We recognize that our current health care system is in need of some significant changes and we are pioneering that change by providing a higher-standard of patient care. However, we also recognize that health insurance, like car, home, and life insurance is one of those necessary facts of life. However until we as consumers change the way we manage our health care, things are not likely to change and probably will get worse.
Change starts with all of us; patients, providers, insurance companies, employers, and our government. One of the worst things we can do is further release our control of our own health care to massive, faceless bureaucracies who really do not care about our own health care.
Here are some simple things you can do to ensure you have the best possible health care throughout your life:
- Contact your state and federal congressmen and senators and tell them that you prefer a free-market health care.
- Start thinking of health care insurance the same way you do your auto insurance. After all, you don't file a claim every time you change your oil or get new tires. Imagine what your auto insurance premiums wold be if you filed a claim for basic maintenance? Yet, you make sure your car is maintained because you don't want it to break down in the middle of nowhere. Why not do as much for your own body?
- Abandon traditional insurance and purchase a catastrophic only policy. You will pay out-of-pocket for your basic health care, but still be covered when you really need it. A quick internet search for catastrophic health insurance will reveal many choices, and are often less expensive than what you are paying now for traditional health care not including your employer's contribution. If you are a member of an organization like AAA, NRA, ACM, IEEE, and many others, you will find that these organizations offer catastrophic health plans and even traditional health plans through companies you already know for s substantial discount.
- Purchase a Health Savings Account. Many catastrophic health insurance plans also include Health or Medical Savings Accounts. These accounts let you save money for your health care and earn intrest and have significant tax benefits. HSA/MSA is an excellent way to put away money for your basic health care and to cover your deductible. HSA/MSA is superior to traditional Flex plans in that you do not have to worry about using all of your contribution in a year or losing the surplus. What you do not use, simply rolls over to the next year and continues to accru interest.
- If you are an employer, consider offering your employees a catastrophic-only benefit package with a HSA/MSA. You will find that it will cost you and your employees considerably less, and the HSA/MSA is much easier to work with than a Flex plan. This approach allows many small businesses to offer health insurance for their employees where it would be otherwise not affordable.
- Finally, be a smart consumer. Don't be afraid to ask how much your health care really costs and what you get for your health care dollar. If you don't get satisfactory answers to your questions, keep looking. If you are an employer, benefits manager, or covered employee, do not be afraid to demand a full accounting when your health care premiums skyrocket from one year to the next, and don't be afraid to abandon tradition. You will get better health care for a lot less money and help to improve the health care for everyone.
There are some excellent resources online that describe how the free-market can ensure that everyone has the best possible health care. To learn more, visit The Cato Institute. There you will find articles and links to additional resources.