Monday, January 31, 2011

Pre-existing Conditions

I wanted to take a moment to discuss the notion of pre-existing conditions as it relates to health insurance coverage. As I alluded to earlier today, I signed up for a health insurance plan for a new job I just started. It struck me when I was filling out the forms online that if I elected to decline health insurance from the outsetof the beginning my new job, I would have to provide a certification (more or less) of health from a doctor before being allowed to enroll in the plan of my choice. Now I can go into facts, figures, stats of pre-existing conditions and how it affects the health insurance industry or how it affects acceptance of individuals, but let's keep it simple.

When I started this job and health insurance form enrollment process, not my employer, nor the three health insurance providers asked me if I had a pre-existing condition. I thank the good Lord I do not, but for arguments sake, let's say I do. Neither my employer, nor the three health insurance companies would deny the coverage. Now, if I elected to deny coverage from the outset, that can and probably would change. So the question is, why would you deny the health insurance? Many believe that iPhones, iPads, fancy cars, jewelry, clothes, handbags, tvs, etc. are the items sucking individuals in and thus look at health insurance as an expenditure not worthy of a small, bi-monthly deduction. This is primarily the motivation of younger individuals given they are, for the most part, healthier than older individuals. Couple that with the individuals understanding that you cannot and will not be denied treatment at an emergency room as mandated by federal law.

What is the conclusion/solution?

1) promoting private sector job expansion - this is the single greatest opportunity to reduce the uninsured 
2) provide employers with greater incentives to provide and cover health insurance premium costs (deductions, credits, etc.)
3) instead of government promoting individual mandates and putting out commercials to popularize laws like ObamaCare, stress the importance of enrollment in your company's health insurance plans.
4) forgo those expenses in your life that cause you to be a drain on our economy. Instead of spending your hard earned money on frivolous material goods, do yourself and your fellow tax-payer a favor and set aside some cash for health emergencies. When you have money left over, buy those good to help grow our economy!
5) Open insurance sales across state-lines
6) Tort reform
7) Personal health savings accounts
8) secure the border
9) we could go on and on with solutions that aren't government centric

The bottom line is that if the Obama administration wants to really promote change, create an environment where private sector growth can flourish. Employers will hire and provide health insurance coverage to their employees (and the employees' families); even those with pre-existing conditions. 

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house," Judge Vinson (FL)