Health Care Reform and the Kingdom of CostPosted: April 29, 2011
Once upon a time a new leader was elected. The new leader wanted to make sure everyone was covered for health insurance and put together a group that created a plan to cover pretty much every one in the kingdom (aka Health Care Reform). The plan had great ideas to keep the people healthy with preventive care and to eliminate life time maximums so that no one would be cut off from insurance if they had big health issues. But the people who put the plan together forgot about how to control costs other than making the insurance companies keep their costs low with medical loss ratios.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
The businesses that provided health insurance were happy to help insure more people. They wanted to do this themselves in the past but they needed everyone to participate and do the same thing or their costs would increase more than everyone else’s and then they wouldn’t be able to help people.
So all of the businesses that provided health insurance changed their plans according to the group that
made directed them and you will never guess what happened. The cost of insurance still increased.
But wait this isn’t the end of the story. I like stories with happy endings and yet I can’t seem to provide any happy endings lately. I delivered a renewal to a client just the other day that received a large rate increase of (fill in the amount here) percent. To me, the increase was just average. It’s what I see every day, but that doesn’t make it okay. Are the increases due to Health Care Reform? Yes and no. All of the pieces that have been added impact the rates somewhat probably between 2% and 4%.
But the real increases are still about things that can mostly be controlled. There are five big-ticket items that drive up the cost of your health insurance premiums and all of them can be controlled through lifestyles changes for the most part. Want to guess what they are?
Okay, I know the suspense is killing you so here you go: Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer and Depression. And guess what I’m going to tell you next… 90% of the people who have any of these issues can prevent them with proper diet (no sodas or other junk food) and exercise (yep 3 to 5 times a week).
IT’S NOT MY FAULT
So now you’re thinking but it runs in my family so I’m doomed! We all have genetics to deal with, but just because you have genetically high cholesterol or maybe everyone in your family dies from cancer doesn’t mean that you must have the problem too. We are all responsible for our choices. We pull the trigger by the way we eat and live our lives.
IS THERE A HAPPY ENDING?
Health Care Reform doesn’t do anything to control the cost, but you can, if you really want to! Please leave a comment and let me know what you can do today to change your health and lower your costs when it comes to your health insurance.