I believe our leaders should look harder at what other countries do and eliminate healthcare insurance entirely. I believe insurance is an unnecessary cost ultimately making it more rather than less difficult for lower income families to get needed healthcare.
As a single mother of two who experienced times of unemployment, I went through periods without healthcare insurance. When employed, I opted for no insurance, putting aside about half of what I would have paid, for doctors and medicine for myself and children. I worked hard to keep us healthy and rarely was the set aside money used. On recent reflection, I think I was smart to not have insurance. I avoided the enormous middle layer of health insurance cost that’s absorbed by consumers.
Health insurance provides unneeded complexity with its huge variety of plans and packages that I believe attempt to tailor benefits to meet insurance company profit needs, while professing to meet individual needs.
I believe that without insurance costs, and if doctors and laboratories were required to produce a uniform pricelist for exams, visits, and procedures, overall healthcare costs could be significantly reduced.
Pricelists could imitate an approach similar to Office Max. To illustrate, say I pay monthly insurance fees of $350 per month; $4200 per year. For one year, I have one physical examination, six laboratory procedures, monthly medicine prescriptions of $40 a month, and receive a prescription for antibiotics resulting from another doctor visit. Although, not necessarily realistic, the example may make a point.
For the illustration, the doctor and medication catalog and price list is competitive and relatively uniform. In the illustration, the total comes to under $1500; a little over one third the cost for insurance and does not include co-pay costs that would have been incurred.
Process, Visit, Product Cost
Antibiotic at WalMart 5
Doctor visits, two 190
Laboratory work 760
Under our country’s actual, typical insurance scenario, plans may vary significantly and in some cases co-pays may be almost equal to fees and cost with no insurance. Even with typical or good plans, co-pays for the really serious stuff are very high, making choices and the ability to receive care for lower income families not much easier with insurance than it would be without.
I do not know what percent of administrative, doctor, medication, and laboratory costs result of impact from cost incurred for insurance and billing administration. I would be interested in a study revealing overall percentage of insurance related costs passed on to consumers, beyond our actual insurance fee. I believe those costs, including the insurance fee are not value added and should be eliminated.
Perhaps my no-insurance concept is similar to European nations. Our government already regulates most of the healthcare industry, so why not use government regulation to actually benefit our entire population.
I believe our leaders should look harder at what other countries do and eliminate healthcare insurance entirely.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.