Perk Be Gone

Medical insurance was not always like it is today.  Obviously.  It started as a perk that companies used when hiring some employees.  Somehow it just hit that tipping point that it became expected.  Well, those days are probably gone.   The cost is so high (or they are getting set for Obamacare) that companies are now pushing a lot of that expense on the employees.   Three job offers I recently received, when I planned on moving, had insurance plans with an average cost of $7000 out of my pocket and then a $10,000 deductible.    I am not alone.   Only about half of people are getting insurance from their employers and this number continues to drop.   It begs the question about where they (or are they) getting any insurance?  I think that unhooking health insurance to being employed may eventually be a good thing.   The tax breaks need to be given to people who purchase insurance independently as well.   Add to this people shopping across state lines, picking high deductible HSAs and just maybe some prices will come down.

I am not holding my breath.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Perk Be Gone

  1. Dr. Bill Ameen
    June 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Dr. Doug,
    Absolutely agree with big picture doc above. Every problem solves itself just like all bleeding stops. When insurance companies have to pay too much for people’s illnesses and patients and employers can’t afford the premiums, it’s a perfect storm for government takeover of healthcare, which is inevitable. I knew in the 1970s that when insurance started paying for drugs and office visits instead of catastrophic events, the price would go up. Hope I live long enough as a retiree (after next year) to relish this from the sidelines…and I’d better take care of myself, ’cause Medicare is supposed to “run out” in 2016!

  2. Kurt
    May 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Listen, Docs have been telling people what to do for good health for centuries base upon the current thinking of the time. Look at the obesity epidemic. I’m not putting McDonald’s and Krispy Kremes in patients mouths nor am I buying them cigarettes. Give ’em totally free health care and nothing is going to change. If they meet modest goals of weight, lipid and smoking cessation then give ’em a significant break in premium payments. Until we hit ’em in the pocketbook, nothing is going to change. Hell, the insurance providers don’t want to pay for more than one accuchek a day for a type 2 diabetic and refuse to pay for formal diabetic instruction from a certified nurse-educator!!! Dr. Joslin was right.
    They can always go back to blaming the doctor for the lousy health of the nation. I no longer recommend to medical students to go into family practice as we spend more uncompensatable time masturbating keyboards and signing paperwork for a bunch of patients who will never change their habits. In the end, we get blamed for THEIR problems. Oh BTW I’m still expected to do miracles in 15 minutes.

  3. big picture doc
    May 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Ah, the private sector screwing us again. Totally agree that insurance should not be linked to employers. Insurance should only cover big ticket items such as hospitalization, MRIs etc. We should get tax deductions for primary care of our choice. If more folks saw a primary care doc who pushed healthy living [see the fit lady story above] and could get something like acupuncture for pain instead of a cox 2 inhibitor which rots arteries, health care costs would shrink, but do you think our medical societies and big pharma and big insurance are going to stand for that? Of course not! The screw job will go on as long as we let it.

  4. May 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

    All it takes is for Congress/Presidents to stop whoring for the insurance industry. Watch out for flying pigs!

Comments are closed.