Several ethical issues have been raised by the article. First, the health insurance companies are charging more in premiums despite the reducing demand for health care. Secondly, employers are cutting down the benefits of the employees while increasing the amounts deductible. Third, doctors often advice patients to visit the hospital when there is no particular need. Lastly, the doctors sell expensive drugs to patients whereas there are cheaper generic alternatives (Abelson, 2011).
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Financial issues touch on the increased daily expenses for products such as food and gas. People are willing to fore go their medical check ups citing the reason of the high gas prices required to ferry them to the specialist. These are accompanied by the reducing benefits from the employers and the increased deductibles and co-payments from their salaries. This has caused people to question the necessity of certain services such as the annual blood work. In addition, there is increased premium for health insurance and the changing decision to opt for cheaper health treatment (Abelson, 2011).
The legal issues raised in the article relate to the health care law that introduces numerous changes. First, insurers are required to provide early provisions, for instance, insurance of grown up children up to age 26. Second, insurers will be required to provide cover to everyone irrespective of expenses associated with their current situation. Moreover, Insurance could be limited in charging for covering of certain nature of preventive care (Abelson, 2011).
Legal and ethical responsibilities of doctors to their patients
Legally, doctors should provide health care services as stipulated by the healthcare law. They should not charge for the singled-out preventive care and should treat all children below the age of 26 on account of their insurance policy cover. Ethically, doctors should not charge patients exorbitantly for certain medicines while there are cheaper generic options. Moreover, they should only treat the patient when there is a need to and not when it can be avoided (Abelson, 2011).
Health insurance agencies are increasing the premiums despite the dwindling level of health care to safeguard themselves from possible future losses. The loss could result if there was an abrupt demand for the service should there be an increase in the amount of money to be spent on health care. Such eventualities would lead to higher future claims. Moreover, the price of health care is on the rise, for instance, the annual rate is pegged at between six and seven percent. The premiums are, thus, meant to cover these changes (Abelson, 2011).
Effects of postponing preventive tests
Preventive measures are meant to reduce the incidences of complex level of disease development that may not be treatable or that would be too expensive to treat. Therefore, postponing of the preventive tests gives more room for the health defect to take root. This may call for costly treatment in future which will be catered for by the insurance company. High incidence of huge claim amounts payable will cause the health insurance companies to re-evaluate their premiums to accommodate more risk. Future medical policy cover will, therefore, dig deeper into the pockets of the insured. Alternatively, incidences of full blown diseases that are not treatable but were preventable will lead to an increased mortality rate (Abelson, 2011).
Effects of higher deductibles
Higher pay cuts often reduce the amount available for one’s spending. This leads to increased consciousness of one’s spending habits. Patients begin to question the necessity of certain services such as the annual blood work while reducing the number of times they visit the doctor. Visits are only made when real need arises. Finally, patients begin opting for generic forms of treatment which they perceive would be cheaper than other forms of medication (Abelson, 2011).
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