Healthcare Reform: Suggestions other than Government Control Part 2

by CJFosdick on September 23, 2009

Continuing with my own suggestions for Healthcare Reform, other than Government Control, I would like to discuss eliminating pre-existing conditions as being a requirement to getting health insurance. This, on the surface, seems a very logical proposal to embrace. This would make it so that people could move from insurance carrier to insurance carrier as they change jobs, move from, say, college into the workforce, or become unemployed and look for another job. Whatever new insurance they get, they would be covered irregardless of pre-existing conditions. If they did not have insurance at all, they could get it and not even list pre-existing conditions.

But wait. This would only open the door for people to rip-off the system. Say a woman who chooses not to have insurance gets pregnant. She then gets herself an insurance policy, keeps it until the baby is born, then drops it until another baby comes along. Say a man without insurance gets cancer. He then gets health insurance, keeps it as the insurance pays mucho bucks to give him chemotherapy and other treatments. Once well, he drops the insurance knowing that he can always get it again with no problem if the cancer reoccurs. Say a senior citizen without insurance opts for a knee replacement. He gets health insurance to pay for it, then drops the insurance as soon as he has the operation and rehab.

•Keeping these examples in mind, I would like to propose that for the first round of insurance a person gets as an adult, at least some pre-existing conditions be considered, according to what insurance they get and how inclusive it is in its coverage. If this person moves, gets another job, etc. they can move into another insurance policy without fulfilling the pre-existing clause in the insurance. However, if this person drops insurance coverage entirely for a period in their lives and then wants to get coverage again, this person would need to list pre-existing conditions for new coverage. It seems this would solve the problem of what to do with pre-existing conditions.

•Another idea of mine that I have not heard anyone else propose is as follows: If a worker gets laid off from a job, at this time, they can keep the insurance they have now by paying their own insurance premiums as opposed to the employer paying it. This is called COBRA and it is quite expensive — much more so to the individual than if the employer were still paying. I would like to propose that continuing insurance premiums be paid as a part of unemployment compensation due to any worker who is fired or loses employment due to reasons other than just quitting a job. Unemployment compensation now is collected from each worker’s paycheck and is available to be paid to those losing their employment. Even if the government absorbs the cost of continuing insurance as long as the person remains unemployed, it would be at a far less cost than the government paying for every uninsured person’s insurance costs into perpetuity.

The two suggestions above seem to me to be not only logical, but also cost effective. Now, I am not an expert in health insurance, but honestly, such common sense ideas as above seem to be part of the answer America is looking for without have the federal government taking over America’s health care entirely. If other folks add their ideas to this list, by such brainstorming, the healthcare reform could be accomplished with the majority of Americans liking what was done. Any viable idea anyone sends me will be addressed in my future blogs.

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