Health care reform has been implemented in phases beginning in 2010, but major reforms are still to come in 2014. Are you ready for the changes? Here are four important key points that could possibly help our healthcare system.
Tax Fairness. Americans who choose to buy their own health insurance coverage usually end up paying unfair tax penalties. If the law would level out the playing field when it comes to paying taxes, it would make a huge difference to individuals who purchase insurance coverage.
Allowing Insurance Companies To Sell Across State Lines. Aside from the federal mandates on health care coverage, states also have their own health insurance mandates that are accompanied by increases in insurance premiums. Ending state insurance monopolies and allowing people to get coverage across state lines could result in more affordable premiums because the plans would cover fewer services.
Promoting Health Savings Accounts. Consumer-directed health plans such as Health Savings Accounts are said to make consumers pro-active when it comes to their own healthcare because they have to pay for non-preventive services every year until they have met their plan’s deductible. This works when patients have time to plan for treatment, but no one shops for lower healthcare prices in an emergency. Making pricing transparent would go a long way toward lowering healthcare costs by enabling patients to find reasonably priced healthcare.
Tort Reform And Ending Frivolous Lawsuits. Are you aware that approximately $50 billion is wasted every year on “defensive” medicine? What’s even worse is that the expensive medical malpractice insurance costs are passed on to patients. We need a system to regulate malpractice that checks it before it causes suffering, rather than chasing after it in the expensive legal system.
These are problems that we have faced for decades. If we want to fix the healthcare crisis faced by Americans, we need to look toward new solutions rather than put patches on the systems that led to the problems.
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.