The Wall Street Journal article in their August 26, 2016 edition highlights the growing problem of the MIDDLE INCOME families and individuals to be able to AFFORD and USE healthcare services. These are some highlights in the article:
By 2014, middle-income households’ health-care spending was 25% higher than what they were spending before the recession that began in 2007, even as spending fell for other “basic needs” such as food, housing, clothing and transportation, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by Brookings senior fellow Diane Schanzenbach. These households cut back sharply on more discretionary categories like dining out and clothing.
Workers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain of rising health-care costs. Employers still typically pay roughly 80% of individual health-insurance premiums, a share that has held fairly steady in the past five years, thanks in part to changing plan designs that shift more costs to workers, said Beth Umland, director of research on health and benefits at Mercer US Inc.
For many of the 55% of Americans under 65 covered through an employer, plans are getting stingier.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a health-care research nonprofit, found deductibles for individual workers have soared in the past five years, rising 67% since 2010 without adjusting for inflation, roughly seven times earnings growth over the same period. A separate Kaiser analysis of tens of millions of insurance claims found patient cost-sharing rose by 77% between 2004 and 2014, driven by a 256% jump in deductible payments. “The growth in deductibles for workers shows no sign of slowing,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the foundation. “What consumers have been paying has been going up much faster than wages. Even people who are insured are having problems paying medical bills.”
Middle Income families and individuals are the heart and soul of all healthcare providers and if they are not able or willing to use the services the game is over and we will have a socialized system that not benefit anyone. It is critical that costs be contained and that ALL patients know the COST OF PROCEDURES AND SERVICES BEFORE they are performed and the financing be arranged in advanced. This is what Enablemyhealth® is focused on and is one way to solve this growing and significant issue.