High Deductible Insurance… A Blessing or a Curse?

According to a recently published study from The Commonwealth Fund many individuals that believe they are adequately insured find out the hard way they are not.  The moment of truth is when the bill arrives.
“In a survey of approximately 3,000 adults ages 19 to 64 who had at least
one full year of insurance, 23 percent were found to be underinsured.
The Commonwealth Fund considers underinsured Americans those who spent
10 percent or more of their household income on medical bills in the
past year or had a deductible of at least 5 percent of their income.
Premiums were excluded.”
As a board member of a local bank I’m frequently shocked to see the amount of personal debt loan applicants bring to the table.  Often a significant portion represents credit card debt, school loans, and yes… medical bills.
“Higher out-of-pocket costs have left 51 percent of underinsured
Americans with medical bill issues or debt. This is more than twice the
percentage of fully insured Americans (22 percent) who reported problems
with medical bills or debt. Almost half of underinsured respondents —
47 percent — also reported using all of their savings to pay for medical
bills, and 44 percent reported receiving a lower credit rating due to
bill payments.”
The current billing system fails both the patient and the provider.
– Dave
1 Comment
  • Jason Brusky
    Posted at 14:42h, 21 May Reply

    Your point has been echoed multiple times by many when the ACA was passed. To label this legislation as a success, when many of the "affordable plans" have a monthly premium that is reasonable is because of the higher deductibles. This also puts pressure on hospitals because a number of those people will default on payments d/t the high deductible. Getting the insurance industry out of negociating the cost of healthcare and return of health insurance being hospital insurance like the origional Blue Cross Plans would allow a free market economy to lower the cost of healthcare. Consumers would have to pay for regular appointments, OP services, and medications. They would see a huge reduction in their insurance premiums, and the actual cost of the items they pay for directly would go down d/t competition.

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