There’s lots of talk about what is going to happen to healthcare. People are losing their plans. People aren’t signing up for Obamacare. People can’t sign up for Obamacare. The list goes on and on. As I have considered what I will do, it’s less about Obamacare, price or any of that. I’m thinking about my privacy for one. I also wonder how I can simplify this whole mess.
The way it stands right now. The government wants to be involved in my healthcare. The health insurance companies want a piece of the action. Employers are involved whether they want to be or not. We could stop there or we could include short term and long term insurance companies as well. The problem is that as each of these entities get involved they take a piece of the control away from the individual and invade their privacy.
I want to be in control of all decisions related to my healthcare.
So what’s a guy to do? My first thought is to eliminate everyone that I can. Each one of these have an interest in getting you to use them. And supposedly there are benefits to using them. The problem is how much you have to give up when you do. This became very apparent to me earlier this year as I stopped working for health reasons. To qualify for the short term disability and long term disability benefits I needed to fit myself into their definition of disabled to get benefits. The problem was that I wasn’t disabled. I just had a condition that I needed to get help with before I could get back to work. Based on that, I wasn’t going to get benefits. Whether I needed them or not. So I needed to involve the lawyers. What?!! That’s another layer. Another Expense.
I want to be in control of all decisions related to my healthcare. If you follow what I’m going to say in the next few paragraphs you’ll see that this process is going to go well beyond healthcare. Vacation. Retirement. You name it. I’m taking control
So where does this leave me in the healthcare discussion? If I take insurance, government and employers out of or at least reduce their influence to the minimum in the equation what does that do to me? First of all let’s talk about insurance.
Insurance is to take care of those things that you don’t expect to happen. In that scenario it works. You don’t expect to wreck your car but when you do it’s too expensive to fix on your own. That’s a good use for insurance. If you need to change your oil, that’s not a good use for insurance. Same with healthcare. If you break a leg. You probably can’t pay for that yourself. Especially the way that healthcare and insurance deal with it today. So you need insurance to pay for that. If you’re going to get your annual blood test. You shouldn’t use insurance. That doesn’t make sense.
The doctor won’t be ordering unnecessary tests because I won’t let him.
High deductible insurance plans work this way to some extent but not all together. Once your deductible is met you can start using the insurance to pay for maintenance issues. The first step in my plan is to get the health insurance company completely out of my maintenance issues. So if I have eliminated them from that portion of my healthcare, I am already winning. I don’t have to ask them if they’ll pay for something that I should be getting. The doctor won’t be ordering unnecessary tests because I won’t let him. Etc. I’m in control. I can negotiate with the doctor on what healthcare is needed and what it should cost. If I eliminate the employer out of the equation, which I probably already have because of eliminating the payment of routine office visits with insurance. Then I get out of the control of the office plan.
So this is a start to my new Health Plan. Stay tuned for the next part where I talk about coverage for the unexpected and how to deal with Uncle Sam.