Access to Health Insurance and Health Benefits

Timothy Jost

in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law

Published in print January 2017 | ISBN: 9780199366521
Published online July 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199366545 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Access to Health Insurance and Health Benefits

Show Summary Details


This article examines the five forms of payment for healthcare that are common in the United States: out-of-pocket, charity, direct public provision, public health insurance, and private health insurance (including employer-sponsored insurance). After discussing the history of each of the five approaches, the article considers their advantages and disadvantages as well as their current status. It examines next the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Although the Affordable Care Act focuses primarily on expanding public health insurance and public financing for private health insurance, it incorporates all five approaches to financing care. Finally this chapter considers why the United States retains this patchwork of different forms of coverage rather than adopting a single coherent system of health care finance and discusses the likely future of the American approach.

Keywords: healthcare; government-sponsored healthcare; United States; out-of-pocket payment; charity; direct public provision; public health insurance; private health insurance; employer-sponsored insurance; Affordable Care Act

Article.  10183 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.