Idea: Health Care Coverage Credit instead of Health Care Coverage Insurance

Because of the diversity of people and their needs, America should have multiple health CARE plans and multiple health COVERAGE plans. The health care needs of an adult is different then the health care needs of a child; likewise, other examples: Young adults and senior citizens, men and women, singles compared to married couples and families, police and soldiers compared to civilians. One system like ObamaCare – Affordable Care Act – can’t fit everyone and should not be applied to everyone. However, I have an idea that could tie it all together with freedom of choice and greater flexibility with immediate results, plus reduction of cost and elimination of fraud.

Health Care Coverage CREDIT instead of Health Care Coverage INSURANCE.

Every American gets a Health Care Credit/Debit Card, similar to normal credit/debit cards, and comparable to EBT cards for SNAP (food stamps) benefits.

Like any business transaction, the card is used to immediately pay-in-full all doctors, clinics, hospitals, and all other health care sources for their services and products, including pharmacies for prescription drugs and stores for nonprescription drugs. As is, Medicare, for example, currently pays about 30 cents on the dollar, taking months just to pay that much, causing doctors to abandon Medicare and Medicare patients. Medicaid is worse. Further, there is the issue of fraud costing taxpayers a lot of money.

The user of the card is free to at anytime chose any doctor, any service, any product, any purchase. No delay. No approval needed – up to the level of credit allowed for each user or up to amount in user account for debit cards. As is, there’s too much requirement of approval by administrative people whose decisions are made based on business profit instead of what is in the best interest of a patient. It is money first and actual health care last – if any at all.

The money for Health Care Coverage Credit Cards, and put into accounts for Debit Cards, would come from different sources based on the classification of each user. Likewise, the cards would be issued by different sources – again based on classification of each user.

  • Government
  • Businesses
  • Employers
  • Insurance Companies (for transition to credit)
  • Banks and Credit Card Companies (offering the special cards)
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Charities
  • Schools, colleges, universities
  • Doctors (clinics, hospitals) can also issue their own credit/debit cards

User classifications may include…

  • Children
  • Working adults
  • Disabled adults
  • Senior adults
  • Retired adults
  • Unemployed adults
  • Military (and Law Enforcement)
  • Students – adults

A Health Care Coverage Credit/Debit Card transaction could happen as follows, example…

I get a throat infection, go to doctor. Card immediately pays for office visit, shot in butt, then pharmacy for prescription drugs. End of month, I get billed for the total. If more than I can afford to pay in one payment, then depending on the card source a payment plan could be set up, and the bill could also be automatically submitted to various sources of aid – including government and charities. Your employer might help to pay some or all of it. Or a university if you are a student. The average American can afford basic health care. More expensive health care cataclysms could be covered by various aid sources. The Credit Card may have a credit limit based on income. The use of the Debit Card would of course be limited to how much money is in the card account, so a user can’t spend more than they have, can’t buy more than they can afford; there’s no credit. If the bill is to be more than the card user can afford to pay in a month, then it is up to the creditor (doctor) to offer a payment plan, and to submit the bills to various sources offering payment aid.

Like any business or store selling products and services, health care would then become walk-in, no appointment necessary, first-come first-served. You get sick or get a minor injury, go to doctor or clinic, get immediate service, doctor or clinic gets paid immediately, and then credit payment plans or special aid is applied.

There could be Health Care Malls, like major shopping malls, where like different stores there are different kinds of doctors and services – including dentists and optometrists, as well as pharmacies and stores for various health care products. All in one place with a parking garage and public transportation access. Each city should have at least one Health Care Mall – or Health Care Mini-Malls for smaller cities. A variation of this could be milti-service clinics, where a kind of general exam is completed – for physical and/or mental – a kind of triage, and then the customer is taken along a kind of service line, like an assembly line in a factory, so that by the time you come out the other end your body has been repaired. Think of it as like “Rapid Lube and Oil” for your car but instead for your body. If I were to go to such a place today, as an outpatient, I’d get my hernia repaired, get teeth repaired, and get new eyeglasses – ALL instantly paid for with a Credit/Debit Health Care Card, and then if needed a payment plan would be set up apart from any aid I’d qualify for from government or other sources.

ObamaCare is not CARE. It is about COVERAGE. The government does not provide CARE, just help to pay for COVERAGE, unless some doctors are government employees – like for the military. As is, there are no government doctors for civilians. Only doctors provide actual CARE.

