Direction of Deductibles Reveals Some Alarming Trends
Healthcare is important and necessary, but it is also becoming increasingly more expensive. In fact, the rising rates and direction of deductibles reveals some alarming trends that can't be overlooked. This isn't a doomsday message, yet the simple fact remains that if the health insurance prices continue to climb at this rate, there will be few who will be able to afford it.
Pain and Suffering (Before and After the Hospital)
There isn't anyone who likes being sick or who wants to go the hospital or see a doctor. Yet the pain and suffering of medical needs often leaves us with no other option. Unfortunately for a growing number of people, that pain and suffering is also being experienced before and after a trip to the doctor's office. A common question being asked too often today from those in need of medical attention is the one of affordability. Imagine being required to choose between dealing with the pain and discomfort of a sickness or a series of medical bills from that one visit that could empty your bank account.
This is a very real choice for many, and the question of having food to eat or getting medical attention is a very real problem that is only growing. One report cites that from 2010 to 2015 the rate of increase for employee deductibles rose 67 percent. That is a staggering number, and there is more data that illuminates this very troubling trend. Such a reality for so many simply equates to pain and suffering, but not the kind stemming from medical issues - but from medical expenses - both before and after getting medical help.
A Growing Burden
That same aforementioned report also states that from 2006 to 2015 the average out-of-pocket cost annually has risen 230 percent per patient. Those are the types of numbers that make it nearly impossible to grasp. This seemingly run-away train we call healthcare has apparently gone off the tracks.
The most frightening aspect of this realization is that there doesn't seem to be any immediate or coming answers to stem this tide. The healthcare reform act has initially appeared to only aggravate the problem, although providing healthcare for more folks. Employer contribution plans have failed to ease this ongoing issue, and the end result is that many are unable to find relief for this growing burden.
Equal Opportunity Animal
One unique characteristic about this ongoing and growing issue is that it isn't biased. The wealthy, the poor and the vast majority of middle-income America is under attack. This is an equal opportunity animal, and anyone who needs medical care is a potential victim.
Noted American activist Noam Chomsky was quoted as saying:
"The U.S. has the most dysfunctional healthcare system in the industrial world, has about twice the per capita costs, and some of the worst outcomes. It's also the only privatized system."
Agree or disagree, right or wrong the one absolute is that there is a serious problem happening in the healthcare industry, and we don't know if there is an end in sight.
Information is Power
It was mentioned at the outset that this isn't meant as a "doomsday' message, although it should scare us. This isn't the kind of message that should scare us into hiding, however, it should scare us into action. The people, medical professionals and the government can all play a part in finding an answer, and finding an answer doesn't appear to be optional at this point.
No, this isn't a scare tactic or that end-of-the-world message, hopefully this is the kind of information that will invoke change. This is information, and like a people united, information is power. Hopefully, it is the kind of power that will create change, deliver answers and most of all, provide affordable care for those who need it.