Ask the Expert: Insurance Premiums and Reimbursements
Q. If the US is truly a global leader in so many arenas, why are health care companies charging so much for monthly insurance premiums AND reimbursing for so little?
A. Although the US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, we also produce and use the most energy and electricity (it must be all those Starbucks, 24-hour fast food places, and Disney Parks!). We also consume the most oil (using a quarter of the world’s annual supply) leaving us sadly behind Germany, Japan and Spain in the production of solar and wind energy. How much of the economy do you suppose is devoted to healthy meal plans?
Although the US leads in terms of providing its citizens with access to clean water and sanitation facilities, we spend more money per person on health care per year ($5,700) than any other industrialized country. More than 15% of our gross domestic product goes to health care. Sadly, thirty-three nations, including Cuba, have lower infant death rates than the US, while twenty-eight nations have lower maternal death rates. We rank 30th in life expectancy for women and 28th for men.
Comparing dollars spent out of pocket to outcome potential, it appears our dollars are not working to our full benefit. Medical, health care, and insurance are trillion dollar industries, based on illness not on wellness incentivized by fear vs. faith. Insurance companies make their billions through those hefty monthly premiums and not reimbursing if possible. Insurance companies typically reimburse on the 3rd submission; statistics show most folks give up after the 2nd try. More money for the big guns! Finally, the biggest problem, which feeds our medical paradigm, is this: Americans consume more calories per capita than all citizens of any other nation; hence we lead the world in obesity. Prevention? How about diet plans that loose the lattes, high sugar, high protein diets? That may be the key to avoid becoming a statistic, consequently paying lower premiums.
Deborah Arneson, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist and consultant, is president of Nutrition Consultants of Healing Quest Center, Inc., and producer of Health Quest cable show, which airs Fridays a 10:30 pm on Cable25 Chicago. If you would like more information regarding your path to health, please call Healing Quest Center at 312.664.7979.