Cost of healthcare needs reevaluating: study - Macleans.ca
 

Cost of healthcare needs reevaluating: study

People are no longer considered old at age 65


 

The population is aging more slowly than expected, which means the burden on health care systems in industrialized countries might be less than expected and the cost of taking care of the elderly should be remeasured, according to a new study in Science magazine. The study, by American and Austrian researchers, suggests aging should be measured in a way that isn’t fixed to chronological ages. Current indicators used worldwide to determine healthcare and retirement costs are based on chronological age “and in many instances consider people as being old when they reach age 65 or even earlier,” professor Warren Sanderson, one of the authors, told the BBC. This has policy implications, since population changes are expected to have major economic consequences in the future.

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Cost of healthcare needs reevaluating: study

  1. Changes to health care should have been done long time ago, but I hope this is not an excuse for policy change like retirement age being pushed to 100? If it is, we need mass production of Vitamin Bs and calcium (should be covered through health care) so we could still reach our work place not horizontally (semi vertical, and drooling should be okay)?

  2. No doubt the retirement age will be raised. While 65 – is not old, old, (it's young old as the jargon says) it sure ain't middle age, unless you expect to live to 130. Lots of people in their 60 and 70's have no serious health problems.

    • The mandatory retirement age has already been raised.

  3. Those botox and facial cosmetic surgery/correction surely did us in, didn't they? Those mentioned procedures might had been part of governments conspiracy so they would have reason and proof to raise retirement age, hmmm? I wonder if they took time to look at the health of the brain while doing this study? They might be surprise to see nothing of substance there. But then, governments could counter it with Stephen Hawkin's most recent book, about how all things come from nothing. Boy, we could just never win!

  4. A user fee for health care must be imposed on everyone, welfare cases, old people, emergency room visits etc. Every time. Or the system will consume the rest of our society.

    • User fees for health care will only lead to an increase in overall costs for the state. So it would only "consume the rest of our society" only faster.

      • How?

        • Because user fees cause people to delay or avoid preventative or even necessary treatments, hurting productivity and often increasing total medical costs as small problems become bigger problems that are more expensive to deal with.

          It is a bit of a fine line – if medical services are too easy to access, they become abused, but if they are too difficult to access, they become neglected by those who really should be using them.

          Bottom line is that we want (or at least we should want, for economic and moral reasons) people to be healthy and to be using the appropriate medical services that make them healthy, including emergency room visits and the like. We don't want abuse of the system, where people use medical services more than they need because there's no marginal cost to them, but there are ways around that. Rather than user fees, abuse fees can play a role. For example, charging people not for appointments they keep, but appointments they miss would discourage frivolous use of the system, lower wait times and provide an additional revenue stream for the system. Likewise, we do have safeguards against overuse, as certain services, especially preventative ones, are only covered a maximum number of times over a set amount of time (for example, scheduling my annual doctor's check-up is constrained by what OHIP will cover). That creates a user fee without needlessly restricting access.

          • Why not cap the number of visits to family physician per year (reasonable – study), unless someone has terminal illness or abnormal disorders. Whatever unused portion of those visits can be transferred to future years, when those visits become necessity. If those capped visits have been exceeded, patient has to pay portion or full amount of the physician's fee. Same thing with expensive diagnostics like MRI, and CT scans, unless for those terminal illnesses, should have a yearly cap. I would exclude specialists, and surgeons' visits from the cap, as visits to these professions are referral basis and such are necessity.