This is how corrupt traditional healthcare insurance is in America

Since April this year, I've been struggling with frozen shoulders - it's an ailment I wouldn't wish on anyone. In order to diagnose and treat the problem, I've incurred one surgeon visit, an MRI, two steroid injections and more physical therapy appointments than I care to remember. Here's the rub. With 'traditional' healthcare, I would be paying a $20 flat fee for each visit and the insurance would pay the rest. But we're not on traditional insurance - we use a health savings account. It's sort of like a high interest savings account that your company pays into, that can only be used for medical bills. It circumvents the insurance companies (up to a certain value) and instead, you get the bill directly. Bear in mind the company pays the same amount into my private insurance account as it would do into a traditional healthcare fund in my name. So we had "the big one" today - the main bill for all my visits so far. If billed to a traditional insurance company, it would have cost them $6487, and they would have paid it. Billed to me, through an HSA, it "only" cost $2745. Paying the bill was a bit of a sting, but the money was there in my insurance account to pay for it. The only difference is if it had been traditional insurance, I would never have seen the final bill, but would have been out-of-pocket the same amount each month in terms of salary deductions for insurance. So in my particular case, in this example, the bloat of the healthcare insurance system would account for a staggering $3742 of the $6487 bill. Or put more succinctly, 57% of the bill has nothing to do with the treatment I received. For those of you in England, this scenario would have played out a little differently. You're taxed more at source to pay for the NHS, but then the medical aid is "free" in return. In this case, at the cost of at least $6487 in taxes, because there's no way the NHS is lightweight.


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