Saturday, October 13, 2012

Points record is licence for car insurance firms to raise premiums

Anna Tims

Insurance firm retains driving penalty points on records after statutory period – the result: a higher car insurance premium

I got three penalty points on my driving licence that were removed last month after the statutory four-year period. But when I attempted to renew my car insurance I was told by my provider that it retains points on its records – and charges the consequently higher premiums – for five years. I have paid the price for my speeding offence; surely it's unethical that my provider should punish me for an additional year. DG, Woodford Green, Essex
You've guessed the reason: money. Insurers price their policies according to the perceived risk of a claim. The riskier a customer's profile is perceived to be, the more they'll be charged and, although new laws forbid firms from taking gender into account they are free to use other personal circumstances to calculate premiums.

Most insurers will require details of any endorsements or convictions for the last five years and, although you say this is the only time you've ever been penalised for speeding, if an insurer's claims history shows that customers with speeding convictions are more likely to make a future claim, it will judge you to be a higher risk even after your penalty has expired.
If you need help email Anna Tims at or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include an address and phone number.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inside Paul Ryan’s Health-Insurance Number

By Louise Radnofsky

Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Congressman Paul Ryan shake hands after the Vice Presidential Debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

Paul Ryan‘s closing statement included a claim that 20 million people are projected to lose their health insurance once the Obama health law takes effect.
That figure likely comes from a possible scenario mentioned deep into this March 2012 set of estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that contemplates what employers might do after 2014 when many will be penalized for not providing insurance but can also look to new options such as subsidies towards the cost of premiums for private insurance or Medicaid coverage for low-income workers.

But it’s far from certain what will happen, and 20 million fewer people in employer-sponsored insurance is the most extreme number considered by CBO in its study. More likely, it thought, was that three to five million fewer people might get insurance through their employer each year from 2019 to 2022, and would instead get their insurance through exchanges, with the subsidies, or Medicaid.
There are several big variables for employers between now and then, including the future cost of health premiums relative to the penalty they’ll face for not offering coverage ($2,000 to $3,000 per worker), how well new exchanges function, whether they can find ways to get around the mandate to offer coverage to workers putting in 30 hours a week or more by giving more of them part-time schedules, and how much value prospective employees place on having insurance after they’re also required to carry it or pay a fee after 2014.
And there’s been another major change since March: the Supreme Court’s decision in June that effectively allowed states to decide not to expand their Medicaid programs to enroll all low-income childless adults. For employers with large low-wage workforces, that’s also an important factor in deciding what to do going forward, according to the employee benefits consultants.
Right now, no major employer has said it plans to drop coverage after the law fully takes effect. In anonymous surveys, around one in ten respondents say they’re thinking of doing it (and this response is more typical among mid-sized firms than the largest ones.)
Attention is now focused on the retail and restaurant sectors in particular, which have the lowest rates of employer-sponsored insurance right now, and have been loudest with concerns about penalties if they do not offer a set level of coverage.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sheilas' Wheels promises few price changes for existing customers

Jill Insley

Women's car insurer becomes first to announce how it will implement EU's new gender directive
Sheilas' Wheels says the current gender profile of its policyholders will minimise price disruption.
Sheilas' Wheels, the car insurer specialising in providing cover for women, says its customers are unlikely to suffer a steep rise in premiums, despite new EU rules outlawing the use of gender for underwriting insurance.

The rules, which come into play on 21 December, are expected substantially to increase the cost of car insurance for women, particularly younger ones, who until now have benefited from cheaper premiums than their male peers because statistically they are less likely to have a serious accident. According to price comparison website gocompare, women in general will see their premiums rise as much as £300 a year, while those in younger age groups could suffer a £2,000 rise.

Many experts in the industry have speculated that insurance brands specialising in selling to women would suffer falling sales after being forced to raise their prices.

But Sheilas' Wheels said it was confident that the current gender profile of its policyholders will help to minimise price disturbance for the vast majority of its existing customers, with most seeing price changes of no more than 4% in either direction, or £12 on an average premium.

"This is because the current predominance of female drivers – which Sheilas' Wheels believes will continue as its existing customers renew – will help to influence premiums quoted for some time beyond the gender-neutral pricing implementation date due to female drivers' historically lower claims costs," it said.

