Health Insurance: What Do You Think, Yo?

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The numbers are out there and they don’t look good.

  • Approximately 60% of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills,
  • and roughly 75% of those bankruptcies are incurred by Americans with health coverage.

This staggering data means that you—a hardworking dude in the middle-class—is probably one health crisis away from bankruptcy (Consumerist). Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you have health insurance, either. The percentage of people with employment-based health insurance has dropped from 70 percent in 1987 to 62 percent in 2007. This is the lowest level of employment-based insurance coverage in more than a decade (NCHC).

Questions for you.

  1. Does it make sense to link health insurance to employment?
  2. Should we offer a public option that competes—in the spirit of a  free market—with employer-based private coverage? This plan might offer the Toyota Corolla version of health care coverage but not the Cadillac Escalade plan. Thoughts?
  3. Should we stop calling it health insurance and start calling it health care coverage* since everyone, at some point, gets sick and need care?

You guys are employers, employees, HR professionals, and entrepreneurs. What do you think?

[Revised #3: *I recently did an anlysis on kitty health insurance and it didn’t save me any money. The reported discount wasn’t worth the premium cost. I’m like, “You know Scrubby is gonna get sick at some point. All cats get sick. Why offer insurance, which is a risk-based product, when you can offer something smarter like a coverage plan, which increases the volume in your office and ensures that more kitties are seen by vets on a regular basis?”

The answer is that pet health insurance makes us feel good, but when it’s priced at a rate that makes sense for the consumer, the carrier doesn’t make a profit. When it’s priced too high, it’s a bum deal for the consumer. So I skipped it.]

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