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Giving Patients Control Over Their Health Care


Published: November 14, 2016

Over time, health insurance has expanded to cover routine and predictable care, shifting away from the true purpose of insurance. This has driven health care costs through the roof. One way to lower costs while also improving the quality of health care is to expand the use of health accounts coupled with high-deductible insurance plans.

Discussion Question

  1. Consider other types of insurance you have purchased or might purchase in the future. Are they typically high deductible plans or low deductible plans and do you think you get more for your money and better insurance services from them relative to your health insurance plan
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Health insurance is meant to protect you from large and unexpected medical bills. But over time, it has expanded to include covering routine and predictable care, as well as covering healthcare services you may never even need. These changes have driven health care costs through the roof.

The cure is to move to high-deductible plans coupled with health savings accounts. With these plans, you have lower monthly premiums and higher deductibles. This means you spend less per month on insurance, but pay for smaller expenses, like routine predictable care - out of pocket. Then your insurance kicks in to help out if emergencies or significant illnesses arise.

Think of it like renters insurance. As a renter, you’re expected to pay for your own toilet paper, but if you’re building caught on fire your insurance would replace your TV, sofa, and other damaged belongings.

Now, all of those out of pocket expenses obviously add up. But because your premiums are lower, you can set aside and grow tax-free money in a Health Savings Account, or HSA, to pay for out-of-pocket costs.

Paying for healthcare through high-deductible plans and HSA's empowers you to have more control over your healthcare spending. Because it’s YOUR money, you’re incentivised to shop around and find the best prices for healthcare, just like you would any other product or service.

And again, your high-deductible insurance is always there to protect you from major expenses. But for much of your healthcare, you actually have the power to choose from many providers to find the best price. And over time, this creates competition in the marketplace, driving healthcare costs down, and improving health care service quality for everyone.