Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Coming Health Care Crash

With all of the conversation regarding health care reform and regardless which political party that you support health care and the insurance system that supports it in this nation is broken. While the inefficiencies in the current system continue to grow and more and more of the public fall in to the uninsured rolls we still have not reached the tipping point as a nation to proactively find a solution. Health care costs continue to grow each year faster than the rate of inflation and will continue as more of the boomer generation get older and use their health benefits. As an older segment of the US population depends on Group Health Plans, Individual Health Plans, Medicare and Medicaid we are seeing similarities in the insurance pool which also serves to drive up costs. Remember, insurance is all about spreading the risk so without the younger healthier members of society to drive the price down we will see premium rates grow at an ever faster rate. The boomers are only a part of the cause, as a public we are overweight, out of shape and taking medications more than ever – this is also driving up health care costs.

When the uninsured receive health care and pay little or nothing for the service those costs are being borne by the public who do carry insurance. You are paying the cost with every doctor’s visit, medical procedure and hospital stay. And, it is a self fulfilling prophecy because as more of the public become uninsured your share of the costs grow putting extraordinary pressure on the middle class.

When enough of the middle class can no longer support health care and maintain their family budgets we will see a crash similar to the financial markets and maybe that is not a bad thing. The short term fixes being proposed by both parties are akin to placing a Band-Aid on an amputation. It looks like something is being done but does not stop the hemorrhage. The United States only seems to make grand and sweeping changes when faced with no other choice. We need a grand and sweeping change to how we provide health care insurance in this nation and the political will from both parties and the American Public to see it through. I know that wishing doesn’t make it so and regret the lost opportunity now to have a national dialog on health care and a health insurance but realize that there is a process to all things and we are in a process with health insurance.

In the mean time and until the crash occurs I encourage all of my clients to not drop health insurance. Should you become sick or injured the financial repercussions can extend beyond your lives to impact your extended families. Everyone should have at least a catastrophic hospitalization policy. Now is the time to talk to your insurance agent to look at all of your options and keep insurance costs at a minimum.

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