We have all had some visibility to the effects of the high-deductible health plans (HDHP); however, I’m not sure how many people predicted the behavior that many medical providers are seeing from their patients. In an article published in The New York Times, the study described numerous interviews with patients that indicated they had to make difficult decisions to put off care because of the cost for which they were now responsible. Here is one of the more shocking examples:
“Beth Landrum, a 52-year-old teacher, who is insured through her husband’s job as an engineer, saw the deductible on her family’s plan increase to $3,300 a year. Ms. Landrum decided to delay having the M.R.I. her doctor recommends she get every three years. Ten years ago, she had a noncancerous brain tumor that required surgery and radiation. “My doctor’s really mad at me because I haven’t had the M.R.I.,” she said, but she and her husband say they need to save toward the cost.”
A brain tumor seems like something you may want to check up on from time to time. Unfortunately, most patients do not have the savings to cover these high-deductibles every year. Another example described a person who choose a $6,000 annual deductible in order to afford the $129 monthly premium. Even when this person was worried she had cracked her rib, she decided against going to the doctor because she could not afford the deductible. What is the point of even having health insurance if you are going to avoid necessary medical care? Sadly this behavior is not specific to the few examples in the article. According to the survey conducted, 40% of people with private health insurance whose deductible equaled 5 percent or more of their income avoided medical care.
Here at Epic River, we recognize the financial burden that HDHP are having on patients. We cannot control the increasing need for these plans, but we can help patients work these high deductibles into manageable, monthly payments. Please help stop this nonsense of avoiding medical care and instead use MyLoans to ease the financial burden on patients.
About Epic River
Since its inception in 2005, Epic River has been providing financial institutions with software and services for process and revenue improvement. MyLoans, our Patient Lending solution, partners financial institutions and healthcare providers to offer low interest loans to cover patient balances. Practices, surgery centers and hospitals get immediate funding of their patient’s outstanding balances and patients avoid financial harm.