Where Does Health Insurance Come From?

We are all familiar with the concept of health insurance and most people have it in some form or another, but have you ever stopped to wonder how it all began? The idea of paying monthly or annual fees to cover the cost of our health issues seems to be a modern one, but the truth is that there is a long history behind it.

Centuries Old
The original idea of health insurance was brought into being by Hugh Chamberlen in 1694. By the time the 1800`s rolled around, people were able to buy accident insurance, which worked to help those who were injured in an accident or who ended up disabled.

The very first health plans only offered compensation if the victim was injured due to an accident on a steamboat or train. While not terribly useful, since there were more injuries related to other circumstances at the time, it did prepare people for the more comprehensive types of plans that would be developed later on by insurance companies.

In 1847, the Massachusetts Health Insurance of Boston offered the very first group insurance policy with comprehensive benefits. By the 1890`s, insurance companies were starting to issue individual policies that covered everything from injuries and accidents to sickness and disease.

Health Insurance During the War
Group insurance plans as we know them today didn’t start until 1929 when a group of teachers decided to create their own plan. They worked a deal with the Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas where they would pay a monthly fee in exchange for medical attention and recovery care whenever needed, for any member of the group.

The idea went over so well that it wasn’t long before Blue Cross health plans were designed. These were health plans that were negotiated specifically with the local hospitals or even specific doctors. Discounts were given to the plan holders and the entire process worked very well.

By the 1940’s, it was evident that more than these very basic types of health insurance was necessary. Some people couldn’t afford the monthly fees, but were still in need of the protection afforded by having insurance. This is when employee health insurance became common. Employers would negotiate a deal for their workers and while you worked in a specific workplace, you were covered by their health plan.

During the Second World War, there was a wage freeze. No one was allowed to offer higher wages, which made it virtually impossible to lure the best worker to your company. With so many men away from the country fighting, getting the remaining workers available because a war in and of itself. Health benefits became the new lure and before the war ended in 1945, hundreds of businesses were offering comprehensive health packages in exchange for working for them.

Modern Times, Modern Plans
In the 50`s and 60`s, the government began to take an interest in health care and social security began to include disability insurance in 1954. Medicare and Medicaid were both created in the mid-60`s and by the 90`s, most Americans were enrolled in a managed care health insurance program. While minor changes have been made in the years since then, the basic premise has remained intact.

Health insurance Canada has come a long way since the days of steamboats and rail cars, but it`s even more important now with health care costs on the rise. Built on decades of practical application, modern health insurance allows people to enjoy proper health care and emergency care without having to worry about paying huge amounts of money to a hospital or doctor.

Why Car Insurance For Teens is More Expensive

If you have a teen who is getting ready to drive, you will find that car insurance is not as affordable for your kid than it is for yourself, unless you have a particularly bad driving record. Why is this? Car insurance in Canada for teens is more expensive because teens are more risky drivers to insure.

Higher Rates of Accidents

Both the United States and Canada allow teens to drive, but statistics show that this may not be the safest option. In 2007 in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 13 percent of all drivers that were in fatal car accidents were between the ages of 15 and 20. While this percentage is dropping, as it was up 9.1 percent in 2006, it is still a danger. The statistic increases to 15 percent of all police-reported crashes that were not necessarily fatal. Canadian statistics are similar. Other statistics show that teens are as much as four times as likely as adults to be involved in an accident with a fatality.

On top of this lies the fact many teens drive while intoxicated. MAADD of Canada reports that 40 percent of teenage drivers who are killed in car accidents were involved in those crashes because they had been drinking. Statistics indicate that teens are less likely than older adults to drive after drinking, but those that do are at a higher risk than an adult to get in a crash. These two facts mean that teenage drivers must pay more for Canada insurance products for drivers.

