While the presidential candidates are talking blue-sky reforms, with all sorts of proposals, they may overlook the specific problems faced by real people in the U.S. today. In a comment on Response to Self Employed and Going It Alone, Steve makes two excellent points that we should all know about and make part of our agenda for change:
1. There is no credit for having paid into health insurance for a number of years. The health insurers assess rates based on health conditions. Two people with the same age and condition will pay the same rate – even if one never had health insurance, and another had it for 20 years. I think that we could find some support for reform around this point. Folks that pay into the system year after year should earn something more than gold stars.
2. There are specific dangers when moving from employer group coverage, whether voluntary, due to company closing, layoffs, or anything really. A number of them are spelled out in the post Why Getting Your Health Insurance at Work Could be Dangerous. This area could certainly use some improvement in terms of policy and specific implementation, including either making the transition better or warning people up-front before they sign up for employer group health insurance. I’ve seen a lot of sad stories about how people fare when they no longer have access to employer group health insurance.
In addition, the advice for Jen in Response to Self Employed and Going It Alone is specific to her. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all advice for health insurance in the U.S. Each person’s situation is somewhat unique, and they need to discover the best deal for their own situation. That is the purpose of my book.
Jonathan Pletzke is a consumer expert on health insurance and author of the health insurance book Get a Good Deal on Your Health Insurance Without Getting Ripped-Off, available online and at bookstores nationally. Additional details can be found at the consumers health insurance book and resources website www.BestHealthInsuranceBook.com. Copyright 2007-2008 Aji Publishing.