Monthly Archives: January 2010

Health care: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?

Most people pay $300-$3000 per month for health insurance, depending in whether or not they have a high deductible or family v. individual coverage. Not to mention that your employer, if you have employer-based insurance, is putting in about the same amount, rather than giving that money to you.  How often do you need health care? Do you choose the best value for your money, as you would if you were shopping for a new TV or kitchen appliance? Do you appreciate that a third party, not a physician or anyone who knows you or your family, decides if a given procedure, test or medication will be paid for. In my opinion, decisions about how to proceed with your heath care should be between you and your physician.

What kind of shopper would give Sears $2000 and let a random salesperson pick your new washer and drier? And not question it at all when it arrives and needs repairs (either from the start or later on).

Our history as a nation has put us in a situation where for one very important part of our lives, our health care, we have given over control and detached ourselves from control and responsibility of costs and largely from outcomes.

It’s always a bad idea to separate the user of a service from a payer for a service. My good friend, Doug Roffman, who works to help people navigate through insurance coverages and extols the virtues of the HSA, explains it this way: Say Doug offers to buy my family dinner whenever we want for the rest of our lives. The three things that we could expect to occur are:

1) we’d very likely take him up on his offer,

2) we’d quit looking at the price of the menu items, and order the lobster rather than the caesar salad, and

3) the owner of the restaurant would raise prices every month. (Why not? Doug is paying the bill, so we don’t care how much they charge.)

The truth of the matter is that people will spend their own money much more carefully. Most people don’t have any idea how much it costs to visit their doctor, have blood tests done, or have a procedure done, such as an MRI. And THAT is the problem with our health care system. Which will not likely change no matter what our representatives in Washington do.

Be responsible for your health care and the health care dollars you spend.

If you want to learn more about switching to a Health  Savings Account, get in touch with Doug. He’ll take good care of you.

Doug Roffman, Modern Benefits (www.modern-benefits.com), 707.291.8244

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