ATLANTA, GA — As a surgeon in suburban Atlanta, Dr. Ned Armstrong, has been a healthcare provider for decades. He has witnessed the ever increasing cost of healthcare and healthcare insurance with its dramatic impact on the insured, the under-insured and the uninsured: his patients.
He feels the current system is broken. In response he developed an insurance concept that addresses all three groups and turns the expense of health insurance into an asset without robbing people of healthcare. He calls it the Healthcare Investment Plan or “HIP”.
“It’s an idea, a concept that I want to share with insurance companies, healthcare professionals, anyone involved in the healthcare industry who wants to see an alternative,” Armstrong said. The plan turns healthcare insurance premiums into a kind of hybrid stock in the insurance company. “A fundamental of the concept is that the healthcare insurance customer becomes a healthcare insurance investor,” Armstrong explained. “That changes the whole dynamic of healthcare insurance. The insured has a stake in the company that said it will take care of their healthcare bills.”
HIP shifts premiums, which now are a 100% expense, into a capital investment. Beyond medical coverage, including preexisting conditions, a percentage of the premium is used to purchase shares in the insurance company to create an investment-return equity. With tax credits, a percentage of a consumer’s return would cover insurance company managerial fees and fund state rather than federal agencies charged with helping people not able to get health insurance.
“The Healthcare Investment Plan is a concept, not a product for sale,” said Armstrong. When he has presented HIP to a company, government agency or healthcare organization, “Someone always asks, ‘What’s in it for you?’ That’s when I explain the plan is my way to keep healthcare afloat and in the hands of a consumer driven competitive market, rather than let it sink under the economic weight of nationalized medicine.”
The website also explains how HIP works for employer – employee and individual plans, and how the uninsured fund greatly lessens the burden of healthcare costs on local, state and federal government. “I do think HIP could change the way we can all benefit from healthcare insurance,” Armstrong said.