Tuesday, July 3, 2007

To Your Health!

The May 2007 District Administration magazine (sadly, not yet available on-line) has an article about what some districts are doing to keep down health costs. To wit:

*Blood pressure checks in the faculty lounge
*Tying raises to health costs
*”Biggest Loser” Competitions
*On-site mammograms and osteoporosis screenings
*$90 monthly bonuses for participating in diabetes-prevention workshops

Sounds great! Here’s the downer, though:

Prochazka continually sees signs that employees are getting it. A teacher got a second opinion when her doctor could not explain why she needed a $1,500 test that she would have to pay for after her HRA funds were exhausted. The second opinion determined the test was unnecessary. Parents who used to take their kids to the doctor at the first sniffle now wait longer to see if it’s just a cold or something that requires medical attention.
That troubles me. The tone it’s written in is fairly capricious, but I worry whenever you put anyone in a position of having to choose between their health care and their pocket book.

In terms of costs, I’m not sure how that’s really measured on a district-by-district level. My home district passes along the state allotment to us every year and we pay out-of-pocket for any costs above that (for example, if the state pays $650 a month, and my medical plus dental insurance is $1000, then I pay $350 a month). The whole pooling thing is one of those areas that I’m glad we have specialists to figure out for us.

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