The History of Health Insurance in America: The Ultimate Web Guide

by Miranda on February 02, 2011

As any health administrator knows, health insurance is central to the American health care system. Health insurance, though, has been a politically charged topic for decades. Efforts to overthrow the current health insurance system in the U.S. have met with failure; even the health care reform legislation passed in 2010 doesn’t end the health insurance system as Americans know it. There are changes to the way health insurance companies do things, but nothing to dramatically alter the way the system functions. And, of course, there is a fight underway to repeal the health care reform bill.

But what is it about health insurance and health care that prompts such strong feelings in Americans? To get an idea of why health insurance is such a hot button topic in the United States, and where the debate over the roll health insurance companies and the government should play in the future of health care is going, it can help to have some historical perspective. Whether or not you work in health administration, the history of health insurance is fascinating. Here are some resources that can help you learn more about health insurance in America:


These timelines offer a variety of insights into health insurance in America, including attempts to introduce universal health care and health care reform. Here are great snapshots of the history of health insurance in the U.S.

General History

If you are interested in various viewpoints related to health insurance in America, these resources can be enlightening. Includes policy arguments, essays on the history of health insurance and health care and more.


    The cost of health insurance is of huge interest to Americans. The increasing cost of health insurance, as well as the impacts the rising costs have on individuals and the economy can provide interesting insight into historical trends — and where we might be headed.

      Health Care Reform 2010

      Find out more about the health care reform legislation passed in 2010, and what it entails. A look at changes that health insurance companies will have to abide by if the legislation remains in effect, and some of the changes made to the industry.

      Health Care and Health Insurance in Other Countries

      For those interested in learning more about how the history of health insurance compares to the development of health care systems in other countries, these resources can be quite helpful. Learn more about how the U.S. system of health insurance works in comparison with other countries’ systems.

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