I have been in the group medical insurance business for over 25 years. I have seen dozens of companies come and go throughout my career. I have seen rates go up and have seen rates go down, plans change and employer groups move to different insurance companies sometimes every year. Employers buying insurance like consumers buy a car in many cases. They somehow think that they are going to beat the medical insurance company at a game the insurance carriers invented and control the rules, is not going to happen. I have met with a number of medical insurance CEOs and have always questioned them as to why there is not a long term strategy to keeping medical insurance costs affordable? The answer is always the same, “If we provide programs that detect and treat medical conditions early and lower costs over the long haul, we find customers leaving us to go to another insurance company to save a few dollars after we made the investment. When you have customers that are only going to stay for a little while, why make the investment?”
Then there are some groups of people in this country seem to think that that profit is a dirty word. That they can decide what is a reasonable for companies to make. They also seem to feel that medical providers, doctors and hospitals make too much money and that their profits should be cut. They preach that private insurance companies have an obligation to the community that they serve to cut their profits and give back to the community. Medical insurance companies like all private businesses act in their best interests and in the interests of owners and their corporate shareholders. They hire executives that make decisions to increase profits of their companies. When they do that their employees are rewarded. Isn’t that the way America works? A company provides a product of service and they compete in a competitive market place to make a profit.
Probably the biggest issue with medical insurance benefits today is that most employers allow an outside entity to provide their employees with programs without knowing anything about their employees.