October 30, 2013

Just Gotta Bitch

I was sent this article by someone I was arguing with on Twitter (at least for a while--after perusing her feed, I decided I didn't want to waste any more of my valuable time on her), trying to convince me that the recent, hysterically-reported spate of insurance company cancellations is evidence of some Kenyan Muslim conspiracy. Or something.

This paragraph in the article struck me right away.

By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost -- especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify. The law requires policies sold in the individual market to cover 10 “essential” benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care. In addition, insurers cannot reject people with medical problems or charge them higher prices. The policies must also cap consumers’ annual expenses at levels lower than many plans sold before the new rules.


Health insurance experts say new prices will vary and much depends on where a person lives, their age and the type of policy they decide to buy.  Some, including young people and those with skimpy or high-deductible plans, may see an increase. Others, including those with health problems or who buy coverage with higher deductibles than they have now, may see lower premiums.

Which would be the case with any insurance--it's called a "risk pool." Younger, healthier people do end up subsidizing older, sicker people. (Also, the important words here are "skimpy" and "high deductible." In other words, crappy insurance to start with, that usually won't pay just when you really need it.) That's how insurance works--just like the yearly premiums you pay on your car, home or renter's insurance, if you don't file any claims that year, subsidizes the people who do file claims.

I know everybody (egged on by Fox News) is up in arms over this right now. But if overall most people come out with a better deal (and who we're really talking about here are the 14 million Americans, roughly 5% of the population, who purchase individual policies)...what, pray tell, are you bitching about?

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