College Students, Health Care Insurance, and ED’s

Not exactly non-urban, but it caught my eye as it was published in the Iowa State Daily (ISU’s student newspaper):

Avoiding trips to the emergency room – or avoiding health insurance altogether – could lower students’ healthcare costs as insurance rates rise across the nation.

Health insurance premium rates are up 73 percent since 2000, far outpacing the rate of inflation and wage growth, which grew 3.5 percent and 2.7 percent respectively, according to the 2005 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Todd Holcomb, ISU associate vice president for student affairs, said some students are opting not to have insurance because they think they’re young, invincible and the odds are with them.

“This is a great opportunity for students to understand policy decisions on the national level and how it affects them as individuals paying taxes,” he said. “Students don’t fully understand health costs, health insurance and how voting, or not voting, plays out in their individual lives.”

There are other reasons costs have increased.

Some of the factors driving costs up are the increasing cost of delivering health care as well as prescription drugs, new technology and the number of times people use the emergency room.

Ashley said if people never use the emergency room, the cost to use one will go down.

“Try not to go to the emergency room because it costs far less to go to the doctor,” Feig said.

“I wouldn’t go to the emergency room if you get home from work and just can’t stand your ear ache.”

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