FAQs

VARMA, MD: ‘Health Insurance vs Car Insurance … I’m not saying this is perfect, but I hope it stimulates some discussion.’

By Shalini Varma M.D. Psychiatry Board Certified (tel: 224-612-2348)

Shalini Varma M.D. Psychiatry Board Certified --       Shalini Varma MD Vernon Hills, IL and Kenosha, WI Tel: 224-612-2348

Shalini Varma M.D. Psychiatry Board Certified — Shalini Varma MD Vernon Hills, IL and Kenosha, WI Tel: 224-612-2348

APRIL 22, 2015 – People have many types of insurance, car insurance, life insurance, etc.

Let’s compare health insurance to car insurance.  This is a gross oversimplification, so please bear with me.

With car insurance, for maintenance and repairs, people shop around for the best value and convenience for their oil changes and brake jobs.   Some of these repairs are costly, and the maintenance charges add up over time.

When there is an accident of damage greater than a certain amount, then insurance can be utilized.  This may result in coverage, that may then increase future premiums.

If we apply this to healthcare, ideally, people should be able to set aside money tax free in health savings accounts for their appointments, preventative care, labwork etc.

People can shop around for the best value and utilize their health savings account money.

For example, there are labs with transparency in their fees.  Patients know exactly how much their labwork will cost with no trickery or added “facility fees” which can be hefty.

The same applies to medication cost.  Patients can shop around to different pharmacies to find the best prices on their medication as well.

People can then vote with their feet like they do in other aspects of their lives.

If the pharmacy takes too long, the wait in their doctor’s office is unbearable, the staff is snippy, they can find another place to take their hard earned money to.

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Also, much like in car insurance, if the cost is above a certain amount, they can utilize their insurance.  For example, for over a certain amount, they can report to their insurance and utilize the benefits.

Otherwise, right now, there are many people paying large sums of money for insurance with high deductibles.  They may never hit the deductible over a year and they are “forced” to stay in network with physicians they may not otherwise have chosen in a free market system.

I’m not saying this is perfect, but I hope it stimulates some discussion.

The system we have now is broken. Costs all around are too high.  People are paying for health insurance with very little return in the current climate.

We need transparency in pricing, in ALL aspects of medical care.  Not more complexity, codes, and confusion.

Look at the number of car insurance companies vying for your attention.

Cut the bloat.

Categories: FAQs, Insurance, Op/Ed, Physician, Trends

2 replies »

  1. With refrence of your comment on consumers choice on buying the medication after price comparison, will not be possible until the Pharmacy chains allow a healthcare exchange to pull information from their stores to check availability and prices.

  2. Agree with you 100% , the only difference is patient spend more time reading about there car insurance than educating them self on health insurance ,also car insurance !00% out of pocket may be that is the solution to health care make all save as Health saving accounts(Can’t drive without it ,law of the land ) so they become more responsible and know exactly what is covered or not .

    Thx

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