Published November 15th, 2016 by Stephanie
As our insurance premiums and health care bills are set to rise again over the coming year, an old question is coming up more and more often: why? What exactly is driving this time-after-time increase in health care costs? Is it the insurance providers? The hospitals? The pharmaceutical companies? Well, as it turns out, the answer is essentially “all of the above.”
1. Hospital Bills
Statewide and nationwide surveys of hospitals have shown that their pricing scheme is, in many cases, completely arbitrary. A procedure that costs $8,000 could cost four times as much at a hospital the next town over, a hospital which doesn’t have a noticeably better staff or facilities. One category, academic medical centers (which help teach young doctors), regularly costs more than community hospitals, but they also regularly see more referrals even for routine cases that don’t require the sort of top-of-their-field experts you find at teaching hospitals.
2. Anemic Primary Care
ACA health plans are supposed to ensure that primary care and preventive care visits with your doctor are either very cheap or completely covered, but people are still landing in the emergency ward with conditions that a physician could have treated earlier, either saving the patient the cost of a hospital visit or at least reducing the amount of pain and anguish the patient would have to live through.
3. Medication Costs
Of the total annual increase in health care costs this past year, a third of the total came specifically because of pharmaceutical price increases. Throughout the past several years, the price of medication has consistently gone up across the board, and while a part of this has been the high price of new drugs, another reason has been the slow but steady increase in prices for existing drugs, increases that appear to have no reason behind them aside from the fact that people have to pay for them either way.
That last reason for health care costs is especially troubling, but until your state and national politicians do something about it, you can at least avoid paying full price by relying on your health insurance copays and by using a pharmacy discount card like the one we offer here at USA Rx. Our card can get you up to 75 percent discounts on name-brand and generic medications, and all we need from you is a name and an email address where we can send a copy of your card. To learn more about this or our employer partnership program, you can call us at 888-277-3911 or email us at [email protected]