More Pesky Facts

More Pesky Facts

Given that this uproar over the rising out of pocket cost of insulin isn’t going away it’s time to once again examine some pesky facts. As we have been writing based on what we have read nearly everyone is blaming the insulin companies for this situation. Insulin companies are being thrown under the bus being made the scapegoats for this situation. Yet as we have been noting what a patient pays out of pocket has little to do with how these companies price their products.

According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “Employers Shift Costs For Health to Workers” the author notes;

“As employers cope with rising health care costs, some are shifting more of the burden onto their workers, often in the form of health insurance plans that carry high deductibles.”

The article goes onto state;

“Health-care costs at large U.S. businesses are expected to rise 6% in 2017, according to an annual survey of 133 major companies offering coverage to more than 15 million Americans by the National Business Group on Health, or NBGH, a nonprofit association that focuses on employer-provided health care. Deductibles will be a pain point for many employees. For the first time, more than half of workers—51%— have a deductible of more than $1,000 for a plan covering a single person, compared with 46% last year, according the Kaiser/HRET survey.

“Long gone are the days when you thought your insurance— even if you were paying higher premiums—was going to cover you very well,” says Bettina Deynes, vice president of human resources for the Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, which employs 400 people. “Even if you select the best plans your company offered, you are still not safe from encountering some major expenses.”

Given this set of facts we suppose those who are complaining long and loud over the rising out of pocket cost of insulin, the ones blaming the insulin companies, they will somehow say that high deductible plans are also because of the insulin companies. This is like saying the company that built the Titanic is responsible for the ship hitting the iceberg.

Listen Diabetic Investor does not take great pleasure in defending insulin companies, nor are we absolving them of the role they do play. However, it is just plain wrong to place the blame on their shoulders alone. These companies spend millions developing insulin’s, millions more manufacturing, marketing and supporting insulin and they are entitled to make a profit. While their critics may not feel they do enough all of the companies have programs that try to help patients.

It’s about time these complainers get their facts straight, that instead of doing nothing more than complain, they try to understand that what a patient pays out of pocket is not directly linked to what insulin companies charge payors. The rising out of pocket cost really is not new either as this has been going on for years as employers have been raising worker deductibles steadily for years. Just as the insulin companies are entitled to make a profit so too are these companies. Given that cost of health care has also been steadily rising employers have some tough choices to make.

We’ll say it again we don’t know what the answer is as this is a very complex issue with many moving parts. But what we do know is that it’s foolish, stupid and flat out wrong to blame insulin companies alone for this situation. It’s time for those who have been complaining long and loud, positioning the insulin companies as the evil empire atone for their sins.