Monday, April 23, 2012

More on health costs

In a recent study (because we needed another study), it was shown that 26% had a gap in their health insurance coverage in 2011. Why did they have gaps? Job loss or change was a big reason. And the majority had no insurance for more than two years.  The reasons for not getting new insurance included high cost of insurance, denial of coverage, and exclusion of coverage for a pre-existing condition.

Then another article, the same one I blogged on yesterday, spoke about cancer costs and why they are so high: Chemotherapy is expensive. New advances have allowed it to be delivered in a pill form. But then insurance covers a much smaller portion.

Another significant reason is health care is more expensive in the US than anywhere else in the world. Much of the medical research happens here which means the US patient is paying for the research that benefits the rest of the world. Is there fairness here? I don't think so. '... medical care providers and drug companies have the upper hand when it comes to price negotiation. The customer/patient is, by definition, in a tight spot.'

Cancer patients bear the brunt of the costs of care.  Even those with insurance average $712 per month in out-of-pocket medical expenses. 'The rates of personal bankruptcy are two to six times higher for cancer patients and survivors.
This expense, whether borne by patients, in the form of copays and insurance premiums, or by the public in the form of taxes, takes a toll. One of the hidden costs is apathy.'

Hmmm.... maybe there is room for some change here.

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