Here's why health care costs skyrocket

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As an insurance agent, I can tell you why our cost of medical care per person has escalated while the service per dollar has dropped.

Many years ago, when insurance companies decided to add a co-payment in addition to a deductible to services provided, the number of patients obtaining services declined because people could not pay their deductible and their co-payment. When the number of patients declined, the medical profession simply increased their rates to offset the drop in patients. The result is more expense for fewer services rendered.

Has anyone noticed that before insurance companies added co-pays, there were plenty of patients for the medical profession to be profitable? Now there are fewer patients, and the medical profession is making less money and the hospitals are going broke.

The insurance companies pay less in claims because they have a negotiated rate for the services. The patient's co-pay is not based on the negotiated fee, which according to their insurance was negotiated on their behalf, but the original billed fee which means we pay more while the insurance companies pay less. They still increase our premiums and our deductibles, which means they are collecting more and paying out less because if you can't afford your co-pay you don't go to the doctor.

I suppose this is how, in a time of recession and stock market reductions, health insurance companies made $350 billion last year while everyone else is going broke.

What do you think banks and mortgage companies would do if your automobile and homeowners carrier decided to apply a 10 percent co-pay in addition to your deductible? A claim on your $50,000 car would cost your regular deductible plus a $5,000 co-pay. The banks will never let that happen because they would end up with a lot of wrecked vehicles. I guess in America it's more important to protect the banks' interest in your car than your health.

Emilie Bowles

Sylvania

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mabeldenton1
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mabeldenton1 12/11/09 - 02:49 am
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Get medical insurance for

Get medical insurance for your entire family at the best price from http://bit.ly/7XH2ka

LaTwon
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LaTwon 12/11/09 - 05:49 am
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well..............she is

well..............she is smarter than obama

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 12/11/09 - 07:10 am
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In a word,GREED

In a word,GREED

seenitB4
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seenitB4 12/11/09 - 07:27 am
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greed greed greed greed &

greed greed greed greed & so many dying..

rid0617
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rid0617 12/11/09 - 08:19 am
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Very smart and right on

Very smart and right on letter. Anyone else notice health care costs started going through the roof right about the time attorneys were allowed to advertise on TV?

RIPAmerica
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RIPAmerica 12/11/09 - 10:16 am
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I already have a plan if

I already have a plan if these dead health care bills ever get signed by Obama and I hope y'all will follow suit. I will cancel my health insurance, saving about $3000 annually. I will gladly pay the small fine to the IRS. Then if I get sick or need surgery, I'll just sign up and the insurance companies will be forced to cover me. If we all do this, we'll bankrupt all private insurance companies in a heartbeat, leaving only government to pay for all. Just what they want, huh? No matter what either House of Convicts or Obama does, there's always a way to maximize it for one's own personal gain. "Greed is good"~ Gordon Gekko

deekster
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deekster 12/11/09 - 11:29 am
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Ms. Bowles is obviously not

Ms. Bowles is obviously not old enough to remember when there was "no health insurance". That is when health care cost were reasonable. People went to the doctor or hospital only if they had a fracture, pumping artery or pregnancy. It was "pay as you go". You and your doctor. In the doctors office were nurses and a doctor. Overhead was minimal. No need for a dozen "coders", greeters and "outsorted billing agents". You did not have every piece of medical equipment known to modern man or in process testing, standing by 24/7 365 at satellite hospitals and clinics on every corner. W.G. Watson delivered a baby boy for us in 1965. His charge was $90 including circumcision and prenatal visits. He even made a followup house call. The University Hospital bill was $150, which they allowed me to pay in installments. Insurance cost money. People want to go to the doctor every time they sneeze and have it paid for at 100% and they do not want to die of old age. Thus the "continuing layering" of cost on top of cost. I don't understand why people are fine when they themselves earn money, get bonuses, perks and tax refunds. But, "for profit business" make money, EVIL.

Boston93
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Boston93 12/11/09 - 11:33 am
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To rid0617: Not just

To rid0617: Not just attorneys. Include Insurance Companies spending/spending on adds. Drug advertisements spending/spending on adds. Vein Doctors spending/spending on adds, etc., etc., etc.

deekster
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deekster 12/11/09 - 11:35 am
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Why aren't people equally

Why aren't people equally upset at the cost of government? They rip taxpayers off to the tune of 49% of their take home pay. Obviously from those I see shopping and eating out at every meal, individual profits are also skyrocketing. Disposable income is personal profit. Now there is a "sacred cow" no one wants to talk about. Profit margins in percentages for business vs. personal disposable income. That would be a study.

soldout
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soldout 12/11/09 - 11:41 am
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this makes sense; are there

this makes sense; are there others out there involved in health care or insurance that would agree?