Sheilas' Wheels has more than 450,000 female customers, but fewer than 50,000 male policyholders named as the main driver. The company's current selection against male drivers is shown by its quotes for a male and female driver aged 38, living in West Sussex and driving a VW Golf. The male driver was quoted a premium of £317.65, compared to £214.08 for a woman of the same age and address.

Esure, Sheilas' Wheels's sister brand targeted at all drivers, quoted a premium £30 cheaper for the man, at £287.

Jacky Brown, head of projects at Sheilas' Wheels, said: "Each company equalising prices ultimately needs to match premiums to claims, and our claims costs should continue to be relatively lower due to the sheer number of good, safe drivers who comprise our mainly female policyholder base today."

She added: "We have insured men from day one but our marketing has always appealed to women more – that won't change." The price of policies currently offered through Moneysupermarket includes a free spa treatment.

The insurer has become one of the first in the UK to clarify how it intends to implement gender neutral pricing. New customers applying for quotes will get the same prices regardless of whether they are male of female from 18 December, while existing customers will receive renewal invitations containing gender-neutral pricing quotes from 18 November.

From 18 November 2012, Sheilas' Wheels will progressively reduce its 30 day "quote guarantee period' through to 17 December. This will ensure that any gender-specific quotes issued prior to this date are not guaranteed beyond the point when it would be unlawful for a policy to come into force using such information.

The insurer will also temporarily stop offering car insurance quotes on 18 November to new customers for policies due to start after 18 December 2012.

Following implementation of the new gender rules, insurers will be forced to place more weight on the other criteria used to underwrite car insurance policies, some of which also include an element of gender. These include the policyholder's claims history, postcode, age of driver and car, occupation, class of usage, type of cover, modifications to the car and convictions.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life Insurance Benefits

Are you considering a life insurance policy? Maybe you haven't gotten one yet because you aren't entirely sure which options are right for you, or you've explored a bit and find the world of life insurance baffling. I don't blame you. There are a lot of technical terms that insurance companies use for life insurance and they can be confusing for the average person who has never worked in the insurance world. At Life Insurance Quotes, we try to make life insurance as understandable as possible to you can choose the policy you need to protect your family if something happens to you.

Why Should I Buy Life Insurance?

That's usually the first question that most people ask. A lot of people assume that their savings, 401(k) plan and investments will be enough to cover expenses if they die. However, that's not necessarily the case. Funerals and other expenses can be more expensive than you think. Some reasons to buy life insurance include:
  • Covering funeral and related expenses. Even a pretty basic funeral can be pretty expensive, and your family has enough to think about without being concerned about the bill, too. Life insurance should cover the cost.
  • Helping your family financially. A lot of families spiral into poverty after the main income provider dies. Life insurance should be enough to cover basic expenses like the mortgage, car and credit card payments, food, and clothing for your family. This will help them stay on their feet while they recoup and plan for the future.
  • It doesn't have to be expensive. You can compare insurance rates and coverage levels with several companies to see what works best for you. You also have several options to choose from for your life insurance. You don't have to choose that one million dollar policy if you think that half a million dollars will work fine for you.

