Even though the warring parties cannot agree on any policies to reform the healthcare industry, there is some agreement that what we have now is broken. Looking around the world makes for depressing comparisons. As a nation, we pay a higher percentage of our wealth on healthcare, but receive a significantly inferior product. More people die through lack of adequate care in our country. This year, as if to add insult to injury, the insurers have been pushing through major increases in premium rates.
Ironically, it was these increases, in part, that allowed President Obama to push the reluctant Democrats into passing the reform bill. Sadly, the signing of the bill into law has not stopped the premium increases. We are all paying more. As a less publicized side effect, these rises in health costs have also been passed on to drivers. The coverage on liability and other policies includes payment for the treatment of anyone injured in a traffic accident. Insurance companies are for-profit. If their costs go up, those costs get passed on to the policyholders.
Within the US, there are two different systems for insuring drivers. In some states, we have the no-fault system that pays out to those injured no matter who caused the injury. In theory, this is a more cost-effective system because it removes the need for expensive litigation to work out who to blame. Focussing only on how much is needed to repair all the damage saves time and money. In Michigan, this is a two-tier process. The for-profit insurers sell the policies but, if any given claim exceeds a specific amount, the additional compensation is paid by a non-profit reinsurer called the MCCA (Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association). The MCCA recently raised its levy to the insurers by $18 per vehicle per year. Inevitably, the for-profit insurers immediately passed this amount on to the policyholders.
The other system is a traditional for-profit model. In America, insurers are allowed to add their profit margin on to every amount they have to pay. In Europe, insurers are allowed to make a profit on the basic car insurance element in an auto policy, but cannot make a profit on paying medical costs. European health insurance companies make a profit when they sell health plans. The insurer’s right to add a margin is strictly controlled.
All this should tell you the American insurance model is pro business and against the consumers’ interests. You are entitled to see only good. This is how capitalism is supposed to work. We should all pity the poor Europeans who live under these socialist governments. They only pay profits to the insurance industry on the core elements of each policy. We should be thankful our premium rates increase to add a new profit margin every time repair shops, tow companies, car rental firms, hospitals and drug companies increase their prices. For those of you in search of cheap car insurance, get multiple quotes through this site and look through them all carefully to identify where additional discounts and savings may be found. It is up to you to protect your own interests. If this means buying insurance through an internet-only company rather than supporting companies with the maximum number of employees, this is your right. You do not care whether you are supporting the employment of your fellow Americans. All you want is cheap car insurance.