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1Private Insurance: The Giant It Has BecomeCourtney EhleAspen UniversityHCA 320: Healthcare Policy and EconomicsStacy Severin, RN, MSN10/5/20
2Private Insurance: The Giant It Has BecomeHealth insurance is something that is fundamentally ingrained into society today. Mostpeople in the United States has some type of health insurance coverage and it is generally seen assomething that is more obligatory to have. So it seems interesting to think that just 100 yearsago, health insurance was not a thing. The health insurance that we know today began in the1920s and has grown into the formidable giant that we know today. This paper will discuss thestart of private health insurance, some of the key federal laws that apply to health insurance, howthe name of the insurance game is slowly beginning to change, and how nurses can play a role init all.Evolution of Private Health InsuranceInsurance, by definition, is “a practice or arrangement by which a company orgovernment agency provides a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness ordeath in return for payment of a premium (Oxford Dictionary). Health insurance began to formin the late 1800s, but the first well-documented employer-sponsored program was started in1920s in Dallas, Texas at Baylor University. The teachers joined together and created a programwhere they would pay a premium to the university every month in exchange for future medicalservices. This program later became Blue Cross (Reed, 1965). The only issue with this was thatis only covered hospital-based issues and not doctor’s visits. In the 1930s, a group of employersin the lumber and mining industries came together and offered a physician-based service. Thisplan developed into the National Association of Blue Shield Plans and subsequently merged withmany Blue Cross companies and have become the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance companieswe know today. Over the years, healthcare costs have increased and employers saw fit toprovide greater benefits to their employees. In the 1970s United Healthcare was created and is
3currently the largest healthcare provider in the United States (Academic Health Plans, 2018).