Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If You Can Afford The Monthly Payments for A Cell Phone, You Can Probably Afford Health Insurance

Need insurance now? Insta-Care from BlueCross BlueShield Minnesota meets your needs.

Short-term coverage from Blue Cross can be a great choice for people like this:

  • Between jobs
  • Just out of school
  • Waiting for an employer’s coverage to start
  • Want coverage that can start right away

Benefit highlights:

  • Hospital services, prescription drugs, medical supplies, emergency care and more covered at 80 percent (in network)
  • See the doctors you choose – without a referral
  • Well-child doctor visits to age 6 covered at 100% (whether or not you’ve met your deductible)
  • 3 deductible and 3 out-of-pocket maximum options to meet your budget
  • $1 million lifetime maximum
  • Extras including Stop-Smoking Support and online wellness center, plus Health Guides and
  • Nurse Guides just a phone call away
  • No coverage for mental health or any preexisting conditions

Coverage starts at $44.67 per month.


At 7/29/2009 2:40 AM, Anonymous Gregg"s Health Insurance News said...

Coverage is available for most people, but for higher ages and family coverage the rates are through
the roof, mainly because there's no competition and all the states mandate different coverages. It kills competition.

At 7/29/2009 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No coverage for mental health or any preexisting conditions"

Thats one hell of a benefit. I was born with asthma, oh its not covered. I was born with a congenital heart defect, not covered.

At 7/29/2009 5:28 AM, Blogger Tex said...

If it doesn’t cover catastrophic care for a pre-existing condition, it’s not “great” coverage. Great coverage, in my opinion, would be insurance that covers catastrophic coverage for all conditions.

As far as I’m concerned, what’s missing in this country is an insurance option that would allow me to purchase coverage only for catastrophic coverage. From what I understand, the reason I cannot is that state (and maybe federal) regulations typically require coverage for all sorts of health care items that I don’t want and should not be included for most people anyway.

I don’t think we should be insuring the nickel and dime stuff. Those are the types of expenditures for which we should be budgeting and paying. At the very least, that would cut the costs for the bureaucracy needed to track and reimburse these costs. It’s the catastrophic costs that should be covered. That’s the whole concept of insurance, anyway. That’s the kind of reform I would like to see.

At 7/29/2009 5:47 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote from Tex: "If it doesn’t cover catastrophic care for a pre-existing condition, it’s not “great” coverage."

You can't buy insurance for something bad that's already happened. If you have a pre-existing condition, then that bad thing has already happened.

What you're looking for is medical welfare.

At 7/29/2009 8:18 AM, Blogger Angie said...

You can't buy insurance for something bad that's already happened. If you have a pre-existing condition, then that bad thing has already happened.

What you're looking for is medical welfare.

No, he's looking for a different policy. I think it's a valid point. I don't have the answer, but perhaps a policy that didn't cover nonsense like well-child visits and $3.00 vaccines, and instead covered hospitalization.

One of the problems with the Massachusetts plan is that people take out policies when they get sick, then drop them when they get better.

The insurance model can't work that way - something I'm actually ok with, but certainly not realistic.

At 7/29/2009 9:10 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

This would be great...almost like an extended warranty for catastrophic events like a heart attack, cancer, etc. The problem is that such policies do not meet minimum New Jersey standards and are thus not available to me. If Prez. Obama means what he says when he talks about a "health insurance marketplace" that is portable across state lines, then hopefully plans like this one will become available. I doubt it - but I am "hoping" for "change."

At 7/29/2009 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with insurance is that it requires a relatively long time horizon to understand its value. Unfortunately, there are many, many people who have incredibly short time horizons which often leads to chronically bad decisions. They make terrible choices about their educations, careers, personal lives, families, health, etc, because they have little appreciation or regard for long-term ramifications.

So it doesn't surprise me at all that many people forego insurance and wait around for some emergency to occur. You could drop the price of insurance to $30/month for full coverage regardless of current health and I bet millions of uninsured still wouldn't venture out of their homes to buy it, because it's not a consumable product that brings instant satisfaction.

At 7/29/2009 10:33 AM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

"You must be a resident of MN to apply for coverage."

Pre-existing condition: I don't live in MN. I live in one of the other 49.

"If You Can Afford The Monthly Payments for A Cell Phone"

I pretended I lived in MN just to see what my rate would be but my age is another "Pre-existing condition". The rate for the two of us would be $424.98/mo (for the cheapest plan). I'm pretty sure we wouldn't spend that much on cell phones if we had them.

As it is, we in Calif pay $568 a month for a catastrophic plan that has a $5400 deductible and no prescription plan.

We don't have any medical issues except both making it to age 61 and hopefully more.

That said, Obama's debacle of a national health system will bankrupt this country.

If he really wanted to implement something useful...
I propose the following:

1. Allow anyone to establish a tax deductible Health Savings Account (HSA) without the requirement that it be tied to a health insurance company policy. Require that the money from the account can only be spent on health care or additional private health insurance only.

