Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tis the season...

Just when you think you might've seen it all, some companies are rolling out medical gift cards. There is perhaps nothing more complicated as a health care consumer attempting to navigate the health care system and trying to figure out costs. I can see it now: bewildered looks from health office personnel trying to decode what the card even is in the first place; "should we apply this towards your deductible, or maybe the lab fees" etc. Of course, the problem is most of the time folks have no idea what they are paying for health care services and providers don't know what they are getting reimbursed.

Here is just another poor attempt at trying to solve the mess of the health care system we have today. At least with a Health Savings Account (HSA) you get a break with it being tax-exempt. I'm not sure what benefit these medical gift cards offer. Maybe since costs are so out of control, people would rather not carry around the wads of cash to pay for services?

So if you are in a bind this holiday season and are in need of a last minute holiday gift, run to your local pharmacy and buy your loved ones a medical gift card. Who knows, maybe they already asked jolly old Saint Nick for that appendectomy or knee replacement they are hoping will be left under the tree.

1 comment:

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

Just when you think you've seen it all.. Good lord, people are finally figuring out the HSA accounts. If you could use it like a debit card toward any type of health care service then maybe it could work. I'll keep my eye on the process. Hope you had a great Christmas!