In 2006, Massachusetts was the first state to initiate a health insurance mandate which required individuals to purchase insurance. Sadly, although the plan was intended to make insurance available and affordable to all, it increased spending across the state.
To battle these increased costs, many representatives and health insurance companies are working hard to initiate new programs and to lower costs for consumers.
One such idea is the move to ‘global payment’ plans. With global payment plans, networks such as BlueCross Blue Shield receive a flat yearly fee to cover their insured clients, regardless of the actual cost for each patient.
Part of the idea behind the global payment plan is that physicians will be cautious when ordering expensive and potentially unnecessary testing. Financial incentives are in place to help ensure that patients continue to receive the highest quality of care. Patients are more empowered to manage their own health care and they are free to seek medical professionals of their choice.
Although it is still early in the global payment plan, the initial success is encouraging. In fact, The Children’s Hospital of Massachusetts predicts that it will save $83 million in just the next two years. The savings will benefit patients and physicians alike, and if the plan continues to well, global payment plans could be adopted across the country.
By continuing to brainstorm new ideas and implement reform plans, we can find a way to fix the health insurance issue in this country and still receive amazing health care from talented and devoted professionals.