Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Ever wonder why health insurance costs so much in New Jersey? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that every insurance policy in the state must cover all kinds of services deemed unnecessary by many, including chiropractor visits.

New Jersey has 40 of these mandates. Should a resident want to buy a policy that doesn't cover, say, in vitro fertilization, sorry — the government has decided that everyone must have that coverage.

In vitro is a VERY expensive procedure. The cost must be shared by all which, in the big scheme of things, may not amount to that much. Still, it is a provision that will benefit only a handful.

And the dimes add up . . .

The approximately 47 million uninsured in America are a significant problem, but the proposals under consideration do little to address the primary reason for the lack of coverage — very expensive insurance.

Cost is a factor.

Of course there are those who can well afford coverage, but simply choose to go bare. If they have a job, or assets, or both, that is a decision they may well regret.

And why are those costs spiraling upward, seemingly without limit? One major reason is government meddling in the market for health insurance, particularly through the imposition of restrictive mandates and regulations.

Give this lady a prize! Looks like she "gets it".

It would make far more sense to give individuals the freedom to purchase policies that suit their specific needs. A bill like the one sponsored by Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., if it had passed, would have allowed individuals to purchase insurance across state lines.

Maybe I spoke in haste. Apparently John & Sally have no idea of the MEWA/MET fiasco from just a few years back.

So it should come as no surprise that the universal program placing mandates on employees and individuals — passed in Massachusetts last year — is already destined to fail because it is prohibitively expensive.

Yup. This has been noted before at InsureBlog.

Estimates now show that the monthly costs for an individual will be $380, almost double what the designers predicted. A movement is afoot to exempt those earning up to three times the federal poverty line, or $60,000 per year for a family of four. Exemptions like that hardly constitute a universal plan.

The $380 figure is almost double the state estimate. Not a good sign.

Let's hope New Jersey learns from the heavy-handed approaches of other states and opts for a more effective approach — like ending the silly requirement that all insurance policies cover things like alcoholism, which most people will never need.

I'll drink to that.
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