Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Own Medicine

It seems that the ultimate test of any advice giver is the willingness to take his own. I am happy to announce that I am, however carefully, following my advice and venturing out to purchase health insurance for myself and my family on my own. I have opined on the need for healthcare consumers to take more responsibility for the cost of their healthcare expenditures, not for only for cost-cutting reasons, but more so to increase their sense of ownership for their own health.

So what brought about this adventure in risk balancing? With 2 young children, we are relatively frequent users of low-level medical services, like doctor’s visits and short-term prescriptions. We have enjoyed a number of years almost no cost HMO coverage, so we were a little shocked when we had to pick up the entire premium for my wife and kids with my new job. The time came to rebalance our risk equation. Premium payments were just too high. Yes, we use services, but we decided that we would rather pay full price for periodic services rather than give a big part of our paycheck to the insurance company. With all of this in mind, we chose a high deductible plan with a low monthly premium. We didn’t go all the way for a HSA, but maybe next year….

So we definitely feel like we are taking on more risk with the high deductible plan. Will it change our utilization? I can certainly see how we might wait that extra day to see if the sniffles and sore throat clear up on its own, but we are certainly planning to put that extra money away for times when there is no question that we need medical care. Interestingly, we have already started talking about ways that we can keep ourselves healthy.

Will the risk/reward pay off in the end? Only time will tell.


  • Wow, um, good luck with this. While I'm sure your luck is better than ours - and we are certainly an extreme case - I had just signed up for lower-end insurance 2 months before Thomas's diagnosis. "We're young and healthy." I said. Stinks.

    By Blogger Thomas, as told to Sarah, at 9:31 PM  

  • wow, I am interested in learning of all the private insurance options out there at this time. I plan to keep reading your blog. thanks for being willing to write it for all of us interested in your endeavors. :)

    By Blogger communityhealthcare, at 9:56 PM  

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