I don’t think Sen. Chris Murphy has a clue as to how expensive health insurance is for people who do not get a subsidy. As a self-employed, married parent with two children, I have to purchase my own health insurance coverage each year for my family. Every year the cost goes up 10% to 20%.
This year it was a 20% increase and my best option for premiums is $1,923 per month for the lowest level “Bronze” plan. This plan has a deductible of $13,000 and a maximum out-of-pocket of $16,300. So, if I NEVER need to use my health insurance I will pay my insurer over $23,0000. And If I do need to use it for a serious medical issue I may end up paying out $50,000.
Sen. Murphy likely has a “Gold” plan as a government employee. If I wanted one of those my full cost could reach $70,000 per year.
So, the unfortunate result of providing subsidized health insurance to the uninsured has caused a tremendous increase in the cost for the middle class. I know of self-employed people who are not buying insurance because the prices have gone up too much. Even those who have health coverage from their employer are getting more and more money taken out of their paycheck to cover that that cost.
I don’t know what the answer to this issue is, but I think of two possibilities:
- Open up the market place to more competition in order to bring costs down. Hartford was once nicknamed “The Insurance Capital of the World” yet presently our state has just 2 health insurance providers (Connecticare & Anthem/Blue Cross) to choose from for individual health insurance plans. Many other states have far more options and far lower costs. So allowing purchase of insurance across state lines might help.
- Allow Self-employed people to group together to get better rates.
Murphy may be right in stating that the ACA is a “game changer,” he just doesn’t realize who it’s affecting the most.
Bill Dineen is a freelance software designer.
Maybe the answer is less competition. I suffered in a hell similar to Mr. Dineen’s for decades of self-employment. When I finally retired I entered the relative heaven of Medicare, lately including Medicare Advantage (zero-premiums, thanks to federal subsidies). Offered this choice at an early age, why wouldn’t anyone dismiss the hoary traditions that have kept Wall Street happy and consumer costs twice what Canadians pay and choose Medicare for All? Why shouldn’t every Member of Congress be willing to legislate the same health insurance for their constituents that they enjoy? They are required to live in the same geographical state they represent. Why not the same state of health coverage?
“Medicare for All” is really “Medicare for none”, since Medicare as we know it would be replaced by a single-payer system, which will likely ration care, as it is done in every country that has single-payer.
“Ration care?” Really? How do you explain legions of US adults and children subject to ridiculous premiums and deductibles or not covered at all? The American for-profit approach to health insurance is the worst in the world, judged by results. The reason Europeans live longer than Americans is not the Mediterranean Diet. It’s universal health care.
For those not getting subsidies ACA is catastrophic insurance. People are essentially self insured at these premiums and deductibles.
Exactly! You forgot to mention, also, that self-employed people do not get a tax write off on expenditures. We pay with dollars that have already been taxed.
However, I think the only solution is non-profit single-payer. The for-profit insurance companies only care about lining insurance executive pockets and not about long-term preventative health care. Insurance is not Health Care.
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