Health insurance rate increases aren’t the problem. They’re a symptom. Similarly, absenteeism, presenteeism and lost productivity are symptoms of the same underlying cause.
The cause driving all of these expenses is, of course, illness – or, more broadly, deteriorating health within our nation’s workforce and the families enrolled in health insurance plans.
As basic as it sounds, health insurance is expensive because healthcare is expensive. And Americans are demanding more healthcare every year to combat the diseases we’ve acquired – most of which are a direct result of our unhealthy lifestyles, insufficient diagnosis rates and failure to manage (or cure) the diseases we have. In financial terms, we have a demand problem.
That’s why changing carriers, reducing benefits and increasing employee contributions do little, if anything, to contain costs: Those actions treat the symptoms and not the cause – they do nothing to curtail the demand for healthcare services. And that’s why health reform (PPACA) in it’s current form won’t solve the problem either
The only solution to healthcare cost containment (and reduction) is improving people’s health status.