[…] The healthcare providers make recommendations, order tests, perform surgeries… and in general, the patient does what the doctor recommends. And really, isn’t that the way it probably ought to be? Most of us have not been to medical school. When something seems amiss with our health, we need to feel that we can rely on our doctors to tell us the best course of action. Increased cost-sharing tends to increase the number of people who skip healthcare in general – including very necessary care like keeping diabetes and blood pressure under control.
[…] I would add that the advertising tactics Trudy mentions also apply to regular health insurance plans too – not just those related to Medicare. Unfortunately, health insurance advertising can sometimes get a bit murky. If in doubt, always ask for more details or get a second opinion… and as with most things, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (there’s no such thing as comprehensive individual health insurance for $150/month for a family of four with no deductible and all pre-existing conditions covered).
The first of the Baby Boomers turn 65 this year, and health insurance carriers are paying attention. Aetna has agreed to purchase Genworth’s Medicare supplement business for $290 million. Going forward, Aetna expects to post yearly gains from the Medicare supplement (also known as Medigap) business. This makes sense given that the Baby Boomers will be flooding into the Medicare (and Medicare supplement) system over the next two decades. […]
[…] If the government can tell the health insurance carriers that no more than 15 – 20% of premium dollars can be spent on administrative expenses, including profits, why can’t similar guidelines be enacted for the pharmaceutical industry? Perhaps then we wouldn’t need to worry as much about who is going to pay the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. And maybe individual health insurance policies could start covering prescriptions with basic copays again.