The country's economic slump is affecting not only the housing and credit markets, but also individual American's health care, as reported in this Washington Post article. Whereas health care was previously thought of as "immune" to recessions, recent hikes in insurance premiums have led to more Americans choosing higher-deductible plans with higher out-of-pocket costs. Patients are increasingly skipping doctor visits, postponing treatments, and looking for free samples of expensive drugs. Given what we know about the relatively low cost associated with preventing disease, compared to the high costs of treating advanced disease, this is indeed a disturbing trend.
Oct 10, 2008