I was born in 1956. Since about 1990, COVERAGE has been given priority over CARE. So when you walk into a doctor’s office or clinic or hospital the first question is about how you will PAY rather than what’s wrong with you – not how can they HELP you.

Medicare is failing because it does not pay what it should. Government COVERAGE is useless if no doctor is willing to accept it. As is, I have full coverage Medicare, Medicaid (SoonerCare in Oklahoma), and qualified for additional coverage such as for co-pay, but no “primary care” doctor willing to accept it.

Further clarification for credit system: You go to doctor. Doctor treats you. Full payment is made to doctor with health care coverage credit card. That part of it is a done deal. The doctor has been paid in full and paid immediately. Then it is up to the provider of the card to collect the amount owed from the user and others. There may be a service charge, and interest charged depending on how long it takes to collect full payment. Some money will come from the card user based on income if any. Some money may come from the government if the user qualifies for government aid. Any balance may come from other sources such as a charity helping low income and no income people. Some of it could be part of a benefits package provided by an employer, or a business offering customers the coverage, or a university caring for its students.

It is in the best interest of GOVERNMENT to make sure all of its citizens are in good health – able to work – able to receive income – able to pay taxes – to include paying for health care – so it goes full circle.

With government, it is taxes. With businesses, it is service fees and interest charged on credit.

It is in the best interest of BUSINESS (businesses, stores, and employers) to make sure all of its PERSONNEL are in good health to be able to work, and CUSTOMERS to be able to work – to have income – to be able to buy their products and services – so it goes full circle. For example, Walmart could offer a Health Care Coverage Credit/Debit Card to customers, not just its own personnel. Putting a walk-in minimal health care service in the store next to the pharmacy would keep the money there, so it would be a good investment.

Our society must benefit more from healthy people so that the incentive is to keep them healthy as an investment, so when health is restored THEN the money flows because people are working and have income to spend – benefit businesses, and to be taxed – benefit government (federal, state, county, and city). HEALTH FIRST, then the money will flow. As is, it has become backwards, and that is one of the reasons why it is failing.

If we continue down the road of MONEY FIRST and then health care, there is a danger of our society having state-assisted suicide as a means to throw away broken and old people who can’t afford health care, like in the movie Soylent Green. Discard rather than maintain.

Another change that became noticeable to me by 1990, is replacement of some products instead of repair of some products. Small household appliances, for example. I remember the mixer my mother had, made of metal, rarely broke, and stood the test of time. Less expansive to repair it when it did break or needed simple routine maintenance (like having the worn-down motor brushes replaced). Then came plastic and composite material appliances, costing much less to replace one than to repair it. So much less expensive that it is better to trash a defective mixer and buy a new one than to go to the time and trouble of replacing it under a warranty program or otherwise trying to have it repaired. Now our society is on the science fiction edge of replacing rather than repairing people. So it cost less to produce a new human than it does to fix a sick or broken human. The grey area is if it is a totally new human with a new consciousness and soul in need of being educated and trained, or if it is a consciousness and soul being transplanted into a new body. The first would be bad for those who want to live. The second would be the ultimate health care. Get a new car and driver, or the driver gets a new car, rather than repairing the old or wrecked one. The human body is like a car. The driver is the soul. Each of us needs a healthy body for transportation while visiting this planet. Like traveling to another city via air travel and then renting a car when you get there. The body is biological, but in the future replacement bodies could be artificial – lasting longer, but like all human-made products will likely need routine maintenance and repairs. A different kind of health care. Then again the choice, repair or replace.

Editorial Article by Jim Lantern

LANTERN TIMEGLASS JOURNAL

Tuesday morning, 28 March 2017

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8 thoughts on “Idea: Health Care Coverage Credit instead of Health Care Coverage Insurance

  1. Dude, I’m not American; but I see a problem with that card.
    If someone WAY down the socioeconomic ladder needs to pay up front, & just can’t, & just can’t pay the bill at the end of the month like an ordinary credit card, how will it work?

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    • Further clarification for credit system: You go to doctor. Doctor treats you. Full payment is made to doctor with health care coverage credit card [by the card company or provider of the card]. That part of it is a done deal. The doctor has been paid in full and paid immediately. Then it is up to the provider of the card to collect the amount owed from the user [you] and others. There may be a service charge, and interest charged depending on how long it takes to collect full payment. Some money will come from the card user [you] based on income if any. Some money may come from the government if the user [you] qualifies for government aid. Any balance may come from other sources such as a charity helping low income and no income people. Some of it could be part of a benefits package provided by an employer, or a business offering customers the coverage, or a university caring for its students. So the doctor has been paid, you got what you needed, and then it is left to the card provider to get back the money it paid out – not limited to you like a normal credit card, but automatically explores all possible sources based on your situation. Bottom line, you don’t need to worry about it, because it is on them at that point. You only pay what you can pay if any amount at all. Unemployed, no income, you pay nothing. The card provider is compensated by government or charity or other sources. As a for profit business the card provider can invest money from service charges and interest paid for self compensation.