FAQ About Life Insurance Policies

If you're looking for a life insurance policy for the first time or are looking to renew or modify an existing one, you probably have plenty of questions. Most savvy consumers do and it makes sense to learn a little about what you're buying with a life insurance policy. Several common questions include:
  • Are there different kinds of life insurance policies? Two basic types of life insurance include whole life insurance and term life insurance. Whole life insurance is set to remain active until the policyholder passes away or stops paying the annual premiums. It is designed to care for the needs of young children and other dependents in the event of the policyholder's death. Term life insurance is set to last for a specific amount of time, after which it expires unless you choose to renew it. It is an option for a specific need like making sure your mortgage will be paid off if something happens to you.
  • Who can I name as the beneficiary of my life insurance policy? It is most common for policyholders to list family members like a spouse or children as the beneficiaries. It can be anyone you choose, though. I've even heard of cases where people listed their pet cats as beneficiaries -- admittedly pretty rare.
  • What kind of factors can affect life insurance rates? Factors might include your overall health, marital status, medical expenses and the ages of your children. You can help reduce your insurance rates by maintaining a good driving record, keeping any existing health conditions under control, staying in shape and considering paying your premiums annually.
  • What should I consider when choosing life insurance? A good question. A lot of people worry about buying an insurance policy that's too big or too small. Factors to consider include expenses related to a funeral and settling your estate and providing for your family's basic needs after you're gone.
  • Can I change my life insurance policy after I get one? Most insurance companies are used to the fact that the needs of their policyholders might change on a frequent basis. In most cases, it's pretty easy to adjust your life insurance policy to fit new circumstances after you've already signed on.
  • Will there be a health exam? In some cases like individual life insurance, there will be. In others, such as group life insurance, the provider may just ask you a few questions about your health. Be sure to ask your insurance agent before you sign on.
  • What happens if I have an accident, don't die but am disabled and can't work?It's a legitimate concern. Some unforeseen events can disable you and derail your life plans. You might want to consider long-term disability insurance as an addition to your life insurance policy. It also makes sense to have an emergency fund available because, in some cases, there will be a waiting period before the insurance company starts paying the benefits from a disability insurance policy.
  • I have a child with a serious health condition. Should I have a life insurance policy in case she dies? Most people don't think of a life insurance policy for children because they're young and you don't expect them to die for a long time. But it might be a good idea if you worry about funeral expenses in case your child dies. It doesn't have to be very expensive. I hear Gerber has pretty good policies designed for children.
  • I don't have much of an income. Can I afford life insurance? Be sure to shop around, see what's out there and keep in mind the factors that go into pricing an insurance policy. Even if you can't afford the high-end insurance policy, you might be able to get one that just covers basic funeral expenses. If your employer offers group life insurance, be sure to check that out because group insurance is designed to spread the risk across several people.

    Can Your Career Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums?

    Does your career involve high-risk activity? Life insurance companies can and often do factor in your career when calculating your premium. One example involves America's early astronauts. In the 1960s, space flight was still brand-new and everybody knew that there was a good chance that the Mercury astronauts could go up in a fireball. Before America's first orbital flight, John Glenn was unable to find an insurance policy that he could afford on a Marine's salary. Out of exasperation, he asked a lawyer representing the Mercury astronauts what could be done. The lawyer agreed to write a check for $500,000 that Glenn's family could cash if he died during the flight. The flight of John Glenn's Friendship 7 was a dramatic success and his family never had to cash that check.

    Glenn took the risk because he thought it was a risk worth taking even though he wouldn't have been able to afford the life insurance premiums on his own. Do you think your career is worth the inherit risks? If you love your job, you'll have to balance savings on your insurance premiums against your career because it can be a factor.

    Types Of Life Insurance Policies

    Life insurance companies offer different kinds of policies to cover distinct individual needs. Each type is going to have its unique pros and cons, so be sure to educate yourself about the types of life insurance before you decide.
    • Term Life Insurance: This type of insurance is designed to last a specific amount of time and fill a specific need, like making sure loans are paid off if something happens to you. They have no cash value and will expire unless you renew when the term is up.
    • Whole life insurance: This is designed to build up value over time. Part of money you pay in premiums is usually invested in stocks, bonds and other assets with a cash value and the rest goes to the insurance company. This isn't really considered a good investment option but helps insure that the money is there for your family.
    • Mortgage life insurance: This option pays off your mortgage if you die before paying it off. This helps insure that your family won't lose the house.
    • Universal Life Insurance: A type of permanent life insurance in which the excess of premium payments is credited to the value of the policy. The cash value can be redirected into separate accounts that operate like mutual funds.
    • Life Annuities: A type of insurance in which the policyholder makes regular payments into a fund or makes a large lump-sum payment while still working. Upon retirement, the policyholder receives a sum every year. This type of insurance will usually cease when the policyholder dies unless he names a beneficiary.
    • Survivorship life insurance: This form of life insurance only pays out when all of the joint policyholders die. This form of insurance is popular with couples. It is designed to meet expenses like estate taxes or meet the needs of special-needs children.

