Health Insurers and Employers look to HSA's and CDHC as alternative to Conventional Health Plans. Stress Coming for employees?
> 11/13/2005 8:02:07 PM

Alphabet soup stress is the least of what we will all be facing as the industrial complex struggles to reign in health care costs that they no longer want to pay for. The most recent corporate complainers are GM and Starbucks who state that health care costs are drastically curtailing their profits. This list of disgruntled companies will only grow and the future of emloyee health insurance is in play.

The new buzz words for everyone to learn are HSA's (Health Savings Accounts), CDHC (Consumer Directed Health Care), and HDHP (High Deductible Health Plans). You will hear these terms ad nauseam over the next few years. It is estimated by 2008 that 50% of all insured lives will be through a HSA's.

The idea is to place the consumer in the driver seat regarding all health care decisions. You (the consumer) will decide who to see for your health care, negotiate fees for services and prices for drugs you take and generally make informed choices with tools that inform you about the quality of physicians, hospitals and other health services you choose. In other words like any other consumer decision you would ordinarily make, like buying an HDTV or a car etc.

Sound interesting to you, well like it or not it is coming to all who are insured through their employer.

The general consensus is that the Health Care system in the U.S. is broken and spiralling out of control. Tough decisions need to be made to fix it or our economic health as a nation will be jeopardized.

We agree that placing the consumer in charge of their own health care is very appealing but much work will need to be done to develop tools of consumer empowerment to enable smart decision making, not to mention the sea change that health care providers will need to make to adapt to these new realities. We also have been a big fan of HSA's because they functionally put your health care dollars to work and encourage preventative care by rewarding good health with a tangible economic reward.

Everyone needs to get up to speed on these concepts because their implementation are extremely complicated and require a complete paradigm shift in how one looks at funding your health care. There will be large potential rewards for becoming empowered in this arena. We will post more on these subjects going forward.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us on this very important subject.

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