One matter that perplexes us is why health care costs keep going up. One of the key reasons for this is “utilization.” The more use (utilization) we make of something, the more it will cost us. Driving a car five miles a day will cost much less than driving it 500 miles a day. When health care is seldom used by a society, it will automatically cost less; when used more, it will cost more.
Many of the social ills today result in harmful health conditions for individuals. This means that health care will be used more, and the cost to society will be greater. Health insurance companies share the increased cost of health care with their policyholders via increased premiums. So the cost of social ills and their resulting harmful health conditions fall on all of us. Just consider the health costs incurred by drug abuse, alcoholism, tobacco, violent crime, pollution, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and accidents that are compounded for not wearing seat belts or helmets. Then there are babies born crack-addicted, fetal alcohol syndrome, HIV, etc. When people that are insured develop health problems because of such things, we all pay for their care through our monthly insurance premiums.
There are, of course, other social factors that cannot be avoided, like the cost of caring for the health needs of an aging population, plus the fact that people live longer.
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