From Affordable Coverage to Affordable Care

On April 4, Dr. Soeren Mattke spoke to a group of healthcare market researchers at the annual IIeX Health conference in Philadelphia. His subject was the Affordable Care Act, and why it’s time to think about affordable care, versus coverage.

In a LinkedIn Pulse post leading up to his talk, Dr. Mattke wrote:

It is a misnomer, really. The law should have been called the Affordable Coverage Act, as it had no immediate effect on the affordability of care, but made coverage for expensive care more affordable for many. I’m speaking today about this at the IIeX Health 2017 event.

Here is the problem: The 2015 median household income in the U.S. was $56,516. The average cost of coverage for a family of four was $17,545. In other words, the average family would have had to spend 31% of its income on coverage, up from 15% in 2000.

Unless that family gets help via employer-sponsored coverage or government support (Medicaid or Exchange subsidies) it simply cannot afford it. Thus growth in healthcare cost has wiped out the modest income gains that average families have had.

Time to start thinking about cost of care……

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