Healthcare

Politicians simply do not understand health insurance or the people who buy it

Vice President Mike Pence said, “Under President Trump’s leadership … we’re going to give the American people the freedom to buy health insurance across state lines — the way you buy life insurance, the way you buy car insurance.”

Health insurance is not like other forms of insurance. In fact, as we use it, it is not insurance at all. 

Simply buying across state lines accomplishes nothing in terms of saving money or lowering premiums. Health insurance relies on networks of doctors where patients reside. What good does it do you to buy a plan from Connecticut if you live in New Jersey? 

If I buy coverage from a company located in Oregon and I live in Massachusetts, my premiums must consider the cost of health care in Massachusetts. Each state has its own laws governing insurance and often that includes their own coverage mandates which increase costs. 

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7 replies »

  1. I have heard it said many times on the news that it is and always has been legal to purchase health insurance in other states. Once again Trump and Pence don’t know what they’re talking about. My mother buys her Medicare Supplemental Insurance in another state and has for 35 years.

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    • It’s illegal for a company to sell in another state unless they have a separate license in that state and their policies are regulated by that state. They are talking about a company based and licensed in one state being able to sell anyone any where a policy. It’s a farce and will do nothing to control costs. Competition among insurers was never and is not now the problem.

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  2. Health insurance in the US is not insurance. It is largely prepayment for medical care we know we will use. Running the cost of a colonoscopy through an insurance company does not make it less expensive. It increases the cost by 20%. Legislators ought to be required to take Economics 101.

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    • Yes, that may be true and it’s true for a lot of more routine care, but you forget the human factor. The average person does not see paying for any health care as their responsibility and many will forgo care if they do have to pay for it. Just consider the absurdity of making birth control “free” for women who spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee while a life sustaining drug carries a significant co-pay.

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    • Maybe we should rename health insurance. Major Medical from decades ago was insurnace. I believe we are calling a form of that as high deductible accounts. We could call it a reimbursement account. No that will not work either because people would look at it like a savings account and we know people do not save money.

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      • All rhetoric having been set aside. Consider the political lunacy since 2010. “Old Bernie”, whom you deride and despise, has proposed universal heath for all and has defined a way to easily pay for it. That is where we are going whether you agree or not. That the real world and we old men should stop fighting it.

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      • Well, I agree we are headed toward single payer in ten years or so. But Bernie’s plan (which I just reread) is beyond naive. He promised full coverage for every possible service, including long term care and removes virtually all financial responsibility from patients and along with it any incentive to care about costs. He leads one to believe there will be no limits and no controls on the care provided. And while taxes go up, he forgets there are other problems to be fixed, like Social Security. But as I said, some form of single payer is coming if for no other reason than out of frustration.

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