Wednesday, December 17, 2014


    I did write about the cost of health care in the past.This is the time of the year to renew the health insurance policy.The medicare replacement policy or other insurance policies need to be renewed.So I had to go to my insurance agent. I had called him about a month ago and since the 'new' policies don't open up till this month, I had to wait till I could get the new policies to review. Year before last I had a group insurance . The cost since then went up by 45%.Since last year to this year it went up by 33%.So in short it has doubled since 2012. I knew that the cost of health care insurance was not going to go down.(In spite of the claims otherwise.)But I was more interested in trying to find out the reason for this cost increase.And there are several reasons .In my view it is important to try to find the reasons as otherwise it is not going to be possible to reduce the cost . (I am not hopeful that this will ever happen).
     1) I was talking to someone who has coverage for 4 people and the cost of their family coverage is less than 25% of my cost.(which is foe 2)Their insurance plan is not as good as mine , but they got 40 %discount. So if the question is ,who is paying for the difference? This the first reason for the cost increase.
     2)There were several new drugs released in last 4 or 5 weeks. The 2 of them are for treatment of scar tissues in the lungs. This is called IPF,Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.The cost of these new drugs is , are you ready, $85000 per year.I can think of many patients that would need it and be benefited by these drugs.So if some one is paying the insurance premium of $1000 per month, which is $12000 per year, how would the insurance company going to come with the difference of $73000? The answer is the second explanation for the cost increase.
   3)The medicine has become the game of cat and mouse . Every time a new test is avaibale that pays more than the older one (whose reimbursement was reduced now), doctors tend to do the new tests more often than older tests .This is the 3rd cause .
   4) The cost for hospital employed doctors get more reimbursement for the same test , same service.The cost is at times 25% to 50 % more . Every one is aware of it , but no one is doing anything about it . More and more physicians are joining hospitals and so the cost is going up even though the services provided are same .
     I know there are several factors that contributes to the health care cost , the sad part is NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.!!

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