Factors Driving Long-Term Care Essay
Cost Of Living
The cost of living of the middle earning population continues to go higher and higher, this in terms of financial ability has seen most of the middle earning workers turning their health/Medicare responsibility of the insurance companies that are offering the Long-Term Care health benefit. By taking this route to securing their health and that of their loved ones, it has spear headed competition among the insurance companies who are out there with plans of gaining financial uplift as a security for their establishments.
Improved Health Plan
With the standards of the general population continuing to improve in terms of health, thus lesser people are requiring health security as the days go by, the insurers are coming out to manipulate the population with incentive offers that the consumers find hard to turn down. Some of these incentives although not related to health care most people are opting to buy insurances from this insurers. As a result of the factors like these, the competition among the players keeps going up and up, sometimes to the advantage of the customer and other times to the disadvantage of the customer, circumstances that are beneficial to the consumer are like, when insuring your health for the long-term care and incentive like asset protection are thrown up your way, a consumer will be beneficial in two ways, health coverage and asset protection. (Pratt, 2010)
Social and Financial Security
For the consumer, the social security applies thus the status of his/her health is covered and worries about affording a reliable health care at difficulty times would be catered for by an insurance company, this leads to many consumers opting for the cover, they rush to the market to find the better deals, in return, it influences competition among the players and it's driven higher and higher every single moment. For the companies or the players insuring against health, as long as long-term care is nit immediate, they opt to push their livelihood in business by getting as many consumers as possible to buy their insurances, this acts as a financial security of the company that it can survive through harsh economic times. The implication of moving to the consumer with this tactic drives the competition higher and higher hence other players try to keep up.
Besides the financial hardships that most people go through after retirement, they are also faced by health issues that cannot be addressed with the ability of their financial stabilities. For one to make sure or at least have hope on that they are massively driven to purchasing of long-term care health covers. Since sometimes the retirement age is lifted or lowered most of the consumers decide to acquire these covers in time, for the rush and availability of the market, it is known that the players would try as hard as possible to get the majority of the market to their side, the implication of this wish leads to a competition among the customers and the players to get the better deals and to getting means of accruing the moat clients as possible. (Koren, 2010)
Advantages And Disadvantages of Competition in Long-term Care
Advantages to the Consumer
When the completion for long-term care stiffens, a consumer is led to believe that the best deals are coming from the most reliable of the players, in turn; some consumer would get the cover to try out the benefits and assess the level of care that they will receive once the purpose they are covering themselves for arises. In a move to improve the consumer margin, a policy holder would be treated to maximum care as a move of holding a good image by the company; the quality care provided benefits the consumer in that the problem requiring help is addressed amicably. Also when opting for the type of care, consumers discover that long term-care does cover the cost of their health issues unlike the standard care, for the benefit of the consumer, competition of the players on this sector leads many consumers to discovering the benefits it comes with and hence seeking the right kind of care, it is a like decision influencing factor when there are many players out there.
Most of the insurance companies do not like the fact that Hospitals get involved in the health care plan of theirs, so they give pharmacies the contracts of providing the prescribed medication to the clients, this is because the hospitals happen to be much more expensive especially when their treatment incorporates medication bills and so on. For this reason a pharmacist does not worry about his/her sales going down during hard financial times, this is because there is a ready market for his business form the insurance companies covering their clients.
To The Competitor
Competition to the players seems to be varying up and down in terms of the margin of clients served, this involves the factor that a company would be faced with threats of bankruptcy, by getting consumers to buy their cover, they rescue and acquire a financial interest in terms of security and stability. However, the presence of other insurers tend to bother one company or another, looking specifically at how much they get from selling out this policies, they cover their businesses form going down, this is easy to achieve in that long-term care does not start immediately.
To the Customer
The client being the person in need of the cover, moat of these clients suffer losses when the companies they have put their health investment goes down to bankruptcy, as bankruptcy is concerned, other factors may be associated with the predicament by the person who suffers is the consumer, he/she ends up getting lesser and lesser quality health attention and some end up losing their policies following closures of these companies.
To The Company/Competitor
When venturing to any business there are cons and pros of whatever involvement you have in the business arena, for this reason when the competition in long-term care gets very steep, some companies find it hard to keep up with the competition, as a result of this, they lose most of potential consumers, they lose the image they may have had in the past, in case they had shares to the market, they end up operating on debt or at a loss when trying to pay back the cost of the shares they had sold.
To Hospitals and Pharmacies
Competition among players seems to affect the other parties more than the main players, for pharmacies and hospitals treating and providing medication to the elderly covered patients, they tend up accumulating costs that are not getting settles by the insurers, the implication of competition gone badly. Once a company insuring one million people closes, the patients that get treated on the basis of the policy leave bills and the cost to the hospitals and the pharmacies. (Manferd, 2002)