Health Care: Who Buys and Who Pays? (II)

SK also gets it:

The big problem today with health care is the complete disconnect between the consumer and the providers.

And his suggestion for reconnecting the consumer with the cost of the product is pretty sound, at least in theory:

One approach that makes sense is a two pronged non-taxed HSA (like the 401(k)) where 25% of the premium goes toward catastrophic health care with a $5000 out of pocket cap, and 75% goes into a savings account that is used for prescription medicine, routine doctor visits, etc. If it isn’t used, it sits as working capital and is invested similar to your 401(k) plan, another boost for the economy.

However, those of us who work in health care finance are faced with daily evidence that the average consumer is not really capable of grasping the nuances of many health care choices. This is the one big problem with HSAs and “consumer-driven? health care.

Comments 1

  1. Brenda Bowers wrote:

    This is primarily because at one time you went to see a doctor when you were sick. Now there are so many specialists a person has no idea who to go to so we have to see a “Primary care doctor? to be referred to the right specialist to see. That’s two doctor bills and two days work missed. Not to mention the follow ups required by both doctors. I use some common sense and cancel/ignore most “follow up visits? since when the condition is cured I certainly don’t need a doctor to tell me I am feeling better and/or healed!

    Employing the above plan would have one beneficial effect, it would cause parents to use a bit of peroxide and a band-aid on a scratch , and wait a bit to see if the bump on the arm really broke the arm or only bruised it rather running off to a doctor for coddling and x-rays. I sometimes wonder how I was able to grow to adulthood and then bringing two children up by using the old method of just kissing a boo-boo!

    Posted 11 Mar 2007 at 5:16 pm

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