The Healthcare Cost Dilemma: What Health Insurance Companies Can Do to Mitigate Unsustainable Premium Increases

The Healthcare Cost Dilemma: What Health Insurance Companies Can Do to Mitigate Unsustainable Premium Increases

Russ Danstrom (Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, USA) and Jeff Nicola (Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-243-5.ch006
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Abstract

The current state of the healthcare industry is one of flux and change. Countless articles and books have been written about the topic, and most suggest either putting control of healthcare into the hands of the consumer — much like we did with retirement planning — or government-based care rationing to a much greater degree than we already do today. So many factors have contributed to the rising costs of healthcare that one can barely grasp the grave realities of what the future holds. Projections of healthcare cost inflation have revealed future increases from 12% to 15% year-over-year into the foreseeable future. While quite disturbing, is this really surprising? Is there any other industry where purchase criteria does not include price? Can you imagine going to the grocery store, filling your cart, taking your groceries home and then getting the bill a few weeks later? Would you shop differently if you did not know the price? Who would buy the generic store brand, the larger size package, or wait for a sale? Nothing would ever go on sale. It would be difficult to make value decisions when benefits are known but not the price.

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