The Future of Health Insurance

December 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Hey guys, I have no dog in the fight here.

As I have said before, I have worked as an attorney in the insurance industry for more than twenty years. My wife is a county employee and she carries my health insurance. At one time we had no co-pays for doctor office visits or prescriptions, and an annual individual deductible of $100. Now it’s $25 for the first and $30 for the second, and going up. We have individual annual deductibles of $2000 for in-network providers, and a separate annual deductible of $4000 for out-of-network treatment. We have additional individual annual deductibles of $600 for diagnostic testing of any sort. Between co-pays and deductibles, I have spent somewhere in the range of $7500 to $10,000 out of my own pocket this year alone.

I don’t know exactly what is going to happen with health insurance in the future, but I do know that in general insurance companies WILL NOT lose money. Nor will they even accept significant reductions in profits. I hear rumors that annual individual deductibles may go as high as $10,000. No matter what, I think we can anticipate that we will all be expected to personally pick up more and more of the cost of health care. Those of us with insurance will be paying more and more for less and less.

If someone is in perfect — or even relatively good — health, they obviously don’t have to be too concerned at the moment. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury. We have serious health issues, or we wouldn’t be here. I know how scared many of us must be, because I’m just as scared. Not only do we have to face all the challenges to our health, and all the other concerns that come with our health issues, but we must also worry about affording the medical care we so desperately need.

Our common interests should cause us to stick together and try to help each other as much as possible. I know there will be disagreements, but remember that there is much more that unites us than divides us.