The recent healthcare legislation debate brought national attention to what has become an epidemic problem in American society. Healthcare costs have soared by 12% every year over the last five years. That’s a cost increase rate of over four times the average inflation rate, which is a harbinger of another catastrophic shift at some point down the road. The “dot com,” real estate, and investment banking “bubbles” followed similar trajectories during their periods of runaway growth, right before each of those markets imploded. The problem is that unlike those other markets, the only people cashing in on the excessive growth are the insurance companies and medical management organizations. Employees and employers are footing the bill, and doctors and nurses aren’t seeing any of the benefits of the unfathomable revenue flowing through the medical industry.
An unfortunate unintended consequence of the recent healthcare legislation is that many corporations have realized that it is far less expensive to pay the government fine for dropping employee healthcare plans than it is to offer healthcare itself, so they’re saving significant sums of money by no longer offering medical coverage for their workforce. This shifts the healthcare cost burden directly to the employee.
If you’re in this unfortunate situation, it pays to perform a thorough private medical insurance comparison. The insurance industry is incredibly skilled at creating excessively complicated policy schemes designed to minimize the amount of money they pay if you begin to accumulate expenses. It’s a hassle, but you really need to have a knowledgeable insurance policy lawyer look over your policy application as well. The applications are designed to be so complex that you’ll invariably make a mistake on the application. Later, when you need your insurance company to pay for a serious illness, the company will use your improperly filled-out application as grounds to terminate your coverage. Horrible as it sounds, it’s common practice in the crooked insurance industry.
One last consideration: if you vacation frequently, be sure you know whether you’re covered for medical expenses before you head out to those luxury European holiday villas. If you don’t do this research, you might owe all of your overseas medical bill!