      The debit card option is a straight deal like normal debit cards but is limited to what is in the account. No credit. The money put into the account can come from you, or your employer, or business offering a special, or government, or charity. It’s left to you to find other sources, like applying at a charity for help to pay for a particular health care service – like one office visit and medicine.

      This system, nothing stops the doctor from being paid in full immediately, and nothing stops you from getting health care when you need it. No more administrators making health decisions for you based on money. Decisions are made by patient and doctor. No one can tell the doctor a service can’t be done because it can’t be covered as in insurance. In my case, the hernia is considered to be “elective” instead of “emergency” and therefore not covered by Medicare – until it is an “emergency” service. With the card I get the service, doctor gets paid, then I set up a payment plan with the card provider based on my disability income, while some of it might be covered by other sources. If I were disabled only because of the hernia, preventing me from working, then getting it fixed would make it possible for me to work again and have enough income to more easily pay for it as I’m able to do so. So this system helps to keep people well and working by putting health care first and then means of payment. In 1997, I became too ill to work, could not get effective health care, so I lost everything and briefly became homeless. Then I became qualified to get health care previously denied. Had I got it in the first place then I’d not lost everything. The card idea fixes that by assuring care will never be denied. Get well, get back to work, then have the money to pay for the part you owe.

      For those who can’t work – people with disability, seniors too old, and children, then various sources can help cover the cost – government, charity, and others – but not you. Even so, doctors are paid up front and you get immediate service when needed.

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    • Another scenario here. You are unable to work. So you can’t pay for health care. Therefore, government has Medicare (federal) and Medicaid (state) to pay for it. Problem is, the government is only paying 30 cents on the dollar, and the doctors can’t collect the 70 cents balance from you. So now an increasing number of doctors refuse Medicare and you don’t get the needed care. The card idea pays the doctors in full up front immediately – no delay of several months like under Medicare, worse for Medicaid. Further, Medicare does not cover everything. The card does. Doctor need not worry about being paid. You need no worry about paying doctor. The card does it all. No debate, no argument, do delay, no denials. The card providers can do that as an investment in health care, because it will keep more people working and producing than not. It eliminates the current “Catch-22” problem of which comes first. Full circle means working people pay the taxes that helps to pay for health care that keeps them working. Also, keeps people working to be able to buy products and services businesses profit from, so it is in the best interest for those businesses to invest in health care in order to boost sales. Our society shifted from mo one being denied health care for any reason to confusing COVERAGE with CARE. They want the money for the coverage [Medicare or private insurance] and then do not want to provide the care. Coverage as is does not guarantee care. Pay and pay and pay and then get nothing for it. Greed rules in this vulture culture. They could not care less about your health. Back in the 1960’s it would have been unthinkable for doctors and clinics and hospitals to do everything possible to make you well, so you can work, so you can pay. The proper order is health care first, then work, then pay. Denied care, then no ability to work, and no pay. The system is backwards now because of greed. The card puts it back in working order. An insurance company can deny coverage, while the card idea guarantees coverage – whatever you need to maintain best possible health.

      Dental. I never had coverage. I had a good dentist in the past who accepted payments on anything I could not afford to pay for out of weekly or monthly income. None like that now. Pay cash or have dental insurance [usually via an employer]. The card idea pays the dentist immediately. On a debit card I’d pay it all or I would seek help from others like a charity. On the credit card the card provider pays it all as an investment, and then collects from any source it can get the money from – not just you. Based on ability to pay you might end up paying half via an easy payment plan debt over a few months to over a year for something major like getting false teeth. With the credit card it has been paid for and you got your teeth on the health first plan. It is then the card provider that must be paid, not the dentist or doctor. Now its between you and the card provider to work something out. On your behalf, the card provider will explore all sources of aid for you so you don’t have to worry about it. What it can’t get from other sources, you make affordable payments on. Can’t work? You have disability benefits income to make small payments from. Same for retired or too old to work getting Social security benefits.

