.
Native Americans looking for quotes from private health insurance providers could search the internet. There could be some private insurance companies willing to provide Native Americans with quotes that are lower than the standard rates.
Native Americans are 2 to 3 times as likely to be uninsured as other Americans. The remaining rely on IHS, Medicaid or Medicare. Very few can afford private health insurance. All of this raises some serious concerns over the quality of health care delivered to the Native American population.