Monday, October 31, 2016

Self-Awareness: How does it work‽

I just don't get "journalists." It seems to me that, if one is going to write about something, then one should exhibit more intellectual curiosity than, say, the average broccoli floret (no offense to Cruciferous-Americans). Reason I ask is this blaring headline:

"Millions buying insurance outside exchanges amid ObamaCare woes"

Underneath this attention grabber, we find this gem:

"While premiums are set to rise by double digits on the ObamaCare exchanges, millions of Americans already have made the decision to abandon the markets altogether and shop for health care on their own"

Um, Jennifer?

This is nothing new: people have been buying "direct" (off-Exchange) all along, and trust me, their premiums haven't been decreasing 3000%, either (see here, for example).

So why buy off-Exchange?

Well, as Jenny notes, the "big downside to shopping off the exchanges is that customers would not receive insurance subsidies." And this is true. But most people don't actually qualify for subsidies (and really, what does it say about the "roaring" economy when so many folks do?). And if you're not subsidy-eligible, then the dangerously unsecure Exchange is the very last place you want to be.

Yes, insurance carriers are also vulnerable, but as private sector entities they can be held accountable. Good look trying that with a government agency.

Ms Jenny is also under the mistaken impression that there are more plan choices off-Exchange. As we're seeing, this is not necessarily true.

In all, Ms Jenny spoke with: "a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute ... Karen Pollitz of the Kaiser Family Foundation ... [and] Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation"

Notice anyone missing?

Here's a hint.

Next time, how 'bout reaching out to someone who actually works in the marketplace?
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