Thursday, March 31, 2011

Each of us can help control the cost of medical insurance

There has been and continues to be lots of coverage and discussion on the cost of medical insurance. However, there is not enough discussion about medical insurance being expensive because of the high cost of medical treatments.

For several years analysis has shown, for employer coverage, about 85% of every medical insurance premium dollar goes to pay medical treatment costs. In looking at this we also know 70% or more of this amount is connected to life style choices. Smoking, eating to many big burgers, etc.

The question then becomes - Who is responsible for this? A statewide survey of adults in PA found "93.3% of respondents believe they are more responsible for their personal health than their doctor." However, "32.5% said they do not engage in planned exercise on a weekly basis and 48.7% exercise three or more times weekly."

One interesting fact to me was the survey finding that only one-fourth "said they avoid high-salt foods and less than one-third pay attention to the amount of salt in foods they consume."

The Pennsylvania Medical Society reported they were "glad to see that Pennsylvanians believe they are more responsible for their own health - - but - - there are many hurdles to clear if they want to achieve better health."

Is this human nature and thus can't be changed? Is it something each of us needs to get involved in?

I believe each of us has a big part to play in controlling the cost of medical insurance, which now has an unsustainable growth rate.