Governmento Medicare, Medicaid, S-CHIP, and the VA: The government uses money generated from taxes to reimburse providers who take care of patients enrolled in these programs.o Public employees' premiums: The government also uses tax dollars to pay private insurers a health insurance premium for federal employees and other public employees.o Tax subsidy: There is a tax subsidy of employer-based insurance (not shown in the graph) that represents a major cost to the government (on the order of $100 billion). Employees receive health insurance benefits as tax-free compensation, and employers are able to deduct health insurance benefits as a cost of doing business. [Since employers are only taxed on profits, defined as any income above the cost of doing business, being able to deduct health insurance benefits as a cost of doing business is a tax subsidy for employers].• Private insurerso Private insurers accept premiums from individuals, businesses, and the government. In turn, they reimburse providers for taking care of patients with private insurance.• Health service providerso Providers (doctors, allied health professionals, hospitals, and other health care facilities) take care of individuals. They are reimbursed for their services by private insurers and the government.
Employer-sponsored insurance4o Basics: Employer-sponsored insurance represents the main way in which Americans receive health insurance. Employers provide health insurance as part of the benefits package for employees.o Administration: Insurance plans are administered by private companies, both for-profit (e.g. Aetna, Cigna) and non-for-profit (e.g. Blue Cross/Blue Shield)... A special case is represented by companies that are "self-insured" - that is, they pay for all health care costs incurred by employees directly. In this case, the company contracts with a third party to administer the health insurance plan. Self-insured companies tend to be larger companies such as General Motors.o Financing: Employer-sponsored insurance is financed both through employers (who usually pay the majority of the premium) and employees (who pay the remainder of the premium). In 2005, the annual private employer-sponsored insurance premiums averaged $4,024 for single coverage and $10,880 for a family of four.5o Benefits: Benefits vary widely with the specific health insurance plan. Some plans cover prescription drugs, while others do not. The degree of cost-sharing (co-pays and deductibles) varies considerably.• Private non-group (individual market)4o Basics: The individual market covers part of the population that is self-employed or retired. In addition, it covers some people who are unable to obtain insurance through their employer. In contrast to the group market (employment-based insurance), the individual market allows health insurance companies to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions.o Administration: The plans are administered by private insurance companies.o Financing: Individuals pay an insurance premium out-of-pocket for coverage. Risk in the individual market depends only on the health status of the individual, in contrast to the group market, in which risk is spread out among multiple individuals. As such, low-risk, healthy patients will have a low premium, whereas the opposite is true for high-risk, sick patients.o Benefits: Benefits vary widely with the specific health insurance plan.