Medical Inflation on Intercept Trajectory with Wage Earners

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 25, 2010

Even people with health insurance may forego care because they can't pay the high deductibles—a particularly heinous example of "cost containment"—that makes the idea of preventive medicine a cruel joke for those who can't afford $115 or more out-of-pocket for a proactive visit to their physician's office. Speaking of which, good luck finding a primary health provider who is taking new patients. If you find one, the wait may be as long as 18 months for a well patient exam.

Some time in the next few days or weeks, Americans lucky enough to have a job that provides health insurance will trudge into their company meeting rooms to learn how much more they will have to pay for a vital benefit that many already cannot afford. HR directors across the nation should drop the bad news at the same time so we can have a national day of mourning. It would allow our overworked, overstressed, underpaid workforce a shared moment of commiseration as their financial burden gets a little heavier, their paycheck gets a little lighter, and they adjust to the anxiety that comes with praying they don't get sick.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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