Pros and Cons
of Health Care Reform Blog

Aug 19

Was Health Insurance Reform Needed?

Posted by Dina Collins on Monday, August 19, 2013

Did our health care system need reform? Yes, but the real reforms needed to be done at the medical systems arena. When we remodel our bathroom, we get 3 bids. Do we do this same comparison shopping when facing an expensive medical procedure? For most of us, no. Even if we wanted to, we wouldn’t be able. Medical systems and insurance companies are tight lipped about what rates will be charged for various services with various insurance companies. This secrecracy in part is to help add future negotiations between hospital and medical groups and the insurance plans. In the glory days, no one much cared what the prices were.  The doctors and hospitals charged the rates and no one much complained except once a contract was up and the powers at be once again sat down at the negotiating table. Now that consumers have more teeth in the game with higher deductibles and copays, they are desiring to do more shopping. Also, the government has put the squeeze on insurance companies so they need to be the bad guy and put the squeeze on hospitals and medical groups.  This “squeeze” needed to happen but before it had real impact we threw guarantee issue coverage in the mix. If premiums are unaffordable, the healthy people, especially those without many assets, will go uninsured and only the unhealthy will sacrifice to have the insurance. This will in turn compound the issue.  Read More

Jul 18

Pre-existing Conditions and Health Insurance Reform

Posted by Dina Collins on Thursday, July 18, 2013

Over the years, I had the great displeasure of having to inform clients that their health insurance application was denied. Their only option at that point was to apply for coverage through the Major Risk Medical Insurance Bureau which was super expensive for limited coverage. In 2014, coverage will be guarantee issue for everyone. Not only will it be guarantee issue, the premiums will be the same for those with pre-exisitng conditions as it is for those without. This means there will be no need for insurance companies to have medical questions on their applications. This is a huge sigh of relief for many people. Even if you don’t have pre-exisitng conditions, you will benefit by not having to answer pages of medical questions during the application completing process. Just the other day, a client came in and decided on a health plan for her and her family. She decided to apply online right there in my office. About two hours later, that application was complete. Now granted we ran into a few technology hiccups but still, that is a long time to complete an application. She and her family were very healthy, it would have taken even longer for those with a lot of pre-exisiting conditions. How will the rates vary? By your age but only with a 3 to 1 rating and based on the county you live in. Read More