Health Insurers Profit as Patients Receive Less Healthcare

A recent story in the NY Times highlighted the present state of healthcare in this country. It noted that health insurance carriers plan to raise premiums in spite of the fact that they are making record proftis. At the same time, consumers are choosing not to receive healthcare because of the perceived economic burden.
According to the NY Times, “Yet the companies continue to press for higher premiums, even though their reserve coffers are flush with profits and shareholders have been rewarded with new dividends. Many defend proposed double-digit increases in the rates they charge, citing a need for protection against any sudden uptick in demand once people have more money to spend on their health, as well as the rising price of care.”
The healthcare industry should be focused on the quality of care offered to patients. However, it seems the trend is just the opposite. Insurance companies make their healthcare decisions based on their own financial bottom line rather than the interests of their patients. Tort reform can’t fix this problem. This can only be fixed if insurance companies are forced to change their business priorities.