A Responsibility I Don't Want (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 12:00 am  

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In other words, turning this choice over to mere mortals does not seem as risky as counting on rank and file employees to do a good job with their 401(k)s.

I also like the idea of having employees see just how much health insurance actually costs and how much options, like a higher deductible, can change the price. “Skin in the game” is a cliché, I know, but the American health care system has been immune to market forces because the costs have been effectively hidden.

The biggest question is whether the employer subsidy will keep pace with premiums.

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But there’s actually good news on that front. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that health care prices in July were only 1 percent higher than a year earlier. Health care inflation over the past year has actually been slower than general inflation, a sentence I don’t think I could have truthfully written at any point in my adult life.

Here’s a sentence from the WSJ article: “The recent slowdown in medical inflation is partly the result of less-generous health plans forcing patients to pay more attention to prices, doctors say.”

Now why didn’t anyone think of that sooner?

Gwen Moritz is editor of Arkansas Business. Email her at GMoritz@ABPG.com.

 

 

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