Today, we define a healthcare patient as receiving healthcare services; we define a healthcare consumer as making healthcare choices. Undoubtedly a very big difference that requires a shift in focus. The healthcare consumer is responsible for the overall management of their health needs and out of pocket costs. Out of pockets costs are defined as deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, premiums, and other related costs. The typical consumer does not plan for healthcare. Consumers, annually, select a health insurance plan based on premium cost and hope they are healthy enough to avoid large out of pocket costs. A Personal/Family Health Plan should be the first step to proactively managing healthcare options and costs. The Plan should be all inclusive from selecting a health insurance plan to creating a budget. Radical? Yes…but by not planning for healthcare the result could be disastrous with health and financial consequences.
The average healthcare consumer has limited experience navigating the healthcare system, including those who work in the healthcare industry. Many of us have heard friends and relatives express their frustration managing options, care, and costs, resulting in incorrect billing, high costs, out of network charges and denied services. One example is a recent survey that shows the consumer lacks understanding of basic health care terms. The following are the results:
- 45.3% Co-Insurance
- 35.2% Max out of pocket
- 30.8% Covered Services
- 27.2% Premium
- 25.6% Deductible
- 23.5% Co-pay
The degree of misunderstanding is astonishing.
The healthcare system is a maze that healthcare consumers cannot navigate easily. Healthcare consumers are afraid, frustrated, confused and angry. All healthcare sectors, including Doctors, Hospitals and Insurance Companies, have contributed to the growing confusion.
Many talk about consumerism in healthcare but don’t understand healthcare consumer needs and wants. Clearly, the healthcare consumer has not been prepared to manage their healthcare finances as the above survey demonstrates. The healthcare system has failed the healthcare consumer.
Our responsibility is to educate and guide the healthcare consumer through the maze. With that said, the following company and web site has been established:
HEALTHCARE CONSUMER NAVIGATOR CENTER, LLC
Our Vision…The Need….The Mission Statement
Our company has a vision that all healthcare consumers have easy access to reliable and timely healthcare information, education, and tools required to plan and manage their healthcare needs.
Consumers need understandable healthcare information to make informed decisions regarding their medical and financial future.
Healthcare Consumer Navigator Center is a national company with a business mission to guide consumers through the complex healthcare system. Healthcare Consumers will be provided tools, guides, information and education to navigate the complexities of the healthcare systems.
WEB SITE: www.healthcareconsumernavigatorcenter.com
Take a look and lets us know your comments and thoughts.