Look up synonyms for the word predatory and you will see that you could replace predatory with the word greedy, voracious, or destructive. The title of this blog re-stated could be: Is the healthcare system destructive?
When 530,000 families per year, who actually have health insurance, are filing for bankruptcy because they can’t afford their medical bills, well, I would say that is destructive, voracious and predatory.
Lives are being destroyed by the greed of the elite who are manipulating our healthcare system for their own personal gain – otherwise known as profiteering.
The Healthcare System Itself is Predatory
Before I go any further let me clearly define the word “system.”
A system is a “set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.” Synonyms for the word system include: organization, scheme, and arrangement.
Now I’m taking the time to delineate between the system itself and the medical professionals who are working in the system. Having been raised by an RN and a PA and having seen firsthand the dedication of my parents caring for and healing complete strangers over a 40-year span, I know that the people on the front lines who are providing care do it because they love people and want to make a difference in the world.
So, if the professionals in the medical community are good hearted in nature, then how did the system end up so bad?
There are a slew of reasons with incompetence, greed and corruption all being at the top of the list. Revolt Healthcare Alliance does a good job of showing how the system has been disastrously designed and repeatedly rigged politically over the last 78 years.
Is the Healthcare System A Cartel?
Most people associate the word cartel with criminal activity being conducted by drug kingpins down in South America. Typically the word “cartel” would not be used to categorize an entire industry in a “free society” such as the United States of America. But let share some information with you and let you decide if the healthcare system is being operated like a cartel.
A cartel is “a group of independent market participants who collude with each other in order to improve their profits and dominate the market. Cartels are usually associations in the same sphere of business, and thus an alliance of rivals. Most jurisdictions consider it anti-competitive behavior. Cartel behavior includes price fixing, bid rigging, and reductions in output.” – Wikipedia “Cartel”
If you look at how the healthcare system is organized and run you should be able to draw the parallels.
The group of independent participants in the healthcare system are the government, the hospitals and the private payers, or insurance companies. The latter two employ special interest groups to lobby the government to pass laws that favor them.
In terms of price fixing, well, here’s an excerpt from a CBS News article, “Did landmark laws from Congress enable high drug prices?”:
“In the last 13 years, Congress passed major legislation that expanded taxpayer-financed coverage for prescription drugs but lacked explicit mechanisms for dealing with costs, instead relying mainly on market forces. Lawmakers look like unwitting enablers in the eyes of some experts. Congress “inadvertently created a situation where price increases are much more rapid,” said economist Paul Ginsburg, a Medicare expert who directs the Brookings Institution health policy center.” The article goes on to state, “Passed in 2003 under President George W. Bush, Medicare’s “Part D” prescription benefit provided drug coverage to seniors. Medicare was forbidden to negotiate prices.”
Some people might say, that is just one instance and not real proof of a repeated price fixing strategy. Well, the same article goes on to point out that:
“Enacted in 2010 under President Barack Obama, the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, expanded coverage for the uninsured. It made prescription drugs an essential benefit, and barred dollar limits on insurance coverage. The drug industry supported the legislation and, according to documents released by House Republicans, got a White House commitment not to seek Medicare rebates opposed by drug makers. The administration helped defeat an attempt to let patients import lower-cost drugs from abroad.”
So, on top of the fixed pricing Obama put a reduction on supply…which is another cartel behavior.
I want to point out that it does not matter which political party is in power either. I just provided both a republican and democrat example of how the system is rigged against you.
Most people are quick to dismiss cases like these. They assume that no one in their right mind would pay those outrageous bills and that those bills would eventually be adjusted and corrected. Well, in the case of the $1.3M flu bill you would be correct. The price for the patient’s treatment was lowered to the bargain rate of $42,184.20.
What If The System Is Rigged?
Shouldn’t we do something about it? And when I say we, I mean you and me.
But what can we actually do about it?
The answer is simple, take back control by leveraging your power as a consumer.
1. When Purchasing Health Insurance First Shop Types of Plans
The first thing you can do is shop the different types of health insurance plans. When I say plans, I don’t mean shop the difference between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna or United Healthcare. For the most part those plans are all the same.
With these major medical plans, you get some basic “free” stuff like your annual physical or immunizations. But after that, with most plans being high deductible plans, you must spend on average $4,604 (for single coverage silver plans) before you can even use your benefits.
Let’s take me as an example. If I had bought an ACA major medical plan on the exchange my premium would be $621/ month with a $4,604 deductible. That means I would have to spend $12,056 in premiums plus the deductible, before my insurance would even begin working.
That is absolute insanity. I don’t throw money away, nor do I give it to people who haven’t earned it, unless it’s charitable giving. Instead, I shopped a different type of plan.
I’m 47 years old and only pay $328 per month for my health indemnity plan. On top of that, I don’t ever have to pay a deductible, unless I actually have to stay overnight in the hospital. I also don’t have any co-pays. And last but not least, sometimes my insurance plan sends me money back when I shop smart for the healthcare services I need.
What Plans Should I Shop?
The plans you should be shopping are major medical, health indemnity, and short-term medical plans.
My professional advice is to stay away from shared health plans altogether. They are not real insurance plans and are not even regulated by state departments of insurance. Some of these shared plans have actually been ordered to stop operations.
If you don’t know the difference between the types of plans, you would do well to schedule a free consultation with a professional health insurance agent at the Revolt Healthcare Alliance to see which plan is best for you.
Most people don’t know this, but when you do find a better and more affordable plan, you can immediately cancel your ACA plan and replace it with the health indemnity plan Revolt Healthcare Alliance has available for purchase all year round.
2. Second You Can Shop Procedures
The second thing you can do is shop procedures. Shopping for medical services and procedures is not as easy as shopping for a television or a car. In retail shopping, for the most part, prices are listed and it’s easy for you to compare. As you know, not so with healthcare. You have to know what questions to ask, who to ask and where to go to find something as basic as a price.
Statistics show that people spend 4 hours shopping for a TV, 11 hours shopping for a car, but only 18 minutes shopping for their health insurance.
Why is that? The average annual health insurance premium for a family of four is $17,244 in annual premium cost plus $7,767 in deductible expenses which is basically like buying a new car every year.
The two main reasons people don’t spend time shopping for health insurance benefits is because they are overwhelmed and confused or because they are conditioned to believe they don’t have a choice.
People are conditioned to believe that the better solutions out there waiting for them are just “too good to be true.”
They’re not. Start shopping for your healthcare and if you get overwhelmed or need help, find a good agent that will do the shopping for you. At the Revolt Healthcare Alliance when you buy a health indemnity plan you also get an agent that will provide concierges services (will add as soon as it’s launched) for you.
To wrap this up, I’m grounded in my personal belief that the healthcare system is predatory and that it operates in cartel fashion. You will not be able to convince me otherwise.
Some of you have chosen your various careers based on your talents, your financial goals or just so you could do what you love. For me I’m passionate about standing up for what is right. I’m passionate about freedom, freedom of choice and the principles of a free market. I’m passionate about educating and helping people, which is what I do at the Revolt Healthcare Alliance.
The Revolt Healthcare Alliance is more than a company. We are a movement made up of health insurance customers like you, health insurance agents, health and life insurance agencies, financial advisors and medical professionals, who are all likeminded and working together to improve the current healthcare system.
If you’ve been preyed on and are a victim of the healthcare system or if you don’t like anything at all about your current healthcare coverage, then consider joining us in the Revolt Healthcare Alliance.