Monday, November 29, 2004

Healthcare Solutions

Want affordable healthcare? Do you want to control the rate of healthcare increasing costs? Here's how.
When insurance kicks in, it is in the form of a personal medical fund, similar to the health savings account model that was part of the 2003 Medicare/prescription drug act. Unused amounts can be rolled over into the next year, and employees who leave the company will have access to remaining balances. This encourages employees to treat the money as if it is their own -- which it is -- and to keep cost in mind while making health care decisions. Experts of all ilks agree that one reason health care costs keep rising so rapidly is that consumers have gotten into the habit of making decisions with no regard at all for cost. The Destiny plan encourages them to break that habit.

The third and perhaps most interesting feature of the Destiny plan is its wellness programs, designed to encourage healthier lifestyles. Employees' insurance premiums are cut if they abstain from smoking, exercise regularly, hold down their weight and seek preventive care such as Pap smears or prostate exams. For achieving such goals, they earn "vitality points," which can be redeemed for health club memberships and travel discounts.

Read the whole thing to get the full plan. This is the answer folks, putting the cost:benefit ratio back in the minds of the consumer. I would love to see this reward system for healthy behavior. I know, it's rewarding appropriate behavior...but it would be nice to get a break on those gym fees. ;) And in the long run, the folks eating right and excercising is saving the system tons and tons of money. If it convinced only 1% of the couch potatoes to eat better and walk more, the cost benefits to the healthcare system would be well worth it.