Private health insurance companies stemmed from the public’s need for financial assistance in cases of general medical emergencies. The concept of health insurance is collectivism – it collects each individual’s small monetary contributions into a pool which can be readily used in case of a person/s medical need. There are also some insurance companies who cover long term disabilities and nursing needs. Social security is a form of insurance provided by the government through taxes, which can be used to cover a citizen in a medical situation. Healthcare is a need that each individual needs to have to avoid fatality.
Private health insurance companies originated from the concept of Hugh Chamberlen in the late 1600’s, but was never enacted until the 1900’s. The first form of insurance came in the nature of accident insurance, which are a lot similar to what we know of today. In the United States, the first accident insurance company was known as the Franklin Health Assurance Company of Massachusetts. The concept of covering sickness in insurance, other than just accidents or sudden disabilities, began in 1866, but was never successfully enacted until the year 1890. As the years progressed, employer-enacted health plans came to effect in the year 1911.
Private health insurance companies didn’t start until the middle of the 20th century, when private hospitals began offering individual health plans to patients to help them finance expensive medications. These are the predecessors of what we now know to be HMO’s or Health Maintenance Organizations, Blue Cross being one of its original founders. Health care is a big and sensitive issue all over the world, and especially in the United States, with the recent health care reforms from the current president Barack Obama – but that is another topic altogether.