Honor Tackles an Intractable Market: Senior Care at Home
John Battelle

The Key To Success Will Be In Funding

80 million people over the age of 65 will represent 25% of our current population if we don’t add numbers. Even if we reach 400M people within the next 20 years, 80M still represents 1 in 5 people eligible for care if and when it is needed. Who is going to pay for it.

Now, with people paying more for health care as a percentage of income or net worth, than at any time in our nation’s history, insurance providers have funds they can allocate from premiums to identify and care for at risk patients before an illness or disease becomes catastrophically expensive (to the insurance provider), it behooves carriers to do so. But income trends are working against that being possible in the long term.

As more people lose jobs to any of a number of causes including technological changes, globalization, and the loss of labor union influence, and as wages stagnate, there are fewer dollars for people to pay for these services.

Take for example a husband and wife earning the median national income of $58,000 before taxes, who find a senior or elderly parent in need of care, but with the parent unable to afford it on their own. Even a daily cost of $25 for a 1 hour visit taxes the couple’s net household discretionary income. If the care is more expensive, it becomes a prohibitive cost. So the question then becomes, if this is what our nation wants for its elder class, how will it be paid for and by whom?

The people at Honor are correct in assuming all of the logistics required to roll out an efficient system can be handled. But, without a massive overhaul of our nation’s health care system, and without a revised tax code, the growth of Honor’s business will be stopped in its tracks, as soon as the trends in household funds show the population at large unable to pay for the service under more stressful circumstances.

I’m guessing that will happen within the next 3 to 7 years if we don’t, as a nation, shift our health care priorities to a system which includes everyone, regardless of the costs. If you think this is a careless statement, then I suggest you examine the budget for our nation’s defense(?). The costs can (and must) be managed. But it takes a huge shift in our social biases to achieve an equitable solution.

As always, thank you for presenting material that helps us understand the “shift” in the business of being a society.