There's so much discussion these days about the problems in the health care industry. Medical insurance (which, btw, my family purchases on our own) can be expensive depending upon the type of coverage you want to have, especially if you have children or medical issues.
Many individuals say they can't afford to purchase medical insurance. Others decide, for various reasons such as age and health, that they don't need such insurance. Still others find it's better for them to just pay for their care at the time they need it, rather than purchase an insurance policy.
But many have decided that the only way to 'solve' the problem of uninsured or 'under-insured' individuals is for the government to take control of the issue. I'm not one of them.
Here's what I don't understand. We purchase homeowner's or renter's insurance on the open market. There are numerous types of policies, multiple carriers and a host of agents willing to write such a policy.
We purchase car insurance on the open market. There are so many options when it comes to car insurance that some companies advertise that they'll do the comparisons for you to help make it easy to decide. You can decide what level of insurance you need, whether or not you need collision coverage for your vehicle (based upon the age and condition of the car) and what your deductible will be.
We purchase life insurance on the open market. We can get as much or as little as we want, whole life or universal life, from companies across the United States.
Why can't medical insurance work the same way?
With car insurance, the competition and various levels of coverage have resulted in an increase in options with lower costs for consumers. Would the same be possible if health insurance were available in the same manner?
We don't let our employers decide our life insurance, our home insurance or our car insurance - why do we so willingly allow them to decide about our health insurance?
I know the answers to these questions, so they're not exactly rhetorical. Congress granted tax deductions to employers for providing the insurance in an effort to increase coverage. That's why employers offer it as a 'benefit.' Plus, with the current structure, it's more cost effective - in some ways - to be part of a larger group, where you can aggregate risk. Medical insurance is also more highly regulated with Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements, etc. So it seems that part of the reasons we have problems in this area is because of the meddling by our Congress, yet some think they can meddle some more to make it right.
If we're really looking for a 'solution' to increase availability of affordable health insurance and, therefore, enable more Americans to purchase such coverage, wouldn't we all be better served by looking at how other types of insurance actually accomplish this goal????
Or are we so stupid that we will, instead, look to government and elected officials who've never worked a day in the insurance industry for a supposed 'solution'?
It is, after all, our decision to make.