By Jheanelle Chambers, Intern
Temple University professor and National Federation of Independent Business economist Bill Dunkelberg writes in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer column that health care coverage should be more like auto insurance, covering catastrophic illnesses only — and not routine preventive care:
For me, what we call "health-care insurance" should be more like car or home insurance. Health plans should cover catastrophic illness, but not preventive care.
When you change the oil in your car, does your car insurance cover that? New tires? A battery? That's maintenance.
But if you have a serious accident, that is "catastrophic," involving potentially large and uncertain costs, and insurance covers that.
The problem with this approach is people are not cars. Regular medical check-ups maintain good health, and if a person waits until a minor illness turns serious, the cost of treatment is much greater. There is also strong evidence that preventative care increases both the quality and the length of people's lives.