Health care is one of the largest topics in the news and on people’s minds. The reason it is so popular is because of the aging of the population and the increase in so many chronic diseases. People are disappointed in how health insurance companies are handling their insurance benefits and claims. Doctors are frustrated with how the insurance companies are dictating how they are able to practice medicine. The government has tried to step in and moderate this system, however it is unclear about how these changes will impact patients, doctors and insurance companies. While the government plan's intention is to help several overlooked segments of the population, according to reports it might take a few years for the implementation to create a cost savings for people. In the short term projections into 2011 it looks like there will be a 9 percent increase in health care costs for employers. Part of the increase in health care costs will be passed to the employees as well about a 12 percent increase according to a report from Hewitt Associates. Hewitt reviewed data collected from the census, and cost and plan designs for about 350 employees and found two major reasons for the increase: the aging U.S. populations and medical claims cost.
If the reasons for the increase have to do with aging populations and medical claims costs there are changes that employees can make to decrease their health care costs. Employees can commit themselves to creating better health in their lives. I know this sounds simple and yes, I believe that it is. Medical claims decrease when people are healthy. With almost 70 percent of Americans being overweight it increases their risk for serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. If people would commit to losing their extra pounds by eating in a healthy way, exercising and controlling their stress the medical claims in this country would decrease dramatically. The need for millions of prescriptions would no longer be needed. In my practice 90 percent of my patients with high blood pressure would find their levels lowered, often significantly, if there were able to lose 25 pounds or more.