Q&A of the Day – Do you know what you really pay for healthcare?

Q&A of the Day – Do you know what you really pay for healthcare?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s question comes via Twitter …

Employers Pay 82 Percent of Health Insurance for Single Coverage. So why move to Socialized, government run insurance when the majority of us work & have and like our private insurance? These Dems running on Socialism are out of touch.

Bottom Line: I’ll agree that running on socialist programs are out touch with what’s in our best interests, but the current model isn’t the answer either. Here’s a closer look at who really pays what for healthcare. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation you’re right that 82% of the cost of health insurance is paid for by employers but I don’t think that’s where to conversation should end. We do have significant issues with affordability of healthcare and even with employers paying the lion’s share of premiums – where does that money really come from – it's part of your total compensation after all and how fast is the cost rising? 

  • The average total healthcare cost per person is now over $10,224 annually (as of 2017) 
  • Total healthcare costs per person are 31% higher over the past decade while average incomes are just 17% higher
  • Healthcare costs have risen above the rate of inflation every year since the 1970’s

This paints the picture bigger issue with healthcare costs. Literally every year healthcare becomes less affordable for the average person. It’s not sustainable, but the answer also isn’t the current insurance model. In fact, it’s the insurance first model that’s largely to blame. Prior to the proliferation of the insurance first model in the late 60’s, healthcare costs were stable. Once most people were on insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, that all changed. Insurance masks the prices of what healthcare really costs. As a result, we can’t be good consumers of healthcare and service providers don’t have to compete for business based on price. 

The best path forward would be one in which health insurance becomes a typical insurance product. One that’s used for emergencies, not for every aspect of our healthcare. The cost of health insurance would dramatically be reduced saving all of us (employers, individuals, tax payers) money and we’d be able to provide market competition based on price and quality of service just like every other industry. 

 

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