Saturday, July 6, 2013

No, You Can't Keep Your Existing Coverage

I just got a notice from Aetna saying that my individual policy will no longer comply with ObamaCare's requirements.  I will be forced to upgrade my coverage which will dramatically increase my costs due to the law whether I want it or not!

I was happy before, now not so much.  I'm being forcibly upgraded to a higher cost policy against my will!  Maybe I'll move to Thailand where the government is not screwing everything up.

My "impermissible" policy is a policy that only covers only hospitalization and ambulance transport but has a fairly low deductible and moderate maximum out-of-pocket limit.  The policy doesn't cover doctor's visits or even prescriptions.  Interestingly it does cover preventative medicine. I bought the policy to keep my monthly cost low but mainly to cover myself against financial calamity (the true nature of insurance) caused by a hospital stay due to a serious condition.  I was OK with the cost but even the cost of this type of policy ($233 per month) has more than doubled, maybe tripled, since Obama started his "crusade."  

One of the many problems with ObamaCare is that high deductible policies coupled with health savings plans was (and still is) the correct way forward for health care in this country. Families or individuals would have used high and very high deductible policies once substantial emergency monies have been set aside.  It's the only way to move somewhat toward a cash system which would increase the consumer's "skin in the game" regarding health care "transactions."  Now, we're not heading that way.  Instead, we're headed further down the path of what hasn't worked.

Currently, everyone is spending other people's money: both providers and patients!  When a consumer is paying $10,000 or $15,000 out of pocket, the closer we'll move toward a "normal" marketplace (cash market). When that happens, consumers will get and compare pricing, and prices will be more controlled.  Once you know pricing, then choices can be made. Discovering prices is a major problem now.  Prices at hospitals are all over the place and amount to total confusion.  So, with ObamaCare, we'll be spending other people's money even more!

In Thailand, medical care is done in a mostly cash system and prices are AT LEAST 10 times cheaper than in the US.  If I have a major medical problem, it would be extremely cost effective to pay the $2300 round trip airfare just to use their medical providers.  If we suddenly went to a cash system here, prices would plummet.

Recent studies have shown that desired outcomes for people using Medicaid are no better than the uninsured, EXCEPT that they are shielded from financial disaster. Well, why not acknowledge that and just provide 'high' deductible policies INSTEAD of Medicaid?  I'll bet it's cheaper.  I wouldn't be surprised that higher deductible policies is good for the government too.

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