I spent most of the weekend getting over this nasty cold/sinus infection/sore throat thing going around. For those of you playing the home game, that means that I’ve been sick twice already this cold season! What happened to my insanely great immune system? It’s still there…the only people I could have gotten this from have had it much worse that I have. Indeed, current thinking is that I’m gonna get better before they do!
Why don’t I just go to the doc? Certainly, there is a belief of youthful invulnerability influencing the decision a bit, but it really comes down to the co-pay. Here I am, fairly well paid; I can easily afford the co-pay. Nevertheless, I sit here just waiting for the yukkiness to pass - since I’ve gotten tired of going into the doctor only to be told it is a virus and there’s nothing to be done. Why pay for that kind of advice?
Might I benefit from some antibiotics? I really don’t know. I know if I get REALLY sick I’ll go into the doctor in a week and complain, and end up with some major illness.
To the health insurer, I’m sure the risk is one they end up saving money on in the long run as millions of people are pushed into the same decision.
However, one of the biggest reasons for companies to provide their employees health insurance - so that they can be more productive workers - is invalidated in this situation. I end up taking more time off work, spreading the disease to others, decreasing productivity as I move through my days waiting for my immune system to win the battle.
It might be interesting to take a holistic look at the cost/benefits of raising the co-pays in an employer-sponsored health plan. Especially one where most of the employees are younger, single workers. (As opposed to plans where most of the employer dollars go to sponsoring family coverage)