No matter the industry, if you ask any employees about their company health plan, more than likely, their responses will all be similar; “I can’t afford the deductible anymore.” or “My copays keep going up.” This begs the question, how do employees get a lower cost for coverage without raising the cost of care? The answer is simple: transparency.
We hear and read in the media things like, “Drug companies should disclose the profits on prescription drugs.” or, “Hospitals should disclose the charges for services they render to patients.”
How do you know if you are getting a fair deal? I supposed in the health industry, you don’t.
Our society has had to accept being blinded from the actual cost of anything medically related. That is, until after services are rendered, and therefore charges have been incurred. In fact, as a society, we genuinely believe that it is simply too costly to pay out of pocket for any health expenses; therefore, we must use our health insurance to prevent financial ruin. So we enter the perpetuating cycle of using our plan, paying without question, and getting higher and higher rates at renewal.
At what point does it become so financially burdensome that we believe forgoing all health care is the only option? Simple, it starts with knowing what the cost of care truly is. Have you ever asked a facility what a charge will be ahead of time? Have you ever asked what the cash price (without using your health insurance) would be? You may be shocked to find the difference.
Until we know what we are dealing with, we will never stop the increase, make a change, and take control. Before any change occurs, we must understand the root of the problem we are dealing with and transparency.
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