A recent article in The Atlantic theorizes that consumers don’t respond to transparency in health care prices the way we do to other goods and services. The fact is that most consumers are insulated from the real costs of providers, facilities, procedures and pharmaceuticals. We don’t really know what our doctor or hospital is charging for their services and as consumers we don’t care as long as our insurance pays for most of it. We are also largely uninformed about the quality of care we’re receiving and whether we’re getting the appropriate bang for our buck. In addition to their many other responsibilities, doctors, nurses and other providers must also be informed as to the trajectory of health care costs to be able to plan for the future both in their professional practices and their personal lives.
This insensitivity to health care costs is only one strand in the complex web of health care financing; the increasing costs of health care isn’t an issue that going to see a quick and tidy resolution. The high cost of health care is something to be considering even when young and healthy. Plan for your future so you can be in the best position to weather or avoid a financial crisis as a result of accident or disease.