Well it is an election year again and what I have found in my 16 years in business is that every election year business drops off by 50%. So as I face this reality again this year I ask myself “Why?” What is it about election years that makes people recoil, rethink, and hunker down?
Well here is my unscientific analysis. This year people are dealing with the new realities of health care. In years past we could choose whether or not we wanted health insurance. In some cases, potentially it was not a choice, for there are those people who really wanted health insurance but just couldn’t fit that cost into the budget. Several years ago the Federal Government said, “Sorry, you have to fit it into the budget.” Somehow as individuals or employers we figured that out. We also decided, “Well if we have to pay for this we might as well use it.” Potentially here in lies the problem. Yes absolutely more people are accessing the health care system and I will never argue that this is a bad thing. However the method by which the system was rolled out gave little to no thought about what can be referred to as the “bolts and nuts” of the project. How do insurance companies cover the costs?
Now in my State Oregon, this has been an issue several times. We have had one major insurance company declare bankruptcy but eventually bailed out and is still in business. We have had a second insurance company unable to solve their solvency issues and are giving people 3 weeks to find another insurer. The burden is then placed upon the insured to find a new provider. This lack of responsibility on the Federal level all the way done to the insurance company level puts an unwelcome and unwanted burden on the people that the system was created to help.
So this is where I find myself currently. My insurance company will no longer be a viable option come July 31st. This leaves me with numerous questions: 1. what about my current out of pocket expenses? 2. Are there other insurance companies that cover the items that my current insurance company covered, ie: Naturopaths, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Physical Therapy. 3. When open enrollment rolls around again in October or November will I need to get new insurance again? 4. And probably the most important question is: Is not my time worth something? Why is it perfectly ok for me to spend literally hours trying to figure this out and no one seems to think about my lost wages, my lost benefits, or even my overall health in terms of the stress this situation causes.
You see ideas are great. Would should all have new and innovative ideas. But those ideas are simply “pie in the sky” unless you can figure out how to make them work. That is the current problem and it is the problem that raises its ugly head every election year. It is the reason my business drops off by 50% each election year. Uncertainty. Regardless of which party is elected, uncertainty. Financially it could be more beneficial to go uninsured, pay the Federal penalty and save the monthly premium for medical bills. But what if something catastrophic happens to me? I could then be financially wiped out. Uncertainty, uncertainty.