Health Insurance in Tennessee Can Help Even Those in Good Health

Even those of us who eat right and exercise remain at risk from unforeseeable events, including food poisoning, injury, mental illness, and sexually-transmitted diseases. Certain of these risks may have been underestimated, and can strike at any time.

The Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University has released a report that reveals food-borne pathogens make many more Americans sick than previously estimated. Their findings indicate that approximately 76 million of us are made ill every year by food poisoning, and about 5,000 of us die as a result.

Illness from Tennessee’s recent food poisoning scare has not been reported, but Kroger is recalling its Special Recipe Dill Dip in northeastern Tennessee, and seven other states. This dip is in 16-ounce containers, and has a sell-by date of March 4 with a UPC code of 1111046799. Because Kroger fears that some of the dip may contain salmonella, it is offering to refund or replace the dip.

Tennessee Is Not the Only State Hit by Contaminated Foods

Food-borne illnesses (including 39 percent of E. coli outbreaks) are attributed to produce that is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The cost to the U.S. is estimated at $152 billion a year, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts, and berries are the most likely foods to be contaminated.

Although in most of these cases the contamination remains unidentified, infections from well-known pathogens play a major role in outbreaks. For instance, illness related to salmonella is estimated to cost $14.6 billion in health-care fees each year; treatment related to campylobacter is estimated to exceed $18.8 billion in related health-care costs annually; and yearly costs related to listeria are estimated at $8.8 billion, according to the Georgetown University report.

Food-borne illnesses are becoming more common in the United States as we participate in an increasingly complex, and globally-distributed food chain. Our antiquated food-safety laws, funding and enforcement have not kept up with large-scale production and processing methods.

Injuries Require Health Insurance in Tennessee

Beyond unforeseeable expenses related to food poisoning, unexpected injuries also wreak havoc. Twenty-two percent of all injuries requiring emergency room help are related to sports.

Alarmingly, a trip to the hospital can cost an uninsured person five times as much as it would cost for someone with health insurance. For instance, an uninsured patient might be charged $14,000 for an appendectomy, while HMOs have the bargaining power to negotiate only $2,500 for an identical appendectomy. Excessive medical bills account for approximately 40 percent of personal bankruptcies in the U.S.

Young Adults Face a Greater Need for Health Insurance

Adults between the ages of 19 and 29 are among one of the fastest-growing large segments in the U.S. population who lack health insurance. Young adults shift between school and jobs, and those with the least seniority are the first to be let go. Many entry-level jobs do not provide health insurance, even though they offer lower wages that prevent employees from being able to purchase insurance.

In 2005, young adults without health insurance numbered 13.3 million. Just one year later, that number jumped to 13.7 million, and young adults account for almost 30 percent of the uninsured who are not elderly.

These same adults face a greater need for health insurance. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, young people are injured more often than any other group. Three-fourths of all cases of diagnosable mental disorders begin by age 24. Sexually-transmitted infections are highest among those between 18 and 24. The Journal also reported that young adults have three times the suicide rate of adolescents, even though the adolescent rate is high.

Strategies for Finding Health Insurance for Tennessee

Agents and websites can offer hundreds of Health Insurance Plans in Tennessee, rather than only plans from one insurer. Such independent agents and websites let you compare benefits and premiums side-by-side.

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