“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” These famous words were spoken by President John F. Kennedy during his inauguration and became the rallying cry for millions of Americans who stepped forward to improve society at the time. Programs like Vista and the Peace Corps were born from this movement and social service became a reality to a scale that had not existed before.
These same words can be spoken today, but with a different objective: one of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act was to level the health insurance playing field so that everyone could access coverage and therefore obtain care at an affordable cost. So far the reality has fallen FAR short of this lofty goal and, although the system that existed before the ACA was severely flawed, the newly imposed program has not provided significant improvement for many people.
Many of those who did not benefit from the pre-ACA system of health coverage have benefited from the changes imposed, but many others who were fine in the old programs are being priced out of adequate coverage today. Losers became winners at the expense of many who were able to function in the old system.
So what can be done? We all recognize that rising premiums are the result of the increased cost of care, but how can that be controlled?
First, we need to examine the level of care we each access and what the true cost of that care is. Provider visits, tests and scans, and prescription refills are the first level of services we should review. Just because our out of pocket cost is manageable does not mean that the system as a whole is not paying exorbitant rates for our care.
Second, if the young and healthy among us do not enroll and become part of the system it may not exist in the form that we will all need it to in future years. Only through the true sharing of risk can insurance provide the protection it was designed to.
Third, let’s all look for the fraud in the systems around us. If Medicare fraud represents about $60 Billion per year, imagine the cost of fraud for the population under age 65. Questioning the necessity of services, shopping the most cost-efficient sources of that care and diligently checking the bills that are processed with the insurance companies can perhaps save a system that currently looks destined to fail.
Remember that the cost of healthcare in this country represents a major part of our national spending and personally represents a significant percentage of our budgets. In both cases, money spent unnecessarily prevents capital investment either personally or nationally. Throwing away money that could have been invested only benefits those parties who are catching the windfall. “A penny saved is a penny earned” was credited to Benjamin Franklin and is as applicable today as it was in the 18th century.
If you need help reviewing your care or determining which type of plan is right for you, don’t hesitate to call us at CDA Inc. We have been in this industry since 1975 and can assist you in navigating the complexities of healthcare.