Why Healthcare is So Expensive in the United States, and What Can You Do?
Did you know that the U.S. has the most pricey care system if compared to other countries in the world? Statistics show that the U.S. spent $4.3 trillion on healthcare in 2021 or nearly $12,900 per individual. The prices of healthcare have only increased in the last year due to rising inflation.
This has become a rising issue for U.S. residents — especially the ones who do not have health insurance. Americans who cannot afford expensive healthcare seek alternatives or more economical solutions. We’ve created a list of why healthcare in the United States is so expensive and what you can do to make it more affordable through solutions like online medical services.
Why Healthcare Is So Expensive In The US?
One statistic that demonstrates how expensive the US healthcare system is the fact that the cost of healthcare in the US is double that of other prosperous nations worldwide. Researchers at leading organizations attribute the high expenses of healthcare in the United States to high pharmaceutical costs, pricey diagnostic tests, high physician pay, and more revenue going into healthcare planning.
After Luxembourg, the United States is the second highest-paid country for doctors worldwide. Therefore, high healthcare costs allow the US medical system to pay high medical staff wages. Moreover, Americans spend, on average, around $1,300 per individual each year, which is higher than any other country in the world.
One of the leading causes of this is the pharmaceutical corporations’ high pharmaceutical patent portfolios. A strategic pharmaceutical patent system keeps generic medication producers from competing. This is due to the possibility of legal action involving their generic medicines.
Furthermore, the ageing population is another major factor to blame for the high healthcare costs in the US. According to statistics, ages 65 and over are expected to climb by approximately 36%, from 39.6 million (2009) to 54.1 million (2019), and these numbers are set to reach 94.7 million by 2060. There will be around 80.8 million older people worldwide by 2040, double that in 2000.
What Can You Do About The Expensive Healthcare In The US?
As the costs of healthcare continue to increase in the US, Americans can take some of the following measures to lower their healthcare costs:
Reduce Costs on Pharmaceuticals
As discussed above, one of the key causes of high healthcare expenditures in the United States is the high cost of pharmaceuticals. However, you can save significantly on pharmaceuticals each year by simply asking your healthcare physician for a prescription for generic medications.
Generic drugs contain the same ingredient profile as branded pharmaceuticals but are significantly less costly. You can also ask your healthcare professional whether there are any less expensive drug options for treating your illness.
Make Your Health a Priority
One of the best ways to save money on healthcare is to take care of your health. Although certain illnesses cannot be foreseen, eating healthy and having a healthy lifestyle can help you strengthen your immune system and avoid catching diseases.
Moreover, regular checkups and screenings can help you keep your health in check, and catch any diseases early on before they worsen and incur further healthcare costs.
Find an Online Doctor
Affordable online healthcare can be the solution for individuals who cannot afford healthcare in the US due to low income or no health insurance. An online doctor consultation costs significantly less than a physical doctor consultation since it cuts down the effort and expenses on the healthcare providers’ end, allowing them to offer patients an affordable healthcare solution.
Since getting an appointment with a virtual doctor is new, many people may doubt virtual consultation services. However, you will find expert doctors online who offer high-quality consultation services at a fraction of the price compared to physical appointments. This also reduces the effort on your part since you can talk to a doctor online from the comfort of your home.
Inquire About Outpatient Facilities
Having surgical treatments performed in a hospital might be significantly more expensive than having the same procedures performed in an outpatient clinic.
Therefore, if you plan on having surgery, ask your healthcare provider if it is possible to do so at an outpatient facility. However, always confirm that the clinic is registered and that the medical staff is well-qualified to guarantee that you receive the finest care.
Although there are soaring healthcare costs in the US, residents can significantly cut down on their healthcare expenses by making a few smart choices like taking care of their health, inquiring about outpatient facilities, reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals by asking for generic medications or booking appointments with expert telemedicine doctors online.