This story starts out with a lot of promise and a fresh idea: one reason health care insurance is so expensive is that it is actually four products. Here’s the explanation from the story:
Elements commonly included in health insurance are actually four distinct financial instruments, he said, only one of which is insurance in the classic sense — and that is coverage to protect a person’s assets from a catastrophic event like a car accident or serious illness.
The other three areas of coverage — for preventive services, routine treatment and chronic care — are not insurance because they are used for predictable expenses, Smith said.
The story goes on to say that these other non-insurance items may be obtained in some other, cheaper way, but that bundling them together drives up the cost of all of them. Unfortunately, towards the end, the story feels some need to swerve from excellence to insert some stuff in the "news you can use" category: I blame some weasel editor somewhere along the line. Still, this is a good story overall, one that I would have liked to have seen at feature length, perhaps like something in The New Yorker. It certainly would be better than the last story I read on health care insurance in The New Yorker, which bizarrely dwelled on people pulling their own teeth.