Overview

This research paper will form the basis for the thesis leading to successful completion of the course English 195CE. The paper is inspired from my internship at the New England Financial, which is a MetLife Company that mostly sells insurance and financial products. My job description as an intern includes coming up with creative marketing and financial ideas to help financial advisers and those oriented towards increasing company revenues through activities such as marketing campaigns. In my line of duty, a noticeable trend is that most of customers served daily are older people ranging from age 55-years and above, gradually embracing the health insurance ideas and buying our insurance products, compared to the situation back in the 1990s.

Background

The United States Census Bureau established in 2010 that the total number of older people with 65years of age and above has significantly increased compared to any other age group, and future projections indicate that this number is likely to shoot even higher. This age group formed 13%, equivalent to 40.3 million of the total population which comprised 309million people. This was a remarkable 15% increase compared to the number of older people in 2000 (DeNavas, Proctor, and Smith).

Another research by the American Medical Association notes that this older population is most vulnerable in terms of being affected with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular related complications, diabetes and cancer among others.  In fact, about 75% of the country’s health expenditures are used up in the treatment of chronic illnesses. It predicts that, ‘As the U.S. population continues to grow older; the incidence of chronic disease is expected to increase.       It is predicted that 60 percent of individuals age 65 or older will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030’’ (American Medical Association). The Centre for Disease Control associates this increased uptake to the fact that this population group is exposed to high chances of, ‘...Functional limitations, more illnesses and more deaths due to aging’’ (Centre for Disease Control).

Three other researchers from Harvard Initiative for Global Health backed up the theory that aged people are the most in need of proper and quality healthcare than the rest of the population. They found out that developed countries such as the US, have put in place sustainable measures to help them access health insurance (Bloom, Jimenez, and et al).

It is such changes in lifestyle and predictions into the future that have contributed to the increased uptake of health insurance among older people in the United States. Another reason could be that the government has also considered it as of vital importance to design a healthcare system that is favourable to the older people.

Methodology

The study will use a mixture of research methods in order to answer the research question. The data collection process will be conducted through questionnaires designed to get more information from older people aged 50 years and above. The questionnaire will have closed ended questions arranged on a Likert scale, and another set of open ended questions to motivate respondents to provide answers in line with their individual situations.  A qualitative analysis would be done on their responses. The closed ended questions would be subjected to quantitative analysis using statistical tools such as SPSS. The qualitative part of the study will provide in-depth descriptions regarding the understanding of how health insurance products are used. The quantitative part would yield answers about factors influencing their choice of health insurance products. The use of both qualitative and quantitative approaches ensures the validity of data.

Sampling

The study will focus on older people using health insurance products. Health insurance companies will be contacted for records in order to compare emerging trends in this age group over from 1990-2010.

Limitations

The study will focus on older people aged over 50 years and some may have challenges in answering questionnaires. In such cases, the researcher will provide assistance as needed.

Ethics Approval

Formal letter of the request will be written to selected health insurance companies to seek permission to access their records and interview a few experts.

Predicted result

It is expected that the study will establish factors that have led to the increased uptake of health insurance products in the recent years.

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