Massive political contributions notwithstanding, competition among health systems and pressure to reduce costs will put an end to health insurers as we know them.
It’s that time of the year. No, not Halloween, but something almost as scary—open enrollment season.
It’s time to choose among the many plans offered through the various health exchanges as part of Obamacare, among the variety of Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans offered by private insurers as part of Medicare (for those who are age-eligible), and, for the 62% of employees who are have the opportunity, time to sign up for an employer-sponsored health insurance plan.
As we struggle to make sense of the health insurance landscape, it’s a good time to consider why health care costs in the United States are so high and outcomes so relatively poor and, more importantly, what the future is likely to bring.
For now, the U.S. is unique among advanced industrial economies in its reliance on private insurers to administer much of the health care payment system. But this situation is almost certainly going to change. Cost containment and competitive pressures will transform, if not doom, health insurance companies. Here’s why.