Patients are being overcharged, sent to collections and sued for medical debt. Preventing the harm starts with education.
I'm glad I found you! I'm 62 and retired. This means not eligible for medicare and no corporate plan anymore. We pay so much and have such a high deductible, it's ridiculous! Thanks for sharing this informative piece.
you write "The burden of unreasonable health care costs on working Americans should be sounding alarm bells for employers, HR people and benefits brokers/advisors.
We need better education at the employer level. They need to know how they can better protect their employees."
I don't think knowledge or education at the employer level is the issue. What does it matter to them if their workers have unreasonable health care costs? It just keeps them even more dependent on the employer. HR people are not there to protect the employees, they are there to protect the company.
When workers are tied to employers for health care, and are so cost-burdened that they can not afford to take any risks with their jobs, it benefits employers.
If employers had any interest in the medium to long term they might discover they get better results from healthy/happy employees who are getting better, cheaper healthcare, but in this system that is built around quarterly "results" and shareholders interests, no employer is going to take action to protect employees that doesn't immediately boost their bottom line.
I need a MRI every year, sometimes two. I am seriously considering not paying for health insurance next year because the deductible is so high, as is the premium, that I decided to not use my insurance at all this year. I am asking my doctors their price for uninsured, I am trying t mainstream my visits, and depending on the results of my next test, I might be able to go to fewer doctors and have fewer tests. I am almost sure that I will save money. The only thing that might make it difficult is a very expensive migraine medication, but I am already trying other options
Most health insurance brokers are the #1 problem. They make huge bonuses for keeping the "status quo", with the big box money machine insurance company. In addition they are lazy. Brokers are "contractually" extensions of the big insurance carriers; BCBS, United, Cigna, Aetna aka "BUCA". Employers are also lazy. But, hopefully, under the new CAA legislation, this will change. Once the muscle of the IRS gets involved, then there will be change. Employers think their contribution to the health plan is "Their" money. It's actally employee's money since it's part of an employee's compensation plan. Employers are wasting employee dollars & now the Department of Labor is getting involved; FINALLY! Lawsuits have already fired up with lots more to come. Once the brokers start getting sued, like the Gallagher lawsuit with Osceola County Schools, then there will be change.
Sometimes cash is way higher and sometimes way lower, the former more likely in emergencies, the latter in electives.
Not always in both cases, but generally.