Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHP's) have become the norm with employers thoughout the U.S.. These plans are supposed to make the consumer more dilgent and pro-active with personal healthcare. CDHP's have a higher deductible for individuals and families, along with a higher out-of-pocket expense for any physician visits, or necessary care needs that you may have outside of routine wellness visits.
Working in the medical field, some people believe that medical professionals have outstanding medical insurance. I am here to say, that is not true. Cost of insurance has risen, co-pays are no longer provided until deductible is met (we are paying full price for prescriptions, procedures, etc.), and I no longer have the option to save my money myself for medical costs.
It is unfortunate that our government has given such open-ended control of our healthcare to the insurance companies. These are the same companies that many people have had to fight to get their health care paid for when deemed necessary by physicians. When did the insurance companies become more qualified to diagnose and treat patients than physicians? Why would we as consumers give that much control over our health to a money making organization?
Understanding that the underlying benefit to this type of health care plan is that (hopefully) individuals will become more involved and compliant with their own health care. Is this really what we are going to see as a result? I personally believe that we are going to see more hospitalizations from non-compliant patients that become frustrated with the system and stop taking their medications. The mentally ill patients that will not be able to afford their medication deductibles, the diabetics that will not have access to necessary supplies, the senior citizen that decides to eat and pay his electric bill instead of buying his heart medications, and heaven help us, the young, inexperienced mothers that feel that they have nowhere to go for help.
I agree that something needs to change in our healthcare system, but is this really the right change? Passing over complete authority to insurance companies is not the answer, and until they bring in a qualified group of medical personnel that can intelligently make these decisions, looking at all aspects of care, not just the dollar signs, this problem will only fester into something even larger.
We are being asked to verify that we have had health insurance for the entire year when we file our taxes. Those who report no are being penalized and a portion of their tax return is being kept by the government. Here is my question, Who is getting that money that they are keeping from tax returns? It is not going to pay any outstanding medical expenses. It is not getting those people medical coverage. So who exactly is benefitting from this "penalty" money? And the most important question is.... Why do individuals who have State benefits (Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc.) qualify for better, less costly, and far easier access health care than those of us who pay a majority of their income toward health care? This is my quandry.