    Tips For Choosing Your Life Insurance

    • Get a few quotes. A lot of insurance companies are going to price risk factors differently. By comparing a few quotes, you can be sure you're getting a good deal on your life insurance. On the flip side, keep in mind that the cheapest quote might come from an insurance company that gets poor consumer ratings and doesn't have very good customer service. So be wary of any company that offers rates that's significantly lower than other companies.
    • Buy from reputable insurance companies in your state. Which insurance company would you rather trust, Allstate or some guy who claims to sell good life insurance but won't tell you that he's being investigated by the FBI? There are reputable local insurance agents that sell policies from a variety of companies. Be sure to check their credentials and go the other way if something doesn't feel right.
    • Find some independent consumer reviews of insurance companies you are considering. It won't help you or your family much if you save money on your insurance only for the insurance company to rip your family off after you die. Most reputable professional review sites are good at listing the good and bad points of any insurance company. It also helps to find reviews from people who have an insurance policy with a particular company so you can see how responsive they are to the needs of policyholders and beneficiaries.
    • Take stock of which risk factors you can control. If you smoke, throw away your cigarettes and you might notice a drop in your premiums. Keep your driving record clean and take a refresher defensive-driving course to help eliminate bad habits. Get regular health checkups to catch any medical conditions before they become serious.
    • Analyze how much life insurance you need. What amount of insurance will be enough to pay for immediate expenses and take care of your family if something happens to you? By answering that one question, you can stay on track with your insurance options.
    • Don't procrastinate. You might be in good health and have been putting off getting life insurance because you don't think it's urgent. But what happens if you get into a fatal car wreck or become the victim of a violent crime? That's the kind of thing that life insurance is for and you should get life insurance as soon as reasonably possible.
    • Ask questions if you have them. If something confuses you about the life insurance policy you're considering, be sure to ask your insurance agent or somebody from the company. You might even be able to tell the quality of their customer service by their willingness to answer your questions quickly and in terms you can understand.
    • Looking at term life insurance? Consider a longer term on your policy. You might want an insurance policy that will last until you've paid off your mortgage and most mortgages are designed to last about 30 years or so. Most insurance companies can tailor term life policies so that your premiums remain level f0r the duration of the policy. If you want to renew when the term is up, the premiums will usually go up.
    • Don't let your insurance agent pressure you into buying a policy with more coverage than you really need. There might be several insurance agents in your area who basically do the same thing, and that's sell insurance policies. You don't have to put up with the same kind of high-pressure sales tactics you might see from a car salesman. If you don't feel comfortable with one agent, you might consider checking into others or visiting several insurance websites on your own to get quotes.

    Don't Wait To Get Life Insurance

    A lot of people are prompted to get life insurance after a friend or family member dies and they see what it does to their families. You don't have to wait for something to happen to someone else before taking steps to protect your own family. With life insurance, you have plenty of options and savvy insurance shoppers can get the kind of coverage they need to cover expenses. Consider what your family will need to pay off debts and live comfortably if you were to die right now and get the kind of life insurance you need to cover that.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Wheels have come off UK car insurance

Prices, accidents and vandalism are all down, but deliberately bloated repair costs mean premiums keep going up

Vehicle theft and vandalism have plummeted, but insurers still whip up fears of car crime to jusitfy higher premiums. Photograph: Steve Allen/Alamy
The car insurance market is broken. As a country, we're paying around £10bn a year to insure our cars, and billions of that is wasted. According to the AA, drivers in Britain fork out an average of nearly £1,000 each to insure their cars, up from around £350 in 1994. Those figures include everyone from 17 upwards, which is why they seem so high – most middle-aged people pay closer to £500-£700. Yet it's evident that carinsurance has shot far ahead of inflation and earnings, despite the fact that (a) we're having fewer serious car accidents and fatalities almost year in, year out; (b) car crime has collapsed; and (c) car prices have fallen.
One of the fantastic things about Britain is how few people die on our roads – just 1,900 last year, with 23,000 serious injuries. In 1990, it was 5,217 dead and 60,000 more seriously injured, while in 1966, the worst year, we killed 7,985 people on the roads. In France, the figures are double ours.
Now let's look at car theft and vandalism. According to the ONS, the total recorded "offences against vehicles" soared in the 1980s, peaking in 1992 at 1.55m. Since then the fall has been astonishing, with just 417,000 offences against vehicles in 2011/12. Even as unemployment has climbed, theft and car crime has continued to fall. So while insurers whip up fear about car crime to justify costly premiums, in fact it's at the lowest level in a generation.
What about car prices? A new Ford Focus (£14,000+) costs a lot more than a Ford Cortina in 1980 (£3,475), but in real terms the price of cars has advanced little, if at all. Meanwhile the price of used cars has fallen, both in real and absolute terms. I called webuyanycar for a valuation on my only car, a 51-reg Alfa. It came in below £400 – less than I pay for the insurance on it.
How did we get to the situation where insurance can cost more than your car? The reality is that the part of the premium that goes to cover accidents and theft keeps falling. Instead we are paying for all the other nonsense now built into your premium – deliberately bloated repair costs, outrageously priced "courtesy" car hire, spurious whiplash claims and burgeoning uninsured losses.
The insurance industry wails about it, but is largely at fault itself. It is riddled with perverse incentives, because the person paying the bill often isn't the one managing the repair. If you knock another car, it goes off to their insurer's "authorised" repair yard, which, because it's charging your insurer, has no incentive to keep costs under control. Its incentive is the reverse – it will want to drag out the repair, add in costs and commissions, and offer a ludicrously expensive replacement car while the other one is off the road, and for as long as possible.
The Competition Commission has begun an investigation into the car insurance market, but don't hold your breath. We need a fundamental rethink. UK car insurance looks like US healthcare; super-loaded with costs, but with worse outcomes than countries with socialised medicine. Government, rightly, makes car insurance compulsory, but leaves profligate private providers to manage it. How about a National Car Insurance Service?


