Do People Want To Become Healthcare “Consumers”?

A group of shoppers conversing

I was talking to a family member recently, and she revealed that she had no idea how to go about doing price shopping and quality comparisons when it came to her medical care.  I asked her if she even cared?  “Of course,” she said.  “I feel totally taken advantage of”.   This surprised me.  Being in the industry, we see pushback from people saying that their employees won’t take the time to become empowered consumers. Are they right? Do people even want to help themselves and deal with skyrocketing costs or do they see it as a no-win situation? 

(more…)

Saving Money Was Easy For This Family With The Flu.

I get it, asking you to change your routine for how you go to the doctor or get a prescription can be annoying. Whether you’re sick, not feeling well or the trip to the pharmacy is just one more errand on your growing to-do list, sometimes it can be worth the extra price just to keep doing things the same way you always have. My family usually gets our prescriptions from Costco or Wal-Mart because typically they are less expensive. There have been times though, that the convenience of the drive though at Walgreens or CVS has swayed us. When we are in a hurry and don’t want to lug kids in and out of the car, wait in line, etc., we may forgo the savings. For the most part however, we have been mindful of saving money when we could on our medications. Or so I thought.

(more…)

Is Telemedicine an ERISA Plan? And why this matters….

Noteworthy Definitions (boring industry jargon):

  • ERISA: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: It is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntary pension and health plans to protect the individual.

ERISA is designed to protect individual consumers, this much we know. There is a responsibility on the side of the firm offering each product to publish certain information made available to plan participants, and to the government.

(more…)