Paying For Healthcare With Rising Deductibles And Declining Coverage

August 8, 2021

By T. Scott Law Sr. – Zotec Partners, Founder & CEO

Rising inflation is impacting people across the country. In June, prices were 5.4% higher than just a year before. These numbers represent the largest spike since 2008. Now, Americans are contending with rising costs of living as a result.

One of these increasing costs? Healthcare. The average deductible in 2010 was $646. Just over a decade later, the average deductible is now $1,644. Patients are paying more than ever for healthcare — regardless of whether they have insurance coverage.

The patient-as-payer model is becoming increasingly prominent in healthcare. With the rise of high-deductible healthcare plans, patients pay more costs out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. And with the recent high unemployment rates, many people have no coverage at all; an estimated 5.4 million people have lost health insurance since the pandemic. With a huge number of Americans either uninsured or underinsured, patients have largely become the payers — not their insurers or employers.

What does this mean for the healthcare providers accepting those payments? Most were set up to ingest the bulk of payments from insurance companies or other public payers. Historically, that’s how payment was done when individual payers represented only a small portion of overall revenue.

Now, with the shift of payment responsibility resting with individuals, healthcare providers will have to accommodate different expectations for communication, service, and support. They will need to focus on offering customer-driven healthcare and applying a personalized touch. Otherwise, patients — just like any other consumer — will shop around and might go to a different provider that does.

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