Higher Prices Charged By Hospitals, Other Providers, Drove Health Spending During Downturn

…..The findings are based on about 3 billion claims paid by Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare on behalf of 33 million people with job-based insurance nationwide.  The data represent about 20 percent of the people with insurance nationally, but do not include spending for people who are on Medicare, Medicaid or those who buy their own policies.

The report shows that people with job-based insurance “are paying more and getting less,” says Chapin White, a senior researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. He did not work on the report……

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/May/21/higher-health-care-prices-hospitals.aspx

Comment:  The ugly truth is that as the baby boomers make their way through the age bell curve, they will send every group health plan into a death spiral.  This is a term that the industry uses to describe what happens when there are more people in the old/sick category than there are in the young/healthy category.   As the claims increase and the premiums go up, the young/healthy people find less expensive options leaving the old/sick people behind exascerbating the effect of claims on the premiums until the plan cannot charge enough money to cover the claims and finally collapses. 

One of the major reasons group health plans are now more costly than individual health policies is because the median age of the baby boomers is 57.  There simply are not enough people employed on the younger side of the curve to offset the expenses of those in the age category where poor lifestyle choices manifest themselves.  As this median age approaches 65, the claims and premiums will increase exponentially.

If you think of the nation as one big company with a group health plan, the nation’s plan is in a death spiral.  There has never been a group health plan survive a death spiral.  Some have bought time by restructuring(Healthcare Reform) but the end is always the same.  The plan collapses and leaves those with health conditions uninsured.  In this case, most will end up on Medicaid.  

As employers try to hire new(younger) employees, those internet savvy employees will opt to purchase substantially cheaper individual coverage instead of joining the group health plan.  The employer will gladly facilitate the purchase as it will cost them less which will just expedite the demise of the employer group health plan.  Start saving money today and call Visor about implementing a BetterFits program.  It will never be too late but at least you won’t have to regret not calling sooner.

 

 

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