I felt like my insurance company wanted me out of healthcare when I received my new premium information for 2016. I paid over $1,600 a month for my wife and me to have medical insurance in 2015. Last fall I learned my current policy would increase to over $1,950 per month.
I had the option to change policies, which would have lowered my premium to $1,500 a month. The change would also have significantly reduced my coverage. In the process I learned that just going to the emergency room would be an automatic $500 charge on my current policy and any other policy that I would change to. I chose to stick with my current policy and in 2016 my medical insurance will be $23,600. That's a lot of money.
I can see what is coming this fall of 2016. I will receive my letter telling me that my current insurance will probably be increased to $2,300 to $2,500 per month. I can't pay that kind of premium and will be forced into a plan that will cost $1,600 to $1,800 per month and will pay less on medical expenses. The name of the game is the insurance company assuming less liability. They want you to buy the insurance and then pay as much of your medical expense as possible.
I hear too many reports of people opting out of surgeries because they can't afford to pay the deductible and the copay. Many Americans who still cannot afford to buy health insurance are now being penalized. Some are opting to pay the penalty instead of buying the insurance.
We have to simplify our current American health insurance fiasco.
Keep poor Americans on Medicaid. Allow all Americans with preexisting conditions to be on Medicaid. If they make over $40,000 then they should buy into Medicare. Lower income people should pay less than those with higher wages.
Make medical insurance competitive over state lines. Allow citizens to shop across the country for the best insurance deals. Encourage insurance companies to advertise across the country. Give people a choice. Also, open the door to Canada's pharmacies. An approved list of pharmacies that Americans can do business with would give us another option.
Finally, we have to slow down government's involvement in our medical care. The job of the government is to keep us safe and provide an environment where we can conduct business and live our lives. The government is being bilked by billions of dollars by healthcare providers each year. Each year our national debt grows. This means our grandchildren will be paying our medical bills. Involving the government more and more into the health care industry only means a larger national debt and Uncle Sam telling you and your doctor how long you are allowed to stay in the hospital after an appendectomy.
America is in a healthcare crisis that is spiraling out of control. We must elect leadership with a real business plan or we are going to be out of the healthcare business.
Glenn Mollette is an syndicated columnist and author of 11 books and read in all 50 states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.