Perhaps one of the most financially troubling and stressful things that people have to deal with is managing their health insurance. Often, we get our insurance from our employers or through our loved one’s workplace and then get taken care of. But then again, there are those people who get insurance through other means who are also struggling to come to grips with their insurance and health care plans. No matter whether your plan is individual coverage or through your employer, the one thing that probably frustrates a lot of people is how can they manage it all. Well one particular company is trying to just that: Cake Health.

Health care’s outlook frustrates us all

According to a recent RAND Corporation study, health care costs have risen faster than the cost of other goods and services in the United States over the past decade. As a result, Americans have been left financially worse off. The research continues by saying that, in dollars, a typical family of four saw on average a monthly income growth of $1,910 over the past decade but spent 40% of it on health care costs.

“Accelerating health care costs are a primary reason that so many American families feel like they are just treading water financially…Unless we reverse the trend, Americans increasingly will notice that health costs compromise their other spending options.”

— David Auerbach, RAND Corporation study lead author and economist

What this clearly tells us, and what I believe everyone is aware of, is that the costs are too high for most families. But what’s more alarming is a report generated by the Commonwealth Fund in 2011, which raises some additional alarming statistics:

  • 45% of the adults in the survey reported that they had a hard time paying their bills, even with health insurance, and had been contacted by a collection agency or had to change their way of life in an effort to pay their medical bills.
  • Approximately 50 percent of personal bankruptcies are due to medical expenses.
  • According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 28 percent of middle income families (annual family income between $30,000 and $75,000) stated that they were currently having a serious problem paying for healthcare or health insurance.
  • Health care benefits are an important factor in either taking a new job or staying with a current job. Approximately 25 percent of employed individuals choose employment based on better health benefits. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)

So now we’ve established the main idea here: health care costs have risen to the breaking point and something MUST be done to help curb it. And while our politicians can debate it all that they want, there needs to be some additional help in reducing the amount of money that we spend. Aside from the unexpected occurrences, there are a growing number of third-party applications being produced that are designed to help families and individuals manage their health care expenses. One of these is Cake Health, a startup from the San Francisco Bay Area, whose stated mission is to help accomplish five things: catch medical bill errors, never let you be surprised by your health care bills, save you money, track the real-time status of your plan, and know what your costs are.