Monday, March 27, 2017

PCIP v2.0?

We were long-time fans of the PCIP (Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan), the one part of ObamaCare that actually seemed to make sense. So of course it was designed to sunset after a time, leaving a lot of folks with few choices and less care.

Now, FoIB Dr Val Jones writes about "stability funds," part of the ill-fated AHCA, funded at (gulp) $100 billion over the next 10 years, and which was designed to allow "states to start to repair their individual insurance markets ... With better policy choices, states can make coverage cheaper and more attractive for consumers and coax insurers back into the market, and the stability fund is a powerful tool."

On its face, the idea has merit: the gummint (thee and me) serve as reinsurers, backstopping major claims. This was tried in Maine back in 2011, where an "invisible high risk pool ...  picked up the total cost of claims above $10,000." This seems to me to be a legitimate role of the state (although I could be persuaded, for example, that $10k is too low). If it were included as part of a total reformulation - and of course after O'Care was totally repealed - then I think the concept has merit.

I recently had a conversation with NYT reporter Reed Abelson, and mentioned that I was a fan of PCIP, and that I'd like to see something like it incorporated into whatever new scheme our congresscritters managed to cook up. The idea is that it encourages carriers to take on some additional risk without breaking the bank. I'd also like to see it coupled with some kind of assessment, so that that carriers are incentivized to spread that risk amongst themselves.

I know: Wishes in one hand....
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