Monday, October 1, 2012

Understanding Car Insurance

By: Denis Yates

Motor Vehicle Insurance Basics

Understanding car insurance is not a subject the majority of people would be the slightest bit interested in. Generally speaking, this is down to the fact that motoring insurance is something you must have, as required by law and, for the better part the only real interest shown in motor vehicle insurance basics is how much it is going to cost.

Cost of Automotive Insurance
If you are one of those people believing that you are the safest person on the road and, therefore need only the least insurance coverage available, you are missing the point.

Basic motor insurance, that which you are required to have by law in most countries, will not necessarily cover you if anyone else is in an accident in which you are involved.

The perfect driving record will not exempt you from getting injured, or, heaven forbid killed, in an automobile accident. The best driving record in the world will not help you from the cemetery.

Being covered for the bare legal minimum of auto insurance, without actually understanding what this means, could leave you open to all sorts of liabilities in the event of an accident.

Knowing more than the basics about motor insurance, will be beneficial in the long run. Having as much information about automotive insurance as you can stand, will at least show you that you need as much as you can get.

Let us imagine that you have just run into a parked car. Do you know whether or not the minimum legal insurance covers you for this? Remembering that this legal minimum can differ from state to state and country.

Understanding Car Insurance Categories
Vehicle insurance coverage basics usually available.

No-fault Law.
With the basic legal minimum of auto insurance, you are covered if you are at fault or not. This will cover your medical costs, up to an amount specified by your particular insurer.

Personal Injury Protection.
Up to an amount pre-determined by your policy and insurer, all of your medical bills, hospital costs, and funeral expenses, will be covered. Included in this, is anybody inside or outside of your car, that were injured as a direct result of the incident.

Bodily Injury Liability.
Any death or injury resulting from an incident you are responsible for as the owner of the car involved, is covered by Bodily Injury Liability. Also covered will be expenses for loss of income, long-term care, hospitalization pain and suffering, rehabilitation, and so on.

Property Damage Liability.
This insurance covers you if you cause damage to someone's property other than your own, with your vehicle. Said property may be in the form of any type of vehicle, any part of a house or the property within it, such as fences, fountains, etc. Property Damage Liability and Bodily Injury Liability are usually combined, depending on your country.

Full Coverage.
Precisely that, full, comprehensive insurance protection.

Uninsured Motorist.
Uninsured Motorist covers injuries to you and any passengers in your car, when the other motorist in the incident is at fault but does not have insurance or, lacks sufficient motor insurance coverage.

Medical Only.
Medical expense for yourself and any passengers, in a car owned by you.

If you can comfortably spare the expense of full, comprehensive, auto insurance coverage, then do so. If your insurance cover is pre-determined by how much your finances can bear, then so be it, there is no shame here.

You need to get the coverage that suits your situation. If you get less than you easily have enough for, in the event of an incident you may find you have ultimately left yourself in the lurch.

