5 Common Misconceptions About Healthcare Spending

Let’s talk about healthcare misconceptions. Here’s some corrections to common misconceptions about who pays for healthcare.

1. Before Obamacare we DID NOT have free-market healthcare system either.

Government has been part of the business of medicine at least since the 1940s, when Washington began appropriating billions to build private and government hospitals. The drug industry and its customers owe much to federally funded research.

And if you’re insured through an employer that files an income-tax return your coverage is heavily subsidized by the feds. Tax deductions for private medical coverage cost the Treasury $250 billion a year.

However, this always raises the interesting question — why is healthcare so expensive in the United States? Well, for starters, when you manipulate the market, you put yourself in a convenient position to line your cronies’ pockets.

2. You DID NOT pay for Medicare through taxes deducted from your salary.

Scholars at the Urban Institute have calculated that the typical Medicare beneficiary who retired in 2010 will cost the system more than twice as much in health costs than she and her employer paid in Medicare taxes.

It’s another subsidy. If Congress had designed Medicare to pay for itself rather than add to the budget deficit every year, payroll taxes would be far higher and your take-home pay would have been far lower.

What does this mean? Red Tape, besides being a nuisance, is also imaginary, literally imposed upon our crippled system by policy.

3. Premiums from your paycheck DO NOT fund all of your company health plan.

Probably not entirely. Or even mostly.

For family coverage, which costs an average of $16,351 last year, the average worker paid only 29 percent of the premium. For single-person coverage, workers paid only 18 percent of the (lower) total cost.

Although premiums and out-of-pocket costs have been soaring for consumers, costs have been rising for employers, too — up by nearly 80 percent in a decade. Business spends more than half a trillion dollars annually on employee health care.

Which is why, we’ve been telling businesses that they too can save money when they offer Direct Care to their employees.

4. Government and employers DO NOT pay for almost all healthcare.

Instead, they give workers and consumers credit. In 2012, households still paid the largest single share of health costs, according to federal actuaries. Part was premiums paid through employers and directly to insurers. Part was out-of-pocket expense.

The household portion of the health-spending pie shrank from 37 percent in 1987 to 28 percent in 2012. But it’s still larger than the federal government’s 26 percent share or business’s 21 percent.

5. The insurance company is NOT always the bad guy.

Just because we’re an insurance-free medical practice, does not mean we are ANTI-insurance. We are anti-unnecessary-insurance, big difference. However, human resources pros like to trash-talk the company’s insurance plan when they tell employees the doctor network shrank, the deductible rose or certain procedures aren’t covered.

Fact: More than half of all workers with health coverage are enrolled in “self-insured” plans where the employer pays medical bills directly. The insurance company only processes claims.

So, if your company has at least 500 workers it is probably self-insured

And in such plans, the employer is the insurance company. And it’s the employer calling the shots.

Meaning, if you want to see a Direct Care, there’s a chance that all you have to do is ask. Assuming you can find a cash-only physician who is regional, they’d be more than happy to explain the benefits and potential savings to your employer.

From there, all you have to do is call you doctor is ANYTHING comes up. They’ll be there for you–no hoops to jump through, no copay necessary.