Relief any time soon for health insurance premiums?
Where is the supposed relief from high health insurance premiums? The quick answer is: no. More so, if you did not qualify for a premium subsidy. Premiums have skyrocketed transporting consumers to square one for relief prior to the passage of the ACA. There were three reasons before 2010 you did not have health insurance: You had an non-insurable pre-existing condition, your job did not offer heath insurance or it was not affordable. We’ve tackled the first at the cost of putting the rest of us out of reach.
The pink elephant in the room, the problem no one in Washington seems to have the support to address, the labyrinth we are not willing to delve into is how as a society are we going to manage healthcare costs? Including the entire country in the pool still leaves consumers disconnected from free market economics as our participation and usage of healthcare does not drive pricing up or down. Options are limited other than government regulation as in Medicare and yet, even that system without cost control will collapse under the weight of the baby boomer generation.
I don’t want to paint a doom and gloom picture as I believe in American Exceptionalism (yes, capped words) and advancements in technology will drive prices down as we have seen in many areas of our economy. (Tele-medicine, etc.) However, in the interim, and assuming 2018 is more of the same, which I don’t think it will – what can we do?
- If you have working age children with part-time jobs and if they are over 21 filing their own taxes, you might have them apply independently of mom and dad for coverage. Consult with your accountant. If you are a high earner there could be relief exceeding a tax credit.
- Look at temporary coverage stacked with indemnity plans. These polices sold by large, reputable carriers will not leave you out in the cold in the event of a medical event. Consult with your agent, as short term policies are underwritten and have limits. Many indemnity plans will allow you to enroll without having a major medical policy and are solid covering anything from accidents through cancer treatments.
- Many local hospitals have programs for the uninsured. The majority are geared toward low income but you will see a change in that trend soon.
- Some states are allowing doctors to charge membership fees for day to day care. If your state has this already in place, an indemnity plan or short term policy could fill in some gaps.