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Trying to Simplify the Health Insurance System for Better Coverage

Conclusion: The Future of Health Insurance in America Page 3

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In contrast, an electronic claim-filing and processing system -- based on the use of computers and electronic cards -- could save billions of dollars in administrative costs and, at the same time, radically increase efficiency. In addition, an electronic claim-filing and processing system could completely eliminate the need for consumers to be involved in filling out claim forms, photocopying bills, and collecting documentation. Such a system could also eliminate situations in which consumers are caught in the middle -- between insurance companies and providers -- when routine claim-processing problems occur.

Seventh, the increasing life-span of the population and the limitations of existing government and private health insurance programs have increased our understanding of the need for universal coverage for long-term care. Currently, neither Medicare nor private health insurance policies generally provide full coverage for long-term care, and Medicaid eligibility depends on a number of factors, including income.

Eighth, although a number of important changes have been made over the last few years in the health insurance system and in the laws and regulations that govern that system, those changes represent a continuation of the piecemeal approach that has so often been followed in the past. While some of those changes have helped to solve specific problems, they have also added to the complexity of the system. The result is an intensification of the health insurance maze.

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