Employees with health care coverage are paying higher insurance and deductibles way more than ever before. A report states that worker’s contributions climbed by 93 % and employer-based plan increased 73% over the past decade, but with little improved benefits. While health care cost increases, growth in income is sluggish with only 16% growth. Families are thus forced to pay more for medical bills as a share of their income.

Health-Insurance-Companies1

Current Administration’s Efforts

Obama’s healthcare reform law helped ram down cost by penalizing hospitals from excessive pricing of patients covered by Medicare, and by setting the percentage of premiums insurers should pay to cover health services or consumer rebates.

Despite the coincidental slowdown in cost during 2010, the price of employer-based insurance continues to rise faster than wages. The reform also contained factors that driven the inflation for employer-based health insurance plans. This includes the rule allowing adults below the age of 26 to be covered by their parent’s plans, and requiring plans to cover costs for birth control without asking any co-payment.

With the inevitable fact of rising premium cost, how can insurance companies help their costumers?

Incentives for Insurers!

Imagine how can a rise from $3,481 per year to $5,571 per year do to median earning families? This would mean money allotted for basic needs like food, clothing and rent would be slashed off to pay for medical expenses. Despite governments efforts in turning things around, another group can make a difference – the insurance companies themselves.

The health insurance industry can greatly help insurers by thinking of ways to help them lower their medical expenses. A new health insurance company has initiated a program that gives its customers a tracking fitness device free of charge. They will have to use the device to have a record of how many runs and walks they’ve done in a month. If they reach a certain number, they will get a dollar a day or a $20 maximum! The company is actually encouraging their customers to stay healthy and avoid illnesses to lessen medical bills. Certain chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are aimed to be reduced through this initiative.

Although the good results of such incentives may be seen in the long run, but it is a good start. If only huge insurance companies would do the same thing, people would not have to be burdened by rising health care cost.

 

References:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102248626

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2014/Dec/National-Trends-Employer-Coverage