Health insurers plan 10% rise in rates

The state’s major health insurers plan to raise premiums by about 10 percent next year, prompting many employers to reduce benefits and shift additional costs to workers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health plan with 2.5 million members, predicted that its average premium rates will rise 10 to 11 percent before any employer “buydowns’’ – changes in coverage that push some of the added costs to employees. But for self-employed individuals and small businesses, which are pooled in the same market segment, premium rates could rise even more. “State health care reform has had some unexpected results,’’ suggested Tim O’Brien, senior vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s headquarters in Boston. “The actual costs have been much higher than what were anticipated when health care reform went into effect in 2007.’’

When the cost of healthcare is directly dependent on the frequency of disease and volume, a few things will happen. Costs will mimic:

  • the regular rate of increasing disease
  • the rate of new diseases that can be invented
  • the rate of new therapies that can be invented to treat either invented diseases or old diseases
  • the rate of new tests that can be invented to treat new or old diseases
  • the maximum volume of patients a doctor can see in a given year (increasing every year)

Yes, we invent disease, we invent new therapies to treat invented disease…and then we mandate that all people should be forced to pay into this system that’s fundamentally designed to increase costs as much as possible.

What is the cost to you, as an individual, in this system that makes as much money as it can off doing as much to your body as we can?

This is a fight for justice– I want a healthcare industry that’s fair and reasonable. When we enter the healthcare system, we are diametrically opposed to the goals of our healthcare system. My goal is to be healthy. Their goal is to profit off my sickness. That is not fair, nor is it reasonable.

100,000 people a year die of a disease called medical errors. How many of them were on a cocktail of medications they didn’t need to be on? How many of them died from complications of a surgery they didn’t actually need, but made the surgeon an extra $3,000? And how many of them, through the process of dying from complications in an ICU, generated $200,000 in extra revenue to the hospital that did the unnecessary surgery?

Are we not smart enough to create a better system? Do we not care enough? What do we, as a country, care about? What do we, as doctors, care about? Maximizing our revenue at the expense of health? Or improving the health of our nation? Can we not see beyond ourselves into the eyes of those 100,000? Should we apologize to them? Or simply treat them as collateral damage in each physician’s own pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness?

No matter what happens with this reform, in just a few years, we’ll be back at the table discussing how individuals and businesses can’t afford the mandated health insurance. And they won’t be able to control costs, because the business model of healthcare in America is diametrically opposed to your health and your wallet.

Health insurers plan 10% rise in rates