Medical Tuesday Blog
Basic Ambulatory Medical Care is Not Insurable.
We have become so accustomed to having all of medical care covered by insurance. The evidence indicates that if we paid for our basic ambulatory care personally, instead of paying through our health insurance program, we would save 47 percent of our costs. That’s a huge savings. However, we seldom hear of this side of the issue. People have been led to believe that health care is so expensive, it can’t be considered as a personal responsibility. The health insurance industry has been very effective in their promotion that no one should be without full insurance. However, the cost of basic medical care is quite inexpensive and it is controlled by each of us personally.
If we think of outpatient medical care, we would be able to make our own decisions and everyone would be interested in saving costs. We would see these costs every time they occur. When we see a physician, we would pay his fee directly. How often we need to see a physician can be indexed to decades of age. A person in his 30s, goes to see a physician perhaps once or so per year. This would be on the order of $150. To obtain laboratory screening of a blood count, urinalysis, and cholesterol would be under $150. Current guidelines suggest that screening test may be indicate every five or ten years. That would place ambulatory health care at about $300 per year. So for that decade of life medical insurance should start after a $300 deductible for the year.
These costs increase with age. With no good actuarial data available, let’s estimate the cost of ambulatory medical care in our 40s would probably be about $400 a year. For our demonstration, let’s consider a $500 cost for ambulatory care in our 50s. At this stage of our life we may need a chest x-ray or electrocardiogram, but not likely every year.
For the sake of our illustration let us extrapolate a cost of $600 a year in our 60s. At this time we may need more laboratory evaluations, perhaps some diagnostic procedures and two or possibly three office visits a year.
As people are living longer and healthier, many are working into their 70s, which would probably required basic costs of about $700 per year and avoid the hassles of Medicare until age 72 or 75.
When one compares the above numbers with the cost of complete health insurance, it represents major savings of medical care costs. One cannot get full health insurance based on any of the above estimated costs of ambulatory medical care.
Once these costs are actuarily confirmed or modified, it becomes obvious that basic ambulatory medical care, if paid at the time of service directly, is less expensive than the cost of any health insurance available. It has been blown out of proportion by the health insurance, Hospital, Government, Medicare, Medical complex.
Then the issue of the expensive portion of health care requires medical insurance. We then need major medical insurance for hospital care, surgeries, and trauma care, This type of deductible insurance should be based on the costs that exceeds the basic ambulatory care, The deductible should then be equal to the cost of basic ambulatory care indexed for each decade or life. This type of policy is relatively inexpensive compared to present insurance policies. Some would estimate the cost is likely to be less than half the costs we see advertised which in many instances is more than a thousand dollars per month.
This privatization of basic health care should be the first step to control of medical care costs.
* * * * *