Archive for health care

Why Is Health Insurance Not Like Every Other Kind of Insurance?

Posted in Health/Fitness with tags , on April 29, 2008 by webzealot

So one of the joys of becoming self-employed is that I now have the privilege of paying for my own health insurance. Health insurance was one of those perks I took for granted all the many years that I worked for others. Now that I’m on my own, I foot the bill for me, my wife, and two kids.

I knew health insurance was expensive. I’m not totally naive. I had heard all the horror stories of how painful those premiums could be. I shopped around, and I think I found the best coverage I could find, at a price I could live with.

I settled on an Health Savings Account (HSA) combined with a high deductible traditional insurance plan. It’s a big check to write every three months, but it is piece of mind.

Earlier this year, I got THE NOTICE. THE NOTICE says I am not being singled out. I have done nothing wrong. I’m a good customer. But, despite this, THE NOTICE tells me my premium is going up nearly $1000 per year. I run 50 miles per week. I eat healthy. My resting pulse is in the 40-somethings. Yeh, I’m healthy, but it’s still going to cost me another grand per year. Last year our total health insurance claims were exactly ZERO dollars.

So, this can only mean one thing. I am helping to pay the healthcare expenses not only for the healthy and fit, such as myself, but I am also paying for 295 pound man I saw at lunch today eating way too much pizza and smoking a cigarette. I am paying for the alcoholic who has destroyed her liver. I am paying for those who were dealt a bad hand in the world of health, and those who have chosen to make bad decisions.

So, now I ask… Why? Why is health insurance not priced like EVERY OTHER kind of insurance in the world? If you have car insurance and you speed and get tickets, you are a higher risk… Rates go up. Slow down and be responsible and you are rewarded. Buy life insurance, and your premium is based entirely on risk and return.

But not health care. If rates continue to go up, with no regard to health, eventually you start to price your most profitable folks OUT of the system. As a healthy person, at what point do I just decide to roll the dice and sit on my money and hope my good health continues. For me personally, that’s not out of the question. Meanwhile, the unhealthy will still be better off paying the premiums, at least for the time being. So where do the insurance companies end up? With a lot of sick and expensive customers.

Seems to me something has got to give, and soon.