Throughout recent months many customers who talk to me at the register and fellow friends or co-workers complain about barely making enough money to pay their increased health insurance premiums. So what happened to the health insurance premiums and why are they so high?
I previously wrote a response to an article in the L.A. Times back in December 2008 that discussed the struggling of a primary care physician. I posted my response on my blog A Misguided Notion.
I stated, "Working behind the scenes (HMO, major hospital, clinic, and medical equipment provider) I witnessed how both medical providers and recipients were being screwed across the board. Meanwhile, someone is making money, yes?"
Let's not waste time on the fancy language of health care, the bottom line is that money is being spent to try and make us pay more money.
Ever since the health care bill passed in March of this year, the health care lobbyists have started to put the pressure on the U.S. public internally through high insurance premiums.
I spoke to customer who told me that she had Blue Cross/Blue Shield her entire life even through her parents, but she had to change companies this year because the costs were ridiculous and they no longer covered her annual primary care check-up because she turned fifty.
Say you pay $500 a month for health insurance. Out of that $500 the insurance company pays a small amount to your doctor. Primary care physicians who have a private practice might be in your health insurance network, but that doesn't mean your health insurance is paying the doctor a chunk out of your monthly payment. (See the L.A. Times article regarding struggling doctors.)
A large portion of the $6,000 does not go towards your medical costs. The insurance companies haggle down the payments to pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment suppliers, hospitals, physicians groups and any still existing private practitioners.
The PPACA has provisions that makes sure the money you spend goes towards your medical costs and not marketing ads or lobbyist functions. I'm not saying the entire bill is perfect, but the PPACA would eliminate part of the millions of dollars being spent to make us spend more money.
High insurance premiums are a direct result of insurance companies efforts to maintain their regime within the health care industry. Ads talking about hidden taxes and fees in the bill, well what about the skyrocketing costs due to lobbyist dinners or payouts?
Living check to check doesn't always allow going out to dinner, nor does it allow many of us to have a vacation other than not going to work for a week. While we sit and wonder about our premiums, there are people using our premiums to eat lavish dinners and go on lovely mini-vacations.
Just ask your health insurance company how much of your premium is going towards your medical costs? Or ask your doctor how much your insurance pays them? You might be surprised at what you learn.