Nearly 50 million U.S. citizens are without health insurance coverage according to a report by the Kaiser Foundation, an organization that tracks health care expenditures. Adding insult to injury, the common annual cost for family health insurance coverage policy in the U.S. is about $11,000. And how much does the common family spend on health care and services each year? About $13,000, says the Kaiser Base.
Over the past decade, the health plan group has advanced comprehensive policy solutions to the access, top quality, and price problems that face the U.S. health care program. Proposals to achieve universal coverage (2006) were followed by detailed recommendations to improve individual safety and high quality of proper care (2007), and enhance system-wide cost-containment and affordability (2008).
On March 23, 2010, the President signed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law contains a broad array of insurance plan market changes, such as guaranteed issue, group rating, and prohibiting pre-existing condition exclusions. These changes are intended to work in tandem with new insurance plan markets, subsidies, and the individual coverage requirements to expand health insurance plan coverage. The ACA also includes a number of targeted changes aimed at improving high quality of proper care and reducing expenses, but health policy experts across the ideological and political spectrum agree that more must be done to lessen the cost and assure a sustainable health care program.
- Patient Centered Medical Homes – Studies have found evidence of price benefits and top quality improvements as a result of the medical home program design.
- Accountable Care Organizations (ACOS) – The accountable care organization design was developed with the goal of incentivizing doctors, hospitals and other medical service suppliers to deliver efficient and appropriate care leading to the lowering of expenses while achieving an improvement in individual outcomes.
- Global Payments – Several recent publications have evaluated the international transaction design with recent analyses focused on ACO delivery models paired with an international transaction structure.
- Bundled Payments – The included transaction design provides the opportunity for benefits through encouragement of suppliers to improve efficiency and slow up the variation in expenses of services that currently exists.
The government is doing everything they can to make health care costs as affordable as they can. Time will tell if the methods they are implementing are effective. For the consumer’s end, what we can do is to have an informed and well planned decision when it comes to health care costs.