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Knowledge Base

What’s Wrong With Health Insurance in America?

If insurance stopped covering routine and predictable expenses, wouldn’t people stop going to the doctor for check ups?

No – nearly all high-deductible insurance plans cover preventative care and at least one doctor’s visit a year.

Limited-mandate catastrophic coverage would not cover some aspects of medical care that many people want covered by insurance. How would people pay for that type of care under reformed health insurance coverage?

People who want coverage for treatments such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, or even marriage therapy and massage – that is, any benefits not included in catastrophic coverage – are still free to purchase more comprehensive coverage. Just as with other sorts of products, if consumers want to purchase products with added features, the free market is always interested in selling those added features. Plans covering all those benefits will remain available, just like today, but the premiums for policies that cover more will be more expensive. Alternatively, people who value that type of service could pay out of pocket, perhaps from an HAS.

People can’t really shop for medical care – it’s too complicated, isn’t it?

Not, it is not too complicated for most individuals – as long as the information necessary to make informed decisions is visible, then shopping for nonemergency medical care would be simple.

We know that Americans find it straightforward to shop for computers and other far more complicated items. Greater price transparency and competition create even more visible information for consumers. And remember, most medical care episodes are not an “emergency” where life-and-death decisions must be made quickly.

For more, see Scott Atlas’ book Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six-Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost