An Overview of How Healthcare Is Paid For in the United States

Donald Nichols*

   In this chapter, you will learn how to

•  Explain how Americans pay for the healthcare they receive

•  Describe how health insurance plays a central role in healthcare payment

•  Understand what Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health insurance programs are and how they are similar and how they are distinct

•  Describe the five major types of insurance products

•  Explain how healthcare reform is likely to affect the organization of and payment for healthcare in the future


Healthcare is different from most other goods and services purchased in the United States in that the purchase of healthcare services involves, in almost all cases, the participation ...

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