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      • Sure, anyone on Social Security should fall under public health; but what about “the working poor” – earn too much for SS but make too little for private health insurance. What happens when they can’t pay; and how guarantee charity organizations will pick up the tab? I have heard, tho, that the US has the most charitable citizens in the world.

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        • I’ve answered that in reference to “low income and no income” people. I’ve been there, living paycheck to paycheck, week to week. I was on that edge when I got too sick to work, could not get effective care, so got worse, lost everything, became homeless a couple of months – then qualifying for aid I’d previously been denied, so I understand what you are referring to. A good question. And that is part of the flaw of the money first system since about 1990 instead of the old health care first system. What I’m proposing has never been done. Not here, anyway. Okay, so you are in that situation, you have the card – more likely the credit version instead of the debit version because the debit versions is like to appeal to those of a slightly higher income level wanting to pay their own way, such as young working adults- especially those in good health – not wanting to pay into a big health care insurance system (private or government). So you have the health care credit card. You get sick. You go to doctor. You pay with the card. Doctor is paid in full up front. You got the care. You can now get well and keep working instead of getting worse and losing your job and everything else. Say the card provider just invested $100 in doctor office visit charge and $100 in prescription drugs charge, so you can get well and back to work. Maybe you can only pay $10 of doctor and $10 of meds, or none at all. Not your concern. No worries. The card provider made the investment. The card provider seeks ways to recover the money plus any service charge and interest for profit. It’s on the card provider to do that, not you. If you are unable to make payments then it falls to other sources. Some charities might help. But who benefits most from you being well and working? You do have income. Here it is taxed, so the government does benefit from you working instead of being sick and unemployed. Your employer benefits from the work you do if it results in the company selling products and services. Businesses – stores – benefit from you spending your money on food, general supplies, and other basic human needs – with local sales taxes being collected on some of those so local government also benefits. So the card provider says to them all, “I invested in this worker’s health care, making it possible for the worker to work to have income, to pay taxes, to buy products – so if it were not for me you would have no revenue from that worker. Now, how about some kickback as thanks to help me recover my investment.” Would they pay? maybe. Especially if the card provider is one of them. Walmart could offer the card to loyal customers in return for spending their money at Walmart for food and general supplies and other basic needs. Further, could also put a nurse or physicians assistant or even an MD on duty in a small service center next to the pharmacy. You are spending your money in their store so you are rewarded with the card use to keep you well enough to keep working to keep spending money in their store – so it goes full circle – getting the money invested back via normal sales of food and general supplies. Further, the card provider could talk the government into giving you a break on your income taxes deducted from each paycheck to pay your share if any, or the government having already collected income taxes then pays some of that to the card provider to help recover the card provider’s investment. Same for collected sales taxes collected on purchases of food and general supplies you made, kicked back to the card provider keeping you well enough to keep working.

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          • I understand your pain. Do you follow aurorawatcherak.wordpress.com
            She has theories too. Have a read.

            Liked by 1 person

          • My pain is a different issue. This is about the difference between health CARE and health COVERAGE. The idea of the card is a proposal, not a theory. I don’t see what that other blog has to do with any of this, or my theories or beliefs on other subjects. It looks like a blog to promote the author and books.

            As for this subject, imagine a wellness-based health care system instead of an illness-based health care system. Who benefits when you are sick? A doctor. Those who sell drugs. Now think about who benefits when you are well and working. What if the health care system only made money when you are well? Then the incentive is to keep you well and working. What if doctors only get paid when you are well, by getting a percentage from those who do benefit from you being well and working – such as for example businesses selling products and government collecting taxes? They would do everything possible to keep you well because their income depends on it. Then the incentive of society is to keep you well instead of benefiting from your misfortunes of illness. If money and profit is a goal or the goal then let it be for the right reasons. Put health first then the money flows.

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          • Just to note as we are in different time zones… While I was responding to you last night, I was up all night keeping en eye on flooding from a series of early spring storms. If the water had got a foot deeper it would have flooded the ground floor apartments, and then I’d have had neighbors coming up to my second level apartment. The weather has gone crazy – worse each year, now getting “April showers” in March. Dogwood trees flowered last week of February instead of first week of April. Hammered by allergy sinus headaches sooner than usual. Makes me wonder what summer will be like this time, mild or hot. Meantime, floods and tornadoes with hail are concerns.

            Anyway, in the future I’ll write more about ideas for better health care, while it is still a hot issue here. There is a chance now Democrats and Republicans will soon work together on fixing Obamacare instead of repealing and replacing it.

            Thanks for your comments, questions, and reading my articles.

            Liked by 1 person

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