Possible Reasons for the Risk

Why are teens at higher risk than older adults to be involved in a car crash? Experts think there are two reasons. First, many teens are risky drivers due to the fact that they do not always think through the consequences of their actions. They may drive too quickly in order to get to school on time or are easily distracted by other passengers in their cars. They are also more likely to text or talk on the phone while driving than an adult, despite bans on such actions.

A lack of experience is another factor. Teens simply have less time behind the wheel than most adult drivers, which makes the likelihood that they will be in a crash that much higher. Because of this, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among North American teens. In fact, in Canada around 11 percent of all driver deaths are teen drivers, and teen drivers are responsible for over 20 percent of all passenger deaths. Car insurance Canada insurers recognize this and assign higher rates as a result.

What Can Be Done?

One option, which has been successfully tried in Ontario, is to implement a graduated licensing program. This allows teens to get their driver’s licenses only after completing a series of steps. This gives teens more chances to practice driving in less distracting environments. Young teens cannot drive late at night and have limits on the number of passengers in their vehicles. This can reduce teen car crashes by as much as 60 percent.

Parents can also help by modeling good driving to their teens. As a parent, make sure that you are driving without distractions like cell phones or PDAs, and teach your child how to stay safe. Also, keep your teen accountable when using the family car, and make sure that you know who will be traveling with him.

Teens are more dangerous drivers than adults. Teens are four times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than adult drivers, and because of this auto insurance rates are going to be higher. Rest assured, however, that with the proper teaching and enough practice, your teen does not have to be part of this statistic.

The Importance of Dental Insurance and Good Oral Health

Having adequate dental insurance is essential because it can make it easier for you to maintain good oral hygiene and health. Oral health is important because it affects your physical appearance and self confidence. It can also impact your overall health and quality of life.

According to Health Canada, untreated cavities can be painful and lead to serious infections.

Cavities and gum disease may contribute to major conditions such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Some studies link poor oral health with heart disease and even women having pre-term, low-birth-rate babies. Even missing and crooked teeth can hamper your ability to chew and digest food properly, leading to insufficient oral health.

To maintain good oral hygiene and health, Health Canada recommends that you brush and floss your teeth daily. You should also use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to minimize bacteria in your mouth. It’s also important to eat a healthy diet based on Canada’s Food Guide. In addition, visit your dentist regularly.

Insurance Helps with Routine and Major Care
Insurance can make it more feasible for you to receive dental care for routine and conditions. Statistics have shown that patients with dental coverage will seek out required care on a far more regular basis than those without coverage, according to the Canadian Dental Association. That’s why it’s important for you to maintain sufficient dental insurance coverage.

Dental insurance generally covers 100 percent of cleanings, exams and annual X-rays. Extractions, certain surgeries and emergency care are also fully covered under most insurance plans. If you don’t have any major problems with your teeth, you’ll need to visit the dentist approximately twice a year. During that time, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Each year, X-rays of your teeth will be taken to identify undetected problems. If you don’t have any active tooth decay or gum disease, you probably will not need to change your brushing or flossing habits.

During regular checkups, a dental hygienist will clean your teeth. He or she will use a small metal tool to scrape hard mineral buildup known as tartar off your teeth, floss your teeth thoroughly and use a special compound to help clean and polish your teeth. The hygienist may also apply sealants to prevent cavities or fluoride treatments during routine office visits.

Dental Insurance and Serious Issues
If you have major problems with your teeth, dental insurance will generally cover a portion of the costs. For example, many insurance plans cover up to 80 percent for fillings and up to 50 percent for root canals, restorative crowns and implants. Corrective braces are often covered at more than half the cost, although most plans cover orthodontics only for children under the age of 18. Most insurance plans do not pay for cosmetic dentistry used to improve the appearance of a person’s teeth, mouth and smile. Some of the most common cosmetic procedures include teeth whitening, veneers and inlays/onlays.

A good dental insurance plan can assist you and your family with paying for appropriate preventive dental care, as well as expenses relating to more comprehensive restorative and corrective procedures. For more information about oral health and dental insurance, visit the Canadian Dental Association’s website.