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Message from Flashman: As I’m sure you’ve noticed, this week’s update is two days late because of the ice storm and its aftermath. For those of you outside the Lexington area who have only heard about it in the news, yes, it’s as bad as they say! Not surprisingly, we’re now working on getting rid of fallen trees and limbs, getting power lines off the ground, getting everybody’s power back on, getting cleaned up, etc.
This week's update concerns the growing problem facing those who don’t have health insurance. Many people without health insurance earn decent incomes and are not considered poor. The In the New$ article explains their situation in greater detail.
Suggested Activity for Teachers: Please discuss with your students the importance of having adequate insurance. Also have them discuss the questions below.
In the New$.... Uninsured on the Rise
One in seven Americans are uninsured, and surprisingly, more than eighty percent of the uninsured have jobs. The majority are between the ages of 18 and 44, and almost a quarter of them earn $50,000 or more a year. Unfortunately, the ranks of the uninsured will only grow with spiraling insurance premiums and the government changing the rules on who qualifies for Medicaid coverage.
“ There are those like Denver electrician Jerry Bretthauer, whose boss no longer offers insurance.
“‘ Say I was to get cancer,’ says Bretthauer, ‘and I was in the hospital. I would not be able to make my house payment[.] I would lose my house.’”
“‘ These are people just like you and me,’ says Dr. Arthur Kellerman, who runs the emergency room at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital. ‘They are contributing to the economy, they wait on our tables, they fix our cars[,] they are our neighbors. In some cases they are even members of our own families.’
“ Without money to pay for a private doctor’s care, the uninsured come to emergency rooms where doctors are obligated to treat them even if they can’t pay.” The rest of us end up paying for their care “in higher insurance premiums and higher taxes.” The cost of their care may end up being higher than it should be because they don’t get preventive care and their health deteriorates unnecessarily. The cost to individuals, families, and society spurs some to seek government solutions.
“ The crisis of the uninsured has gotten so bad in California alone, that the man who runs one of the state’s largest insurance companies, Blue Shield, has taken the unusual step of calling for the state to provide universal coverage.”
Source: Uninsured on the rise By David Gregory NBC NEWS
1.) What should be done about the current situation in which not everyone can afford health insurance?
2.) Why is it important to have health insurance?
3.) Why is it important that something be done to reduce the numbers of the uninsured?
Once you turn 21, you might not be covered by your parents’ health insurance. Ask your parents what you can do about this. Also think about and write down what job benefits you would look for when you start a career. The amount you receive in your paycheck is not everything. Often it is better to get paid less and have more benefits such as health insurance than to get paid more and have to provide your own health insurance with your after-tax dollars.
Kentucky High School Financial Planning Program
The purpose of this Web site is to assist county extension agents, credit union educators, and high school teachers in improving the economic well-being of our constituency, beginning with todays students; and also, to assist teachers in Kentucky in meeting KERAs goal that all students become technologically literate. Weekly Updates are provided by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and are free to all educators.