Review: "Do You Speak Health Insurance? It's Not Easy" – NPR
December 29, 2015
This article by Mark Zdechlik was published today from NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, and Kaiser Health News. After reading it this morning, it threw off my entire day.
I wasn't nonplussed that all the people they interviewed were stymied about how the current insurance system works. I wasn't surprised that "only 1 in 5 got the right answer" in regards to this research quiz that required people to know the difference between co-pay, deductible, and coinsurance:
"A guy goes to the doctor to get a wart removed. The bill is $530. He has a copay of $30, a deductible of $100 and coinsurance of 20 percent. How much is he on the hook for?"
(The correct answer is $210.)
What made me furious was that not even the spokesperson for American's Health Insurance Plans, Clare Krusing, could calculate the correct answer to the quiz. She states, "'I totally understand why this is confusing and can be challenging,' she says. But the low $100 deductible was the biggest stumbling block for her. 'I just don't know of anyone that would have a $100 deductible to be totally honest with you.'" She even "wishes she had a calculator in front of her."
So not only does the spokesperson for health insurance plans not know how to calculate costs but she knows insurances charge unreasonable prices. And if she can't figure out how to add, how can us non-insurance people figure it out?
One of the people interviewed, David Turgeon, says it best: "It just seems like a lot of the buzzwords are intended to just complicate the whole thing and make it more expensive."
I don't believe Ms. Krusing when she states that insurance companies are trying to make things clearer. In fact, they are doing the opposite: exploitation through obfuscation.
P.S.Y.C.H. makes health care straightforward and transparent. You'll know pricing. You'll know diagnoses. There's no third party payor to intentionally confuse millions of Americans and take your money.