American Health Care…… isn’t

Understanding health care coverage and costs requires a PhD. The folks in today’s health care fiasco bought coverage from a company that for two years doesn’t cover “pre-existing” problems…. and got burned.

‘The plans are often faith-based, whatever that means, and have surged in popularity in recent years because they can be cheaper than traditional insurance — the Kings said their plan cost $534 a month, plus an additional $118 a month to join a direct primary care medical practice.”

“But the sharing plans offer fewer protections than insurance and come with provisos. The Kings said their plan did not fully cover preexisting conditions like Jeff’s heart condition for the first two years of coverage — and he needed the surgery after 16 months.”

In this case the couple found they were liable were for the entire $160,000 billing.

Medicynical Note: Healthcare has become worse than buying a used car, in part because the car purchase is discretionary while in health care one’s very existence may be involved……..and, in part because the amount of money involved in healthcare is so much more.

The article notes: “Hospital charges are generally understood by health economists to bear little resemblance to the actual prices that are typically paid. Instead, they are more of an opening salvo in the high-stakes negotiations between hospitals trying to get as much money as they can for providing care and insurance companies trying to pay as little as possible.”

In this case after billing $160,000 the hospital knocked off $107,000 from their original pricing. This for a non-surgical Cath-lab procedure that probably required only an overnight stay. And FYI the hospital involved had a net revenue of over 800 million dollars and net income (2020) of over 57 million dollars. Not bad for a “non-profit.”

It’s sadly true in America that in America healthcare companies are more interested in income than outcomes.

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