New health plans will cost more later

November 17, 2008
 [Regarding the Nov. 3 item] "Study says consumerism cuts cost," while this is a very small article in your newspaper, it is a big deal. I have had one of WellPoint's consumer-driven health plans for the past two years. I can tell you from experience that the reason costs are down from 2006 to 2007 and less than the traditional PPO plans is because, when you have one of these plans, you only go to the doctor if you are dying. If you have a cold, you suffer through it; and it takes longer to get over and then you infect everyone around you.

When you have a PPO, you go to the doctor because you don't pay for the entire visit. The reason 8.8-percent more use preventive care is because that is the only time a doctor's visit is covered under the consumer-driven plan (unless you meet the $5,000 deductible for a family); therefore if you need medication refilled or anything, then you go to your well visit.

The consumer-driven plan may cut costs now. In the future, the person that is fighting an ache or pain waits because they don't want to pay the $80 out of pocket to go to the doctor. Two years later, they go and find out they have something seriously wrong; that is when it will start costing the consumer-driven plans more money. They are too new to have accurate data.

On the other hand, this could be the answer for national health care; maybe Congress should look at it.


Colleen Rittenhouse
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