As the open enrollment period for healthcare in the United States initiates, millions of people will face a wide array of struggles in deciding which insurance plan to choose. As consumers, we are all faced with a multitude of choices during our lifetime. In most instances, we learn as much as possible before making decisions. Examples of these complicated decisions include what home to purchase, what type of automobile to be driven, and what sorts of educational facilities to attend. Unfortunately, choosing health insurance is considered exceptionally more difficult than any of these decisions – combined.
According to the latest statistics, only one out of every seven people in the United States has a solid understanding of the most basic healthcare plans that are currently available. This statistic was made known in a study whose results were featured in the publication known as the “Journal of Health Economics”. Based on this fact, most of us are going in blind when it comes to medical insurance. When we sign up for health insurance, we do not always get to make the decisions about the medical care that we receive. This is a bigger problem than most imagine.
It is a known fact that doctors are the ones that make most of our healthcare decisions. This includes which tests and procedures are ordered, what types of medications and other treatments are prescribed, and the necessity of care, in general. Furthermore, insurance companies cover part of the expenses that are incurred by what the doctors’ order. In the volume-driven care plan, doctors actually receive rewards for providing higher amounts of care. Many patients do not require the tests, procedures, medications, and other treatments that they are issued by their doctor; however, the doctor will continue to order these things because they are rewarded for it.
This brings us to, what we believe, is the sole problem – trust. We do not have healthy relationships with insurance companies. In fact, out of every type of industry in the nation, consumers agree that health insurance companies are the LEAST trusted. This is why consumers do not contact these companies for assistance. First, just about all aspects of insurance policies are difficult to understand. Second, we know that insurance companies are mostly out to benefit themselves and not consumers. Finally, we are all being forced to make a decision about our coverage each year and we do not truly understand the coverage options. If we opt for a high level of coverage, we pay more. If we opt for low coverage, we still pay more.
In order for health insurance companies to develop healthy relationships with policy holders and medical providers, they should focus on total care that is value-driven, not volume-driven. This way, as consumers, we know that we are receiving the care that we need most, when we need it. Additionally, this ensures that we are as healthy as possible for the fraction of the cost. In order to learn more about the various types of healthcare that insurance companies are currently providing, click HERE.