Understanding vehicle insurance coverage basics, can only be beneficial to you, should you be caught up in an accident. Being unaware of the differences in the types of automobile insurance coverage available, could leave you in dire straights if you thought all insurance was the same and only got covered for the barest minimum.

The primary reason for this article is to give any reader further information than they may already have, concerning understanding car insurance. This is not a legal document and can not be used as a legal reference, either.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Curing the Healthcare Crisis

Empowering patients and caregivers

by John C. Goodman, Ph.D.

Designing Ideal Health Insurance

Current insurance models don't utilize such things as informed patients. Published on September 24, 2012 by John C. Goodman, Ph.D. in Curing the Healthcare Crisis

The modern era has inherited two models of health insurance: the fee-for-service model and the HMO model. Both models create perverse incentives for patients and their doctors.
As I wrote in my recent book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, virtually all recent variations on these two models are attempts to ameliorate and control those perverse incentives—usually by introducing features that have a new set of perverse incentives. It is probably no exaggeration to say that the evolution of health insurance is one of cascading perversions, with each new wave of design trying to overcome the bad outcomes of the previous designs.
Under the fee-for-service model, insurance is designed to pay a separate fee for each service rendered, with patients responsible for some portion of the fee— in the form of a deductible, coinsurance or co-payment amount. Under the HMO model, providers receive a fixed fee, irrespective of the amount of service rendered.
When healthcare is perceived as free (the HMO model), patients will have an incentive to consume it until its value at the margin approaches zero. Since the cost of care is well above zero, this implies that unconstrained patients will consume healthcare resources very wastefully. The deductibles and co-insurance that are features of a typical fee-for-service plan are only a small improvement on these distorted incentives. If patients pay 20 percent of the bill, for example, their incentive is to consume care until its value at the margin is worth only 20 cents on the dollar.
On the provider side, the fee-for-service model encourages overprovision— since more service results in higher income for the doctor, hospital or other supplier of care. The HMO model, by contrast, encourages underprovision, since any portion of the fixed fee that is not spent on medical care is available to the providers as take home pay or some other form of compensation.
Readers may wonder why either model was ever found appealing to anyone in the past. The short answer is that both models are the product of the technocratic approach to healthcare I discussed earlier in my book. Both, in other words, ignore economic incentives.
Both models, for example, implicitly assume that (1) the amount of sickness is limited and largely outside the control of the insured, (2) methods of treating illness are limited and well defined, and (3) because of patient ignorance and asymmetry of information, treatment decisions will always be filtered by physicians, who will make decisions based on their own knowledge and experience or clinical practice guidelines. In this way, both models implicitly assume—one way or another—that economic incentives can be ignored.
Although the HMO model is often viewed as the more contemporary, it is actually less compatible with the changes the medical marketplace is undergoing. The traditional HMO model is fundamentally based on patient ignorance. The basic idea is a simple one: make healthcare free at the point of consumption and control costs by having physicians ration care, eliminating options that are judged “unnecessary” or at least not “cost effective.”
But this model works only as long as patients are willing to accept their doctor’s opinion. And that only works as long as patients are unaware of other (possibly more expensive) options.
However, an explosion of technological innovation and the rapid diffusion of knowledge about the potential of medical science to diagnose and treat disease have rendered these assumptions obsolete.
We could spend our entire gross domestic product on healthcare in useful ways. In fact, we could probably spend the entire GDP on diagnostic tests alone—without ever treating a real disease. The new reality is that patients are becoming as informed as their doctors—not about how to practice medicine, but about how the practice of medicine can benefit them. Combine the potential of modern medicine to benefit patients with a general awareness of these benefits and zero out-of-pocket payments, and the HMO model is simply courting disaster. The fee-for-service model is only a slight improvement.
Some believe that managed care and practice guidelines can solve these problems. Imagine grocery insurance that allows you to buy all the groceries you need; but as you stroll down the supermarket aisle, you are confronted with a team of bureaucrats, prepared to argue over your every purchase. Would anyone want to buy such a policy? Traditional health insurance isn’t designed to work much better.
Accordingly, I propose a new approach. It combines an old concept, casualty insurance, with two relatively new concepts: universal Health Savings Accounts (to control demand) and a proliferation of centers of excellence or “focused factories” (to control supply). I will be posting more on this later. I believe this is the approach that would naturally emerge if we relied on markets, rather than regulators, to solve our problems.