WHAT IS IHP?
The Ingham Health Plan (IHP) is a health coverage program for low-income Ingham County residents who don't have access to affordable health insurance. IHP is NOT insurance, but it helps people get the health care services they need. There is little cost for those who otherwise would not have basic, medically needed, health and dental services. We've helped more than 85,000 low income uninsured Ingham County residents since the plan's creation in 1998.
Our impact goes beyond the uninsured to:
- Provide a safety net for Ingham County
- Save emergency room services for real emergencies
- Reduce uncompensated care for Ingham County’s two hospital systems
- Control health insurance costs for all insured workers, families, and employers
The need for the Ingham Health Plan is undeniable. Without the Ingham Health Plan the uninsured are forced to get medical services at emergency rooms, the least efficient and most costly form of healthcare. Those fortunate enough to have health and dental insurance, help pay for the cost of uncompensated care. Meanwhile, many people who are uninsured don’t seek treatment until their conditions become serious, making care much more expensive than preventive doctor visits.
The Consequences of Being Uninsured:
Uninsured persons are sicker and die earlier than those with healthcare coverage. According to national statistics:
- 1 in 5 uninsured individuals reports fair or poor health compared with 1 in 9 for the insured.
- Lack of insurance leads to 18,000 unnecessary deaths annually among Americans aged 25-64.
- Uninsured adults have a 25% greater risk of premature death than the insured.
People without insurance often go without preventive care, delay or forgo needed medical care and skip taking prescription medications. The uninsured are more likely to turn to hospital emergency rooms for care, and without a consistent source of care, the uninsured have less control of their chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
People without health insurance may pay more for medical care because they are unable to obtain the same discounts that insurance companies receive. That can be disastrous, because a high proportion of the uninsured are in the low-income, younger adult or minority populations.
Living without health insurance creates a fear of being denied healthcare or being bankrupted by illness. It forces individuals to choose which medical services to utilize or choose between healthcare and other costs of living.
The nonprofit Ingham Health Plan is a cost effective solution that helps ensure medical care is available.
Learn more about Ingham Health Plan