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 12/11/09 - 12:07 pm
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What a moronic LTE. If you

What a moronic LTE. If you don't like the practices of an insurance company then don't do business with them. Quite simple.

change display name
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change display name 12/11/09 - 01:36 pm
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If the people on Medicaid

If the people on Medicaid would stop running to the hospital every time their child sneezes, we wouldn't have to pay for their visits. The gov't pays only a pittance, and the rest of us have to make up the rest. We had a child with no insurance and paid every last cent to University Hosptal. Why can't the other working poor do that? Oh--they don't work. We are now covered by excellent insurance and I don't mind paying the co-pay. It does stop unnecessary trips to the doctor.

RIPAmerica
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RIPAmerica 12/11/09 - 02:14 pm
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Shhhh, baron. We don't want

Shhhh, baron. We don't want "them" to know we have a choice. Whaddya trying to do, cause a riot?

gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 12/11/09 - 02:33 pm
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Only in America is the sick

Only in America is the sick and suffering profit fodder for capitalist insurance companies and they're not even subject to America's anti-trust laws. It's OK for them to fix prices and divide the market among themselves for their benefit and profit. Legalized robbery is the hallowed American way! A Robin Hood story with a different twist. And lately the medical and the pharmaceutical interests have spent 500 million in political lobbying to keep it that way! A public option needs to be part of the country's healthcare fix. Let private insurance companies compete with government run insurance similar to Medicare. Everybody believes private business is the most efficient and best way to do a thing while the government is only capable of running a wasteful and inefficient service. So private insurance has nothing to fear from a government run public option. Right? So why's the insurance industry and their bought politicians so dead set against public option insurance? The answer is not obvious but here it is. Experience has shown that private insurance will cost about twenty percent more than government run insurance.

MadSnapper
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MadSnapper 12/11/09 - 02:49 pm
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This is a way more

This is a way more complicated issue than deductibles and copays (like malpractice insurance, drug development, new technologies, etc,)and I seriously doubt that there are fewer patients, quite the contrary. I personally want scientists and doctors to be incentivised to develop new drugs and machines, with money and anything else that might work. Medical insurance shouldn't cover a runny nose. Insurance plans with a reasonable deductible and out of pocket maximum will keep someone from going to the poor house and are available for reasonable premiums, just go online and see for yourself. Heck, you could even buy a policy through Sam's Club last year with a premium of less than 150 a month that would cover in case of catastrophic events, kind of like car insurance does. No one files a claim on a car for less than what their deductible is, why should health care be different? We have the best care in the world and want it for free. Some people want to drive a Mercedes but pay the price of a Yugo.

corgimom
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corgimom 12/11/09 - 03:17 pm
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I'm thinking she won't be an

I'm thinking she won't be an insurance agent for too much longer, after her employers see this letter.

jack
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jack 12/11/09 - 05:10 pm
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Emillie, no doubt the

Emillie, no doubt the insurance companies need more government REGULATION and also need to NOT be exempt from anti-trust laws as they are now. However, this does NOT mean we need dor want gov't run health care as they can't and haven't run anything right (Medicare going bankrupt and full of fraud, Medicaid the same and SS going bankrupt, etc.). The current DIM controlled Congress are trying nothing more than to give gov't more power over everyone of us, NOT reduce the cost of health care. Both House and senate bills will not only decrease health care for the elderly, but increase costs to EVERYONE who works and earns a living or owns a business.

Yosemitesam
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Yosemitesam 12/11/09 - 10:36 pm
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Lack of busines didn't force

Lack of busines didn't force providers to raise service prices. The letter writer must not have had to book a doctor visit lately. It's very hard to get an appointment at primary care doctors these days. Hundreds of local doctors here, even young ones have closed patient lists. University hospital last week was fully booked. Had to wait a day for emergency bed at Emory. Insurance companies have jacked up deductibles, copays and out of pocket costs to entince policy holders into maybe foregoing treatment. We pay 750 a month for health insurance witha 4000 deductible. I tried to gamble on going to the hospital for treatment till Jan when the deductibles would start anew. I lost the gamble but thankfully submitted before losing my life. Funny though, the insurance company lost too, because their movment to high deductible and copays raised the cost of my treatment from maybe 3 or 4 thousand dollars to considerably well over 100,000.00. They gambled I would either forego treatment or die........I won't do it again. If I pay 12,000 a year for insurance and copays....I'm gonna get my treated right down to toe nail fungus if I get it......

chascush
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chascush 12/12/09 - 12:16 pm
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Health care started really

Health care started really going up when the 3rd party payer system started. It took a few years but that is the main cause. When insurance or government pays a person does not look for the best bargain. That and the BS law suits that cause health care providers to pay huge insurance premiums

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