2. Have our benevolent government cover the costs of any catastrophic medical conditions in excess of some large deductible, like say $20k/year.

This should allow “we the people” the choice on how to save or spend our own resources for actual medical, dental and/or additional insurance to offset the huge government deductible.

I’d vote for a guy or harpy running for office with something like this idea in mind!!!

At 7/29/2009 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Health Care is simple (I retired from the Health Ins. Industry.)

Participation Must be Mandated. Period.

That's what makes the "Large Group" coverages, possible.

Ya gotta get money from the young, "indestructables" (before they have an accident, or get sick.)

Oh, and you have to have reasonable "co-pays." The insured Has to have some "skin" in the game.

At 7/29/2009 11:38 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I was born with asthma, oh its not covered. I was born with a congenital heart defect, not covered"...

So what are you saying?

That its alright for the federal government to extort money from others to cover your condition?

Shouldn't that be something the local and or state population to figure out?

"Participation Must be Mandated. Period."...

Thanks for that neo-fascist view rufus...

Look its NOT the federal government's job to insure people - its NOT one of the Constitutional mandates...

On a local and state level, shouldn't that be the place where citizens would vote to have mandated coverage and how would be paid?

At 7/29/2009 11:51 AM, Anonymous Benny The Real Libertarian said...

Health care: If we are not going to have a free market, and be done with it, then we need this:

1. Top down limits. That is, federal outlays for health care are capped at some percentage of GDP, such as 10 percent.

2. Mandatory binding arbitration ofr all malpractice "claims" by patients.

3. Embrace euthanasia for the elderly (over 80), especially if they have terminal illnesses.

If we do these three things, we can probably have good health care for everybody at 10 percent of GDP. Other countries do it for even less.

Obama did very gingerly bring up the idea of euthanasia recently, and I give him credit for that. But, with lawyers infesting our two parties, I doubt we can keep that band of parasitic poltroons from designing health care, and our tort system, to their benefit.

At 7/29/2009 12:07 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If we are not going to have a free market"...

Right now its relatively free except for the federal government intrusion via medicare and medicaid (the 900 pound gorillas in the room)...

From the New York Times dated April 2 of this year: Doctors Are Opting Out of Medicare

'Many people, just as they become eligible for Medicare, discover that the insurance rug has been pulled out from under them. Some doctors — often internists but also gastroenterologists, gynecologists, psychiatrists and other specialists — are no longer accepting Medicare, either because they have opted out of the insurance system or they are not accepting new patients with Medicare coverage. The doctors’ reasons: reimbursement rates are too low and paperwork too much of a hassle'...

Does anyone really think ObamaCare will be better than programs that have been around since the inception of the Great Society's 'massive wealth transfer' scheme?

At 7/29/2009 12:51 PM, Blogger Tex said...

You can't buy insurance for something bad that's already happened. If you have a pre-existing condition, then that bad thing has already happened.

What you're looking for is medical welfare.

I disagree.

Currently, some policies will cover a pre-existing condition for new customers as long as that person had been covered under another policy within the last 30 days or so. This seems like a reasonable policy that prevents someone from suddenly deciding to buy insurance right after he discovers he’ll need an expensive medical treatment for a pre-existing condition.

I’m thinking that mandated participation in a catastrophic insurance plan makes sense. Then, those who wish to purchase other soup-to-nuts type of coverage could do that or just pay out of pocket for Target-care. Kind of like how I currently pay for auto tune-ups and new tires for my car.

And, HSA’s should be put into place.

At 7/29/2009 1:14 PM, Anonymous Benny The Real Libertarian said...

Goverment-run health care will be ass effective as a government-run military.

At 7/29/2009 4:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

As a relatively health young adult I would probably qualify for something that was about as expensive as my cellphone bill. I use my cell phone every day, I've used health care once in the last 5 years. Ex ante, health care looks a little bit better, but there is doing little doubt that providers make a killing off of people like me.

If I lost my job and money was tight, I'd take the cell phone over health care. If something catastrophic happend, I'm probably filing for bankruptcy either way. If I don't have a cell phone/internet access, getting a job is significantly more difficult.

At 7/29/2009 5:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I’m thinking that mandated participation in a catastrophic insurance plan makes sense"...

If the government (local, state, national) can get away with forcing health insurance (regardless of the type) then what's their next mandate?

Does anyone over the age of six think there won't be a NEXT mandate?

I understand the reasoning behind the idea but aren't we still (to use an often abused cliche) living in the, 'land of the FREE'?

At 7/29/2009 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Prof. Perry, for pointing this out. I'm glad the WSJ picked up on this and linked to your blog.

A few of us have been saying throughout this debate about health care reform that many who spend readily on things like cell phones (pricey plans, phones for the kids) and leases on fancy SUVs (which are costly up front but also come with hefty ongoing gas and insurance expenses) can certainly afford health insurance. It's a matter of one's priorities.

At 7/30/2009 4:13 PM, Blogger Ned Baker said...

Americans have really cheap health insurance, as long as you ignore all the sick people! Sucks to your asthma!


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