Health Care: An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Written by Andrea Tarrell | Wed, Dec 21,2011 @ 01:18 PM

Senior Advisor 

Go to an all-you-can-eat buffet and take a look in the bus tubs. I think you’ll find they are full of half-eaten entrees and extra helpings of side dishes. In line at the buffet, few of us show restraint. We pile our plates high. After all, we’re not really paying any more for that extra portion of shrimp. Who cares if we don’t need it? Who cares if it goes to waste?

For a long time, this is how our health care system has worked. All-you-can-eat, employer-sponsored health plans tend to encourage consumption of health care services. Employees pay one price for monthly coverage…and pay about that same price whether they get a lot of health care or a little. It’s no wonder the cost of health care is skyrocketing. The system is set up to encourage waste. Smart consumers like us are going to use a lot of health care services if we don’t have to pay for them. That’s just the way we’re built. 

Instead, how would we spend our health care dollars if they were really our dollars to spend? Why can’t we harness the power of the consumer and apply it to health care to keep prices affordable? I think we can…and I’m not alone.

We’ve found a solution for employers to help us all get out of the buffet line. By empowering us to consume health care more intelligently we all win.  Curious?  Check out this video from one of our clients that’s using engagement to drive change in their employees’ behaviors.