Saturday, February 6, 2016

Who Is Underwrting Whom?

The ACA and Medicare may very well have created a tremendous distortion in the payment for Health Care. In a Pro ACA puff piece in Modern Healthcare the author writes:

Here's what Manhattan freelance writer .... feared when she went to an Affordable Care Act enrollment counselor for 2016 health insurance: a “terrible premium with a terrible deductible for a plan that covered nothing.” Instead, she says she was “absolutely surprised” by an option she knew nothing about. ... signed up herself, her husband, who's a freelance artist, and their young son for New York State's new Essential Plan. Her family will pay $49 a month for a plan through Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield that has no deductible and covers most of their regular providers. They were previously paying $500 a month for an exchange plan with a $3,500 deductible. “I can't tell you how relieved we were,” she said. On Jan. 1, New York became the second state to launch a version of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option authorized by the ACA, serving people with incomes between 138% and 200% of the federal poverty level, plus legal immigrants who don't immediately qualify for Medicaid. Consistent with .... experience, the state's advertising slogan for the Essential Plan is “You'd be surprised.”

Yes indeed, a young family in New York City with a child is paying just $49 per month. While a Medicare family with no medical bills pays $500 per month additional to Medicare, $8,000  per year to a Medicare gap Plan, then another $2,000 per year for a Medicare Part D, and then if they are lucky to work or have other income an added 3% tax on that plus 3% on any capital gains. That is on top of having paid into Medicare since 1965! And yes, we have not included the deductible.

So we now have a system where those who have contributed are underwriting and financing those who are NOT contributing.

This is not Socialism, it is "Let's let the old folks die off!" not realizing that it is still the old folks who are footing the bill!

So why no discussion about this inequity? Imagine, $49 per month and no deductible! Try and get that on Medicare!