What Health Reform Will Do to My Insurance

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Tom B, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Tom B

    Tom B

    This is ridiculous. The author obviously has a health insurance plan that works for him. He will lose his plan under the house healthcare bill. What ever happened to "do no harm."

    What Health Reform Will Do to My Insurance
    Congress wants the nation to adopt the same rules that have made coverage expensive in New York.


    I'm a registered Democrat living in New York City, and I buy my own health insurance. But now, having seen the health-care reform bill that passed the House, I'm preparing for life without health insurance. And unless I'm the only person covered under the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield "Tradition Plus" plan, a lot of other people will end up just like me, uninsured.

    I will gain one thing, though—an annual fine for losing my insurance. The exact amount of that fine isn't clear yet, but so far it looks like I'll be paying about the same amount—$2,000 a year—for having no insurance as I do now for having it.

    Let's get specific. What is the "Tradition Plus" plan that I've purchased each year since moving to New York in 2006? It's a hospitalization plan. If an accident or illness puts me in the hospital, all my hospital expenses are covered. Why is it so affordable? Because it covers only hospital expenses. Any fees from a physician who is not a hospital employee (i.e., who bills the patient privately) I would pay out of pocket.

    Before I come to the big question—why will I lose this insurance plan if anything like the House bill becomes law?—I want to address a smaller one. Why do I choose the Empire "Tradition Plus" plan instead of a comprehensive HMO-type plan that covers physician fees, prescriptions, etc.? Because, unlike other states, New York already mandates two things that the current federal health-care reform will mandate. The first mandate prohibits insurers from denying coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition. The second mandate prohibits insurers from denying coverage, or determining prices, based on age. The result is that HMO plans in the state are now very expensive. The price of Empire's basic, least expensive HMO plan is more than $13,000 a year for an individual, more than $26,000 a year for a married couple, and more than $39,000 a year for a family with children. Empire is a reputable firm and those prices are typical of what's available to New York City residents. Upstate New Yorkers pay slightly less.

    The only less expensive alternative is the "Tradition Plus" plan. That's why I buy it. The money I save by not buying the basic HMO plan—roughly $11,000 a year—I can draw on to pay for any doctor visits I choose to make.

    The House health-care reform bill hinges on what it calls a "qualified" health-care plan. Individuals will be required by law either to buy a plan that meets the criteria of a qualified health-care plan or pay a fine. What are those criteria? They're the basic components of a comprehensive HMO-type plan, which means that Empire's "Tradition Plus" will not qualify because it covers only hospital costs. In other words, if President Obama signs into law the kind of health-care reform bill that is currently on the table, I will have only two choices: buy an expensive qualified plan or pay a fine for being uninsured.

    And there is nothing in any of the pending health-care legislation that will make the cost of a qualified plan significantly lower than it is in New York now. On the contrary, once the health-insurance mandates that already exist in New York become the law of the land, insurance premiums everywhere else will rise as they did here. What I can't figure out is why Congress would want to prohibit someone like me from keeping an affordable hospitalization plan. It works for me and it works for the hospital. I guess that's the problem. It's simple, it's easy to understand, and it works.

    I realize that we who buy our own health insurance are a fairly small percentage of the market, but there are millions of us. Millions more may have an employer-based plan today, but not tomorrow. So, as I prepare for the winter of my disinsurance, at least I'm not alone.

    Mr. Heinze is a writer in New York.

  2. skylr33


    LOL. The writer of this article can thank his fellow Democrats for that. He get's exactly what he deserves, as he probably voted for Obama, and to put Democrats in congress. No sympathy from me whatsoever!!!!!!
  3. Lucrum


    Health Care "Reform" = Fucking up health care for the 85% that have it, so that the 15% that don't have it can get it <s>free</s>- at taxpayer expense.
  4. Look at the price of insurance which includes the guaranteed insurabiity clause regardless of pre-existing conditions. While everyone wants it, you gotta wonder how many can afford it.

    And in this guys case, he dodged it with his hospitalization plan. I guess what he was thinking is that if he got something serious that was not covered by the hospitalization plan, he would just go get insurance. LOL! In other words, he's a scammer.

    By the way, the way I understand it you don't just pay a fine for lack of insurance. You can also go to jail, in the house plan. LOL! I guess he didn't know that.

    Either way, get ready for much higher insurance costs. This is the change you can count on!

  5. Like I always say, even the Marines can't keep up with Congress when something has to be totally destroyed.:D
  6. the1


    Only in America can you go to jail for not having health care. Just hilarious but it won't end there.

    From what I understand the fine is paid to the IRS so if the fine can't be paid does it collect interest and penalties like back taxes? If so, you could be sick, uninsured, in jail, and on top of all that, homeless because the IRS took your house because you can't pay your <s>taxes</s>, err health care premiums. Welcome to America!


    I Hope you have a little bit of Change left in your pocket after these gangsters are through with you.

    Maybe the dummies will start to get that this is about stealing from you, bankrupting you, and making you as dependent on the politicians and bureaucrats as possible. Welcome to the new 'America'. - - -
  8. promagma


    I pay $56 a month for my policy with a 10k deductible, and I hope to keep it that way.
  9. Banjo


    The IRS will be the primary enforcer. The powers that be are dismantling a country brick by brick.

  10. birdman


    sounds good, which provider please
    #10     Nov 20, 2009