Monday, May 8, 2017

How Obamacare Fails People With Pre-existing Conditions | Policy Dose | US News

How Obamacare Fails People With Pre-existing Conditions | Policy Dose | US News

What they don't seem to realize is that these requirements – called "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" by insurance professionals – are actually jeopardizing access to quality health care for these individuals.
Before Obamacare's enactment, employer sponsored group health plans, Medicaid and Medicare already covered people with pre-existing conditions. And insurance bought in the individual market was "guaranteed renewable," meaning a person couldn't be dropped or see premiums go up if they suddenly developed a costly condition, as long as they maintained continuous coverage with that insurance company. (This was already worked into the price of the insurance.) So only a small segment of the individual insurance population was faced with the terrible problem of being unable to afford – or even purchase – health insurance because of a costly pre-existing condition. Some estimate that less than a million people have this problem.

Several states, such as Wisconsin and Maine, set up subsidized high-risk pools that worked well to provide these people with insurance at a rate that was not out of reach. The market was also responding with the appearance of health status insurance, a product that basically insures younger, healthier people against the risk of someday being unable to obtain new health insurance because they developed a pre-existing condition. The policy then pays the premiums for their new insurance. United Health Care already was out with such a product in 2008. Allowing people to form association health plans, much in the way that large companies become self-insured, would also help ameliorate this problem by giving greater numbers of individuals access to group health coverage.
But Obamacare made those solutions irrelevant and unavailable.


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