The fallacy of “skin in the game”
How a toxic approach to health insurance set the stage for a health care system collapse in the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the moment this is being written, there are over 1.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States alone. Most insurance carriers have stepped up to the responsibility of waiving COVID-19 related costs; however, stories of financially devastating expenses for COVID-19 victims abound. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that for a person with employer-sponsored health insurance to access care for coronavirus—without any major medical complications— the cost would be nearly $10,000.
This crisis has not only served as a shock to the system for the American health care industry itself, it has become a call to action for organizations and the health benefits brokers who represent them to seek out alternative solutions to the status quo that will protect their employees’ health and the well-being of their organization.
Although it’s undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has thrown into sharp relief the failures of the health care industry, the evidence that healthcare is broken is nothing new. In 2018, the Commonwealth Fund estimated that
nearly 29% of all Americans are what we would consider underinsured—having health insurance coverage in name only that’s too expensive to access. Health care consumers in the United States have been sold a false bill of goods in the form of skin in the game.
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