Health care is the most basic need of every person. No wonder health care benefits consistently rank as the second most important factor for employment after wages for employees across all age groups. However, the cost of these benefits render them mostly useless. When half of Americans have less than $500 in their bank accounts, a deductible plan of $10,000 doesn’t make any sense. This is why health care costs are the top reason for personal bankruptcies, despite two thirds of these people actually having “health insurance.”

Employers are finding that a growing number of employees are opting out of these high cost benefits. Simply put, a benefit not taken is a benefit not provided. Without benefits, there isn’t anything creating a sense of loyalty to the employer. And in this tight labor market, that poses a huge challenge with recruitment and retention. Clearly, we need to break the status quo and build something better!

The problem is with the structure of health insurance which, by definition, is supposed to protect against rare but high expense events (think of your automobile or homeowners insurance). Can you imagine the cost of your oil change if it got billed to your car insurance? So why then with health insurance have we managed to lump everyday care with rare major medical events to the point where no one knows the true cost of any episode of care?

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