Brain injuries lead to health insurance changes

by Paul Lucas14 Mar 2016
A new report has revealed some startling statistics about many people changing or losing their health insurance just when they need it the most.

According to a report in Reuters Health, a recent US analysis has shown that people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries are hit with a further blow in the form of health insurance changes at crucial moments: while researchers also discovered that the more severe the brain injury is, the faster people see changes or lose their cover.

Research was carried out by JAMA Surgery, and its authors have blamed the alterations in health insurance largely on people making job-related changes. Many people only have cover via their jobs and so they often lose their plans when they are no longer able to continue in their employment.

According to the study team, there are around 280,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million visits to emergency rooms related to traumatic brain injuries each year. Sadly, in around 40 per cent of cases, the survivors ultimately develop a disability that often prevents them from working.

With this in mind, the researchers looked at a database of people with health insurance. They discovered that from January 2010-December 2012, 30.7 per cent of those with traumatic brain injuries had changes in their insurance cover: that compares to 27.6 per cent among those who do not have these injuries.

The statistics are particularly worrying as long term care is so important following a brain injury. Many patients require rehabilitation over lengthy periods: and interruptions can have disastrous consequences.

There was no explanation, however, as to why people often change their cover status. However, there may be some light relief, or consolation, as it is speculated that many perhaps change their health insurance because they are eligible for different disability programs.

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