Insurability of the adolescent and young adult with heart disease. Report from the Fifth Conference on Insurability, October 3-4, 1991, Columbus, Ohio.
By the mid-1990s there will be more than 500,000 young adults in the United States over the age of 21 with a cardiac malformation. Presently more than half of this population is denied insurance coverage entirely or in part because of their preexisting condition. Because some did not have coverage and because of uncertainty about whom to see for their cardiology care, patients assessed in NHS-II who were evaluated by their physician on an annual basis before the age of 21 were seen by a cardiologist only every 10 years after the age of 21. However, they have been shown by NHS-II to be well-educated, productive in the workplace, and to share an equal place in society with the general population. Their health-care costs are decidedly lower after the age of 21 than before. This group represents a microcosm of a general society of more than 37 million Americans who, for various reasons, are not insured. Dr. Wiener described an American health-care system in crisis. Smaller companies are no longer able to afford health insurance for all their employees, especially for those with preexisting conditions, because of an industry pricing concept based on a claims-experience standard rather than a community standard. The insurance industry, the government, and patients are demanding medical cost-containment. Health-care costs, 12.2% of the gross national product in 1990, are climbing, and no end to this increase is presently in sight.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association