I think you might be able to get a no-cost breakfast and maybe even an occasional free dinner, but as the saying goes, lunch is going to cost you, one way or another.
Patients, or voters, depending on your lens, were promised lots of things that looked like a free buffet, but it turns out there is a little price (or two or three) to pay.
Astute minds, or those who are faithful in their use of Quicken, know there is a lot more to a family’s healthcare cost than just their portion of the monthly premium. But after a lot of marketing noise focused almost exclusively on that single monthly premium number, ever more people are waking up to the true cost of rising deductibles, limited pharmacy benefits, and excluded services. And these are just the financial costs.
It turns out that some stuff does roll downhill, and the bottom of the slope slides right into the family budget.
When the portion of the premium paid by the individual goes up faster than wages, as has happened since 2003, and that premium is for a plan with a higher deductible, as is happening regularly now, there will be an impact on how patients think about their consumption of healthcare.
And remember, their consumption is someone’s revenue. Maybe yours.
There are many, many changes that are moving healthcare toward a more traditional consumer industry, but none is more powerful than this one. The more conscious people are about what they pay for something, the more active they are in seeking their own self-interest (and not necessarily yours) in their decisions.