Concierge Medicine and Catastrophic Insurance are a better alternative to Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 16th, 2013

Week in Review

The Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) is supposed to make health insurance affordable.  But what it does is force people to buy insurance policies to cover everything under the sun.  Including things they don’t want.  And things they will never use (elderly people will have to buy pediatric care for children they don’t have and never will have at this point in their life).  Which raises the cost of health insurance.  By making health insurance not insurance.

Insurance is not supposed to provide free stuff.  It is to protect your financial assets from a catastrophic loss.  Shippers buy insurance for cargo on ocean-crossing ships.  Not to get something for free.  But in case the ship sinks.  For if it does the insurance will pay for the cargo that goes down with the ship.  This is insurance.  And this is NOT what health insurance is today.  Which is why health insurance is so expensive (see Is Obamacare Driving Doctors to Refuse Insurance? by Jen Wieczner, Market Watch, posted 11/12/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

Of the estimated 5,500 concierge practices nationwide, about two-thirds charge less than $135 a month on average, up from 49% three years ago, according to Concierge Medicine Today, a trade publication that also runs a research collective for the industry. Inexpensive practices are driving growth in concierge medicine, which is adding offices at a rate of about 25% a year, says the American Academy of Private Physicians.

Unlike high-end concierge practices, which typically bill insurers for medical services on top of collecting retainer fees, the lower-end outfits usually don’t accept insurance. Instead, they charge patients directly for treatment along with membership, often posting menu-style prices for services and requiring payment up front, which is why it is called “direct primary care.” Eliminating insurance billing cuts 40% of the practices’ overhead expenses, enabling them to keep fees low, doctors say.

If you want to know why health insurance is so expensive this is why.  It covers too much stuff.  And requires layers of bureaucracies that raise costs further.

Concierge medicine could also be called classical medicine.  The way it used to be.  When people paid for regular expected expenses out of pocket.  Just like they paid for their housing.  Their food.  Their clothing.  And anything else they could reasonably expect they would need in life.  Concierge medicine is the direction the American health care system should be moving in.  Not Obamacare.  For Obamacare takes the problem that made health insurance unaffordable in the first place.  And makes it even more unaffordable.


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