A couple years ago I acquired the book “My Healthcare is Killing Me: A Survival Guide for the American Healthcare Consumer.” I’m not sure how this book landed in my collection. It’s from a startup here in Nashville called change:healthcare, and I probably picked it up at a startup event sometime over these past few years. I’m glad I picked it up because it provides an invaluable overview of basic insurance and the American healthcare system.
Laura and I are in the middle of re-evaluating our current health insurance policy and I feel confident and informed about the changes we are about to make thanks to this guide. The book is a simple read at only 125 pages, and does a phenomenal job of discussing the healthcare landscape and defining key terms. If you’ve never really understood co-insurance, premiums, deductibles, HSAs, HMOs, PPOs, etc., pick up a free digital copy online and quickly read through it. You won’t regret it.
Health insurance has always frustrated me. The premium payments are always higher than I think they should be, medical service is expensive, and I always find myself with a bill no matter how much I thought insurance would cover. In my mind the health insurers have always been the villains. What this book brought to my attention is that the insurance companies have been reacting to the American healthcare consumer. Americans have been consuming healthcare services in greater and greater quantities. Americans have been getting sicker and have been going to the ER and to the doctor for more and more ailments. The more service we get, the more we get billed, and the more insurance companies are having to pay. Thus, higher premiums and more expensive care. This realization has helped further my resolve to take better care of myself and to do whatever I can in the form of preventative healthcare.
Another empowering realization for me is that I am a consumer of healthcare. I pay for insurance, I receive care, and I pay for care. Whenever I spend my hard earned cash on anything I usually do a thorough analysis of the product or service I’m interested in. Never before have I approached healthcare from the same perspective. But I should! I’m spending my money and should make sure I’m getting my money’s worth. Properly researching costs and negotiating for better rates will definitely make me feel like a more empowered healthcare consumer.
change:healthcare is a technology firm dedicated to helping people become smarter healthcare consumers. Check out their website for additional healthcare information and resources for today’s healthcare consumer.