When Would I Pay More – Z-Lists and Green

The other day, someone was talking to me about the Z-List at Harvard. Basically, Harvard will allow a certain number of students to come in if their parents give $1M. Makes sense, and it allow them to provide lots of other students with aid.

At the grocery store, we pay a premium for organic foods.

We pay a premium for green buildings.

We pay a premium for energy derived from sustainable sources (e.g., wind).

Yet, in healthcare, we are always focused on how to lower premiums and/or ashamed of the constant increases.

  • Is there a place for a premium product with a different service model? E.g., no inbound IVR…you always talk to a live agent
  • Is there a place for more bundled services? E.g., vision, personal health concierge, OTCs
  • Is there a place for a wide open formulary? E.g., every drug is covered for a flat copay of $10
  • What about a preventative care plan that focused on getting you better?

The one that immediately jumped to my mind is pre-existing conditions. I am sure the underwriters could figure it out like Harvard, but why can’t I pay a one-time penalty or annually higher rates to be insured even with my pre-existing condition and maybe I can earn credits for being preventative.

It ultimately gets to the idea of personalized insurance that is specific to me where I weigh my need for simplicity, my financial assets, and my risk profile against the insurance companies underwriting model for risk management.

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