Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Health Reform

From Blue Oregon we find this entry . . .

The proposal is very simple. All health insurance plans offered in the State would be available to all people who are residents in the geographic areas served by the plans

This already exists in one form or another. HMO’s are limited by county or zip and can only serve a specific geographic area. Some states mandate community rating which accomplishes some of the same ideas. All those who apply for coverage within a defined community pay the same rate, regardless of age or health.

Throughout the various modes of employment you retain the same insurance, and pay the same rate that everyone else pays

This is a perfect description of community rating which never works. Why would a healthy 25 year old want to pay the same as a 55 year old with emphysema?

The new system simplifies health insurance procedures and reduces process cost across the state, and this offsets the new cost of the firms coordinating insurance benefits. Going from decentralized to centralized insurance benefit administration gives us the opportunity to streamline and automate the total process of benefit administration throughout the state

Basically, this is the way the current Workers Comp system works . . . kind of. All workers in the state have the same benefits even though they are administered by different firms. Rates vary from employer to employer depending on payroll, industry, job classification and other factors.

Of course WC is not 24 hour coverage but only addresses on the job injury.

Under this proposal, it is possible that health insurance costs might go up slightly, since we would be covering people who currently are not insured

More than possible, it is a sure bet. And “slightly” is an understatement.

This proposal obviously does not solve all problems with health insurance, nor does it address many of the cost drivers in the medical system

Actually it does not address ANY of the factors that influence the cost of health insurance.
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