High Deductible Health Insurance Plans a Better Solution for Healthy Indivduals!
Upon graduating college I took a job with a Health Insurance Company. I was appalled at the inefficiencies of the organization. Meeting after meeting going nowhere… Employees doing the bare minimum as they watched the clock all day. Working there felt like being in the classroom of the one subject you had the least interest in. And I was privy to corporate compensation… appalled at the amount of money upper management was pulling out of the company. The compensation was coming directly from the premiums of the member plan participants. What are you really paying for with your health insurance dollars?
While the Government continues to pretend to understand the Health Care Business and keeps pumping out irrational and expensive “solutions” to the American Health Care problem no one is addressing the real culprit which is inefficiencies. Health Care Administrators are adding back breaking costs to the American Health Care system. And there is little benefit to the consumer.
Administrative costs and salaries are driving up the cost to insure the American Public for many reasons… most of which go beyond the scope of this short article. When you add to this a health plan member mentality of “I’m paying for it, so I might as well use it”… you get costs that are disproportionate to the services being rendered. Too much money is simply going to administration and not Health Care.
The problems with the Health Care System in the United States are complex issues. But the root causes can be traced to inefficiencies.
How Many Health Care Forms Must One fill Out?
There are Health Insurance Forms, Health History Forms, HIPPA Forms… it seems an endless amount of paperwork. Do you ever feel like going to the Doctor is like doing your taxes? Why? Because with every visit there is another mountain of paperwork to fill out. There is no cross communication between specialists. Get referred to a new specialist then fill out more paperwork. William Tango Foxtrot (WTF?). Who stores all this paperwork? And does it ever get looked at again?
What we need is a National Health Registry that is administered by an independent 3rd Party Company. Doctors offices, Health Insurers, Clinics, would STANDARDIZE paperwork and submit to the registry. Better yet you could log in from home and do your paperwork electronically. Once you were in the system you would only have to give an identification number, and there would be easy access to your medical history. And this information needs to be managed in a way that allows the individual to decide on a case by case basis what providers and companies have access to this information. An approval request should be submitted to the individual so they can release this information electronically on an as needed basis.
Of course there is a huge downside to this and that’s privacy. Anyone with an access code could access your history… thus the need for individual control. Can we trust people to keep private our medical records? Can we trust Corporate America to access this information in an ethical fashion? What happens when we are labeled a “Doctor Shopper” electronically?
So while this is truly what is needed, it’s never going to be feasible until individual rights are addressed. And in the United States it’s the Corporations not the individuals who seem to matter. So for this reason I present an alternative plan which is feasible.
The High Deductible Health Insurance Plan for Individuals and How it Saves You Money Without Compromising Your Health
Think about this for a moment. When you pay for insurance your money is gone whether you use it or not. When you pay for services you actually use, then you are “getting your moneys worth”.
Our present system of Health Care offers so many expensive plans that cover way too many visits and procedures so the companies can jack up the costs. They sell this on employers under the guise that this is what people want. Of you do, we all want full coverage everything plans, but we don’t want to pay for them right? And if your employer is paying for the plan we think of it as “free”. This thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. Insurance companies love this… it makes them tons of money. You pay one way or the other. If your employer pays the plan, they have less money to pay you directly it’s that simple. This thinking drives up costs. But Corporate America is in charge so what can you do as an individual?
If you want to get the most bang for your buck you should do your own budgeting for Health Care. Spend money when you need to and keep it when you don’t. I know there are people in our society that can not absorb even a few hundred dollars at the doctors office. But the vast majority of people can. Why? Because the vast majority of insured families are already paying hundreds of dollars a month whether they use coverage or not.
I read an interesting article that estimated the average cost of Health Insurance for a Family of 4 nationwide to be $11,000 to $15,000 per year. The numbers varied by geographic region of the country. So on average that family is spending $1,000 a month. Now it might not come all from the family, a company may pay the lions share but it’s still $1,000 a month. That’s a lot of money if you don’t use it right?
So why not purchase “Catastrophic Health Insurance” instead? Pay for the occasional trips to the Doctor you actually need out of pocket. Then keep the rest? Make sure you are covered in the event of a major accident or major illness. But stop throwing money to insurance companies to budget your medical expenses for you. You are just feeding the administrative machine. You are throwing money away.
Does that make sense to you? It should. If you buy a policy that kicks in after the first $10,000 of out of pocket expenses you’ll pay a lot less and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that a major problem won’t wipe you out financially. But if you stay healthy then you don’t waste the difference between the $1,000 a month people are paying now and the low cost of the Catastrophic Policy.
This would vastly decrease the cost of Health Insurance… which would then actually be insurance and not budgeting.
So in my opinion what the Government Should be doing is encouraging Healthy Americans to purchase High Deductible Policies through incentives and lower the administrative costs. Americans need insurance not welfare. You would have more money put back into your pocket to spend on enjoying your lifestyle. This would cost no more money, it would reallocate money from Insurance Administrators back into the hands of the consumer to be put to better use.
Learn About High Deductible Health Insurance Plans Benefits
With a high deductible plan, you pay out of pocked for most medical bills until the sum of your payments meets your deductible threshold. So if you have a deductible of $5,000 then you pay all the costs until you reach that point each calendar year. This encourages people to spend wisely on health care, while at the same time gives them peace of mind knowing that if something really “bad” happens they don’t’ have to worry.
You would still have access to any Physician on your Insurance Companies Provider list so access to care would not be hindered. I fyou have a Health Savings Account (HAS) you can use the HSA funds to pay the deductible and out of pocket expenses. Even if you don’t use an HAS you would need to be responsible enough to put aside some money for your own health costs… the benefit being if you don’t spend it on Health Care you keep it. With insurance in it’s present form it’s simply gone. You are in effect penalized for being healthy, and you are subsiding people in the plan that are not healthy. These High Deductible Health Plans encourage people to live more healthy lives.
High deductible health insurance can be purchased right now as an individual or as a group policy. The problem we have now is these plans still have the same restrictions as normal plans… this is an area where Government Intervention should be welcomed. Certain pre-existing conditions such as mental health disorders or diabetes will still exclude people from coverage.
The reality is many people who need coverage… people with diabetes for example cannot currently get coverage under any plan. Even if those people are responsible and under the care of a physician doing everything they can to combat their disease. In my view this is just plain wrong. Catastrophic Health Insurance should be available to responsible people.
This is turning in to a bit of a rant so I’ll shorten it. The major costs in our current system of Health Care in the United States can be attributed to inefficiencies and profit motives. I intentionally avoided talking about excessive executive pay, corporate greed, and corruption. Because while those issues need to be addressed, it’s easier to first address the inefficiencies of the Administration of Health Care.
Comments and opinions welcome.