Transparency of health care costs is likely the single largest missing component to stabilizing healthcare's out of control inflation as well as insurance costs - yet is rarely addressed by the government as a concern?
The single most important and unaddressed issue to reducing healthcare related costs lie in our fundamental free enterprise system based on cost comparisons by "the buyer". We as consumers should be "entitled" to choose health related services, goods or supplies based on cost just as we do when purchasing a home, a vehicle, clothing, groceries and any other service or good. Through the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's it was common to have a clue what hospital and medical care costs were prior to buying the service. Why did we stop? HMO's made it EASY to not care about price. (Early HMO products were so inexpensive we no longer needed to invest our valuable time in any cost related issues) - ("it's just a $5.00 Co Pay! ....nothing else for you to think about!" .....and yes ,we unwittingly bought it hook line and sinker).
Without question "price transparency" of all medical care, services and supplies in "an instantly comparative format" - is the #1 component to reducing health care costs through competitive pricing and ultimate long term cost control.
Consider this .... how complicated would it be for the government to "require" all providers of medical care, services and supplies to publish the price of their service or goods on a website provided by private industry or the government to give "we the people" control to make an informed buying decision which includes the cost of such service goods or supply?
The lack of the consumers ability to compare costs prior to purchase over the past 25+ years (HMO) have allowed providers and insurers to excessively profit (from our inability to source and compare pricing) while we remain hostage to no transparency or possibility to compare costs.
This highly opinionated view is based on my first 10 or so years in the health insurance business in a smaller populated area. Our early health insurance products were primarily "hospital surgical plans" (indemnity plans) and a client could freely go to any facility or doctor of their choice penalty free. I clearly recall in those early years numerous clients often quoting me "specific dollar amounts" for the cost of their hospital, doctor, child birth, room rates etc. In those years it was rare to discuss clinic costs as they were not a normally paid expense unless you had group insurance. Individual insurance was intended to cover larger losses not smaller daily need expenses such as office visits, tests etc. By the late 80's and early 90's having relocated to a metropolitan area I was now seeing more and more HMO's expanding into the individual markets and people loved small copays and lack of involvement in cost and pricing from the providers of services and goods.
It was at this time we as a society started losing control of pricing and costs. We cared primarily about copay amounts and insurance premium rates rather than staying aware of the actual costs charged. From that point forward it is easy to identify health care costs spiraling out of control as medical related industries and big insurance providers profited greatly while agreeing to pricing that benefited their interests.
In order to turn this tragic situation around American health care consumers need to be involved in the decisions regarding costs which must require full transparency of medical care service, goods and supplies cost. That full transparency will likely only come from specific requirement of those providers from our government in "an instantly comparative format" on the web.
ObamaCare / Affordable Care Act plans during "open enrollment" as well as
Short Term Medical and Gap Plans aimed at providing coverage for large deductibles for ACA plans.
Year round we can custom design indemnity plans to include:
Hospital - Surgical - Critical Illness - Accident - Heart Attack - Stroke - Cancer - Individual Dental.
Lets find an affordable healthcare plan for you today. Click below for a health quote.
Get a QUOTE
Get A Quote