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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why Your Health Insurance Costs So Much

CEO Stephen J Hemsley of Unitedhealth Groups is paid 1,737 times the average earnings of the company workers.  Aetna paid the exiting CEO about 1.4 percent of the company's net, or $18,058,162.  Cigna CEO David Cordani made the most, at $19.1 million. Humana’s Mike McCallister had the smallest compensation package, with $7.3 million. Health Net CEO Jay Gellert saw the largest pay increase, with a 35% rise in compensation compared with 2010.  Health Net CEO, Gellert’s compensation went up 35% in 2011 from 2010.  Thermo Fisher Scientific, CEO Marc Casper received total compensation of $33 million. Thermo Fisher makes lab equipment and other health-care products and services. 

Health care in the United States isn’t particularly good, either.  It’s rated 38th among health care systems of the world.  Thirty-eighth????  There are 37 countries where you can get better health care.  WOW! 

But here’s the piece that ties into the first paragraph.  The US spends the most per capita of any country in the world.  To get 38th in quality! 

Why do I write about this today?  You owe it to yourself to know your own health, your own nutrition and lifestyle (which creates your health or lack of it) and to research everything your doctor tells you before you accept it as gospel.  Follow the money.  Understand that the ‘prevailing wisdom’ and acceptable medical practices might not be in your best interests.  They might be just plain wrong or may be in the interests of the CEOs of health care companies and the vested interests of those medical businesses. 

How do you do that?  The internet has made information more available with less effort than ever in the history of humans.  Yes, some of it is “main stream” and needs to be evaluated with skepticism.  Yes, some of it is sponsored by people making a buck on your health.  But there’s an amazing amount of info that’s based on excellent science and not sponsored by moneyed interests.  There’s a lot of old information getting re-evaluated.  For nearly every study that gets big headlines, there are a lot of smart people with no particular axe to grind who look at the set up and math of the study to see if the conclusions the scientists (or the media) draw are warranted.  One smart way to research is to google minority views along with traditional information.   

So taking care of your health and researching everything isn’t going to lower the cost of your health insurance—I know.  Unless you get so healthy you don’t need any.  If that’s even possible in this day and age.  But at least you would not be contributing to those horrible statistics. 

Does it take your time?  Does it stretch your brain?  You bet!  It’s your life and how you feel and what you will be subjected to that’s at stake.  I think it’s worth the time and brain power.  Tell me what you think!