Monday, October 29, 2012

Health Savings Accounts another bad Health Care Plan pushed by Republicans. And you wonder why you’re broke…

I’ve had Health Savings Accounts for years, and each year, I had to shop for another plan because the rates went up about 20 to 30 percent. A person can "slow" slightly the increases in premiums by accepting much larger deductibles, but who wants to pay over $10,000 a year before your insurer forks over penny one?
Studies show people on these plans are three times more likely to delay or skip care than people on traditional plans.
Republicans call this “skin in the game.” That should make every American feel free at last, and independent of government handouts. Who wants a cheaper single payer system anyway? Socialists.

Obamacare will only speeding up the adoption of HSA’s, the plan of choice by Republicans. And the new reality? You’ll be spending every waking hour shopping, researching, diagnosing, bothering your doctor and still feeling ripped off seeking treatment. Ah, freedom and liberty, don’t you just love it?
Reuters: (Example) Visit to New York City orthopedist: $223. One X-ray: $50. One follow-up magnetic resonance imaging test: $766. Total bill for checking out that aching shoulder: $1,039 - all to be paid by the patient, rather than the insurer.

Healthcare has gone retail. Over the next 18 months, between one quarter and one half of Americans who get insurance coverage through their employers will pay more of their doctor bills themselves as companies roll out healthcare plans with higher deductibles, benefits consultants say. The result: sticker shock.

"They have huge out-of-pocket costs before they get any insurance coverage, it's a real slap in the face," said Ron Pollack, the executive director of Families USA, a healthcare advocacy group. High-deductible plans set a threshold for medical expenses that an individual must pay for, often in the thousands of dollars, before insurance kicks in. 
I love this down-the-rabbit-hole thinking:
“…industry experts who believe that consumers with "skin in the game" will drive demand for better quality care at a lower cost.”
But you’ll be paying more out of pocket because of higher deductibles and coinsurance, where you always pay 20 or 30 percent of any cost beyond the deductible. Yeah American free market health care? Who wants to wait for competition to "maybe" lower prices?

Our system despite reform, is still consumer driven, and treats health care like a product. And that’s the problem.
The shift means consumers will have to spend many more hours researching their treatment options and managing costs on websites like, which helped budget the cost of examining the shoulder pain mentioned above. It could also spur lawsuits against doctors whom patients may blame for not making clear whether a test or procedure would spare them future harm, legal experts say.
It’s not Obamacare, it’s the private sector, because they’re calling the shots and adapting in ways that maximize profits.
Companies with high-deductible plans in 2012 include General Electric Co, Wells Fargo & Co, Whole Foods Market Inc, Chrysler Group and American Express Co. Bank of America Corp. Deductibles on high-deductible plans start at $1,250 for singles and run up to $12,500 for families. 
"The other thing is, and this is really hard, is to figure out what stuff is necessary and what stuff isn't," said Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor at Consumer Reports. Critics of this shift say it leaves consumers at the mercy of providers when it comes to medical costs. While insurers have been able to leverage their scale to negotiate rates down, ordinary individuals do not have that clout.
Can you imagine what would happen if health care had no boundaries, rules or regulations, leaving the risk in your own inexperienced hands? Isn't it fun playing doctor with your children's lives?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, but think how much more experience we'll have shopping around and comparing prices once we get old and confused and have to do the same thing, only with vouchers that don't begin to cover what ails us!
    It's just so boot-strappy, no wonder they love it.