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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Health care can cost you even if you're not the one paying

One of the major problems with how health insurance works right now is that many people have policies that effectively pay for everything.  Because of this, there's no reason for individuals to put any thought into what type of care they actually need.true cost of health care

Americans are spending $700 billion per year on unnecessary medical expenses.  The only reason we are willing to waste so much money is because the costs are hidden by health insurance.  Obviously we end up paying for everything in the end, but when you have the option of getting another useless test or scan or whatever from your doctor, it seems free at the time.

Well, even if you ignore the fact that you'll end up paying for it through health insurance premiums eventually, there is still a potential cost involved that you might not have thought of.  What if the doctors actually find something wrong with you?

Now, I'm not talking about something major.  Obviously its great if you get an extra test and catch something important.  But what if your doctor diagnoses you with something that's really not that big of a deal?  Heart murmurs and scoliosis are two examples of the many types of problems that many Americans suffer from without ever knowing it.  These problems generally aren't even worth treating because they're so insignificant.

So you might be wondering why it matters if you're diagnosed with scoliosis?  The answer is that you'll have that on your medical history from then on which could seriously impact the cost of your future health insurance premiums if you enter the individual or small group markets.  The reason no one caught the problem before is because it simply doesn't matter, but now the health insurance companies see you as a liability.

Even more scary is that the more unnecessary care you receive, the more likely you are to be misdiagnosed with a problem that you don't actually suffer from.

This probably seems pretty trivial compared to all the other problems with healthcare in this country, but it's worth keeping in mind next time you're at the doctor's office.

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