I have worked with health plans from many different directions most of my working career. All of it has been around union negotiated plans and Taft-Hartley plans: union trustee, health insurance marketing representative, communications manager at a state data agency that published report cards on doctors and hospitals, consultant, and now plan administrator.
Now, I administer a public sector benefit plan that provides a generous benefit package to approximately 10,000 employees and retirees and to their dependents. Too much of my staff’s time is spent assisting participants with those transitions in and out of the health care system or navigating the complicated silos within the health care system.
I use the word “system” not as defined in the dictionary, but as generally used for lack of a better word to describe that assemblage of public and private institutions and practices in this country that somehow manages to deliver high quality health care to some people and to ignore others.
I spent time in Germany and know German. If anyone from Germany wants to leave their comment in German or leave it for me to translate, please do.
Fortunately, I have been relatively healthy so my own personal encounters with the delivery system have been somewhat limited, but instructive nevertheless.