POLICY: talking about the inefficiencies of the insurance market…

A Commonwealth Fund study from HSC in the latest Health Affairs reminds us that employees in small firms pay 18% more for health insurance when adjusted for value of plan adjusted premiums.  Here’s the full Health Affairs study

Meanwhile, to the surprise of absolutely nobody that’s been paying attention, another study in the same Health Affairs shows that increased competition in the  Medicare risk/Advantage program (i.e. the private plan part of it) is associated with greater use of advertising targeting healthier patients. More from PNHP’s Don McCanne on that.

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The MA risk selection article wreaks a bit of Ateev-come-lately’s trying to get an article published. I say this because the data presented in their paper is just not that impressive for (at least) three reasons: 1.) The findings are far from powerful, with the most compelling info being that just under 40% of ads in MSAs with moderate and high market penetration had “attract health” characteristics. So what? That means just over 60% of the ads were at worst neutral, and besides, no marketing firm will send a frail, sickly actor/actress to push any client when they could send… Read more »

Marketplace.MD Update

[LEVEL3] Insurance Inefficiencies

Matthew looks at insurance market inefficiencies.


I don’t know when we are going to realize that we’re all in the same pool. I opted out of my wifes insurance plan for an individual one because I could get same or better coverage with the SAME insurer (BCBS) for half of what I would pay in my wifes plan. Under her plan she gets her coverage free and any family coverage for about $400/mth. So if you have one husband, it’s $400, or if you have seven kids it’s $400. Does this make any sense???? Competition can be extremely benifical, but for healthcare it’s destructive and wasteful… Read more »