Originally Posted by Stan
What about medical savings accounts?
Give people the choice to "shop around" for the best/cheapest care they choose.
Forcing doctors to lower their price to get more 'customers'.
I really don't know enough about a plan like that, I've just heard it discussed before.
These are already becoming the next trend, however, we are having a hard time getting employers to buy into them.
The first "wave" of employers who were looking to save money on employer sponsored plans has already implemented this. The employee shoulders most of the costs (through high deductibles), but this is good for most people. You ask why? Because 20% of the employee population is responsible for 85% of the costs. So, for the other employees, they end up paying less overall by using their own money to buy into a HSA (Health Savings Account). They aren't visitng the doctor as much and the money rolls over year to year. Also the money is pre-tax deducted from their paycheck.
For the 20% that cause most of the healthcare costs, well... they pay for the higher costs, but the insurance kicks in at some point and pays the rest.
The problems we are seeing in the market is that there are still alot of companies that aren't buying into this. HSAs work best, in theory, when the whole market participates. This is because it forces doctors to compete. But, as healthcare costs increase, we will probably see the rest of the market trend this direction.
A 20,000 ft look at HSAs!