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How Health Insurance is Making You Sick
Insurance is easy to hate. On the one hand, the best case scenario is you pay for a service you will never use, making insurance equivalent to a ripoff. On the other hand, when insurance is needed, it means something bad has happened, leaving a sour taste in your mouth. This goes for all kinds of insurance. Homeowners or renters, business, car, life and health insurance all share this fundamental curse.
But health insurance has done something that no other insurance has. When it's time for an oil change, your car insurance doesn't pay for it. When your washer breaks, your homeowners won't buy you a new one. But when you need your teeth cleaned, or your blood pressure checked or your eyes examined, we expect that our benefits will cover these routine events. What we have done is to begin to think of insurance as a savings account which we intend to draw regularly from, instead of a product to turn to when an unexpected disaster strikes.
The result of this is that our insurance companies have recognized and responded accordingly. Now we have health savings accounts tied to our insurance. Conceptually, that is at least in line with how we use it. The bad news is the insurance companies have become the primary payers of medical expenses, not just big ones, but little ones too. We have, in fact, given insurance companies tremendous control over our health care choices. Have you ever checked to make sure a doctor was in your policy before seeing them? Do you assume that the doctors in the plan are somehow more qualified? If you have ever checked your insurance coverage before choosing a provider to make sure the provider was covered in your policy, you have given some of your choice, your freedom, to the insurance company.
This expectation that health insurance should somehow cover routine expenses has led to increased healthcare costs. Insurance coverage costs for consumers and higher overhead for providers are just some of the casualties. Healthcare options decrease as consumers rely on insurance policies to guide their choices.
Rapid increases in premiums, rapid increases in deductibles and rapid decreases in coverage have created a huge gulf between what people expect their insurance to cover and what it actually does cover. Companies are forced to make hard choices in giving employees health insurance options.
Higher consumer costs for insurance coverage are not the only way that health costs have increased. Doctors and other providers who file with your insurance often have to wait months for payment and they must wade through ever more convoluted and time consuming processes to get paid. In many offices, a dedicated insurance liason or service must be employed to handle the intricacies of the insurance landscape. This increases payroll and overhead and those increases must be passed to health consumers.
Each procedure, and each product that insurance is billed for, is audited to find ways to increase profits by denying payment for services. Other items are simply paid out at lower rates until the cost to providers outpaces the compensation.
This pattern has now erupted into the debate raging on Capitol Hill and in living rooms across America. The big question: Who will pay for the healthcare we need? That is the wrong question.
A much better question is, how can we get the kinds of improvements in our collective health that we desperately need, increase healthcare choice, drive down costs to make those choices affordable, and still have affordable insurance coverage when disaster strikes? Isn't that what people really want?
I have an answer to that question. And it's simple. Painfully simple. And it doesn't even require Congress. Just us chickens. All it takes is a little proactive effort from each of us and the healthcare debate will all but dry up.
The first part is to note every drive-thru equipped restaurant in your area. Then avoid them. Plan a few of those meals at home. Home cookin' ain't home cookin' unless it's cooked at home, savvy?
The second part is to get up and exercise a few more minutes per day this week than you did last week, even if it's only two or three minutes. Keep it up and soon you will have carved out a time to exercise and you will have established the habit. Do something fun!
The third part, be inspired. Allow your thoughts to lift you above the tiny defeats in a day and use them as stepping stones to your success. The less someone dwells on the negative, the more likely they are to be successful and healthy.
The fourth is get your beauty sleep. You body needs to recharge, but so does your mind. Find time to unplug from your day to day and pursue creative interests. The mental break allows you to be more productive overall, even after considering the time spent away from your primary tasks. Renew your soul, find your center, or connect with your source because the spirit of a man needs to be refilled as well.
Lastly, build your house on a solid foundation. Nothing happens in the body without the nerve system being involved. A subluxation compromised nerve system can and will compromise any other system in the body. Chiropractors correct subluxation and strengthen this foundation as the fundamental focus of their profession. Neither massages nor therapy nor any other skilled professional can do for you what a caring and expertly trained chiropractor can do. The great thing is, chiropractic works whether you use it with insurance or not!
These things address the lifestyle concerns so common to Americans and their health. These things can and will make a difference both in the short term and in the long term. These things have the power to silence the healthcare debate and open the conversation about ways to maximize our new healthy habits.
"But," you say, "I don't have time for all this!" How about we both use the time we've been spending to gripe about the situation, and instead do something about it. Of soldiers and patriots, we ask their lives to protect our freedom. All I'm asking that you do is to engage, to live your life, to enjoy and to perpetuate your freedom.