Consumer-driven health care is a term used to refer to plans of health insurance that enable the patients to make use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Personal Health Savings account, or any other products of medical payment to pay for regular expenses of health care directly (Calabreta N., 2002). Health insurance policies that are high deductible are used to protect these members from serious medical expenses.
The system becomes consumer-driven because the regular claims are paid for by the use of an account that is consumer-controlled rather than fixed insurance benefits. This system gives a patient the advantage of being able to control their health budgets. They are the primary decision-makers on the health care that they receive (Edington D., 2001).
The intents of consumer-driven health care
This system of health care had its origin in the United States during the late nineteen ninety’s. The system was designed to keep patients more directly involved in the purchase of health care. Initially, consumer-driven health care had the intention of making health care more accessible as well as affordable in the United States (Goodman, J., 2006). The Health Reimbursement Arrangements are funded by the employer and enable the employer to receive tax benefits.
The health care pans provide a means through which consumers are given incentives to invest in medical care choice that is not life-threatening. On the side of employees, they do not have to do with most of the expense related to more costly delivery systems or higher use of health care. The system, therefore, has the benefit of being able to create a link between the use of medical care to price (John W., 2008).
One argument against Consumer Driven Health Care
These health care plans may lead to very serious problems for the health system in America. There is a general belief that the health coverage is misguided, misnamed and that it is also a dangerous disruption from the very need to solve the crisis in health insurance facing close to 43.6 million consumers who are not insured as well as other tens of thousands who are underinsured.
The high deductibles have transformed health care into a system that increases the rate of deductibles and shifts this cost to the seriously sick employees. For example, most of the employees who are chronically ill or have family members who are seriously ill do not see the consumer-driven health care system as friendly to the consumer unlike what the name seems to suggest (Kane L., 1998).
The current renaming and expansion of accounts for medical savings and the proposal by the U. S. president to introduce a fresh tax deduction are likely to transform health insurance into a marketplace highly described by deductibles. This proposal is not because the consumers who are not insured or those who are underinsured are faced with serious health consequences, death, or even at worst bankruptcy because they lack sufficient insurance (Regina E. 2004).
Although CDHC had a noble and very useful concept on its inception, it is likely to make worse, the problem faced by underinsured consumers because the individuals who have moderate income are most likely to cater for an out-of-pocket cost of health care as well as premiums that are beyond 10% of their income.
- Calabreta N., (2002), Consumer Driven, Patient Centered Health Care. Journal of the American Library association
- Edington D., (2001), Crosing The Quality Chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. National Academy Press, Washington DC
- Goodman, J., (2006), Consumer Driven Health Care. Indiana State University
- John W., (2008), The Effect of Consumer Directed Health Plans on the Use of Preventive and Chronic Illness Services. Russell Sage Foundation, New York.
- Kane L., (1998), A Structured Review of Consumer Directed Health Care. Jossey-Bass, New Jersey.
- Regina E. (2004), Consumer Driven Health Care: implications for providers and payers and policy makers. Jossey-Bass, New Jersey.