What Are We Paying For, Anyway?

Day 354, 169-185

Dr. Sunshine

12/22/20232 min read

Ahh, this is my favorite time of year. The snow, the hot cocoa, the Christmas decorations, the 11th hour battle between a health insurer and a major player of the health care system. Wait, what?! Yes, there always seems to be some threat of an insurer dropping a provider, or vice versa, "out of network", out of pocket, blah blah blah, at the end of the year, potentially leaving thousands of individuals in the lurch and without much "choice" in who they get their care from. I have had my issues with insurers in the past, so I will leave my biases at the door and instead focus on us, the people. The concept of insurance is to protect us from financial disaster. Ideally, we buy insurance and never have to use it. That would mean we don't experience badness, and the insurance companies get rich; everybody wins! Think about insuring your life or your car. I'm sure glad I have insurance on both those things, but I sure don't ever want to make a claim on either of them! So how did health insurance become such a convoluted mess? Should it really be this thing that people access annually, monthly, or sometimes even daily? Even the supposed disaster protection high deductible policies have sky high premiums. And what do we actually get for our money? More headaches trying to navigate in-network vs out of network and how much a given visit is going to end up actually costing. It is time for us to take charge of our own health. We need to individually calculate the time-value of our money and the money-value of our time. Explore direct care practices for primary care and consider joining a health share instead of paying hefty insurance premiums for a "catastrophic" insurance plan. Most of all, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves. It can be done, and frankly we may have no alternative as the system becomes too bloated and inefficient to effectively take care of us. To get started, enjoy my blood pressure lowering cute animal pictures. Please talk to your doctor before replacing your blood pressure medicine with cute animal pictures.