The Vice President of Consumerism for Cigna Healthcare talks about the need to create health care "consumers".
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Do you ever envision a day when a high deductible healthplan will outweigh the traditional PPOs? John Young: I think, in a way that die is cast because of how costs have increased. Employers, if they don't consumerism, they are going to look to more and more cost shifting, which is going to point to more and more higher deductible types of plan or higher co-pays. But the finding is, we have done that year-over-year-over-year to try to stem healthcare costs. We have shifted costs on to employees and it hasn't worked. We still have high increases of healthcare costs, even though we continue to shift it on to the backs of employees. Better is to create healthcare consumers where they have incentives, they have a financial incentive of ownership with any of these health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts and the tools and resources. It's much better from that platform because then they will self-manage their expense better and cost are mitigated because of that. How do we fix Healthcare? John Young: One thing that I would add is, I think, if we are going to fix Healthcare -- and I think, you are starting to see the same here in this session. We are talking a lot about plan design, structuring the incentives in such a way and the information, but if we are really going to fix Healthcare, we have to connect individuals to their own health responsibilities and health status. Like I had done, just a few months ago related to my weight. Now, I still have 40 pounds to go, I mean, I still am in process. But we have to find a way to do that. And I submit that it's analog, it's relational. It is people taking the initiative with other people to encourage them to support them into better wellness, and to support them and encourage them to take better care of themselves, to adapt a better diet. I think that kind of movement, coupled with consumerism platform, that's omnipotent, that will help get cost under control.