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Friday
Mar102017

When I'm 64

The Republican repeal and replace is now available. Read it if you want, I won't bother, but I will give an overview. Naturally I will begin with how it will impact older Americans who are too young for Medicare. As I am 62 that is me. The New York Times tells us:

If the law is repealed, the groups say, people in their 50s and 60s could see premiums rise by $2,000 to $3,000 a year or more: increases of 20 percent to 25 percent or higher.

Under current rules, insurers cannot charge older adults more than three times what they charge young adults for the same coverage. House Republican leaders would allow a ratio of five to one — or more, if states choose.

A 20% increase! I really like the "or higher" part. For me this means a quite different health insurance plan for 2018. I have no choice. Later in the article there is one estimate that rates will double for someone my age. Where do they expect people to get this money?

There is also a reasonable chance that another change will lead to many more insurance companies to abandon the business. There will no longer be a penalty if someone does not buy insurance. Then if they get ill they can then buy insurance and only pay 30% in additional costs for that year.  People are going to game the system and this will result in a lot higher costs for insurance companies, which will be passed on. 

The first is more of a personal issue, one that I share with anyone over 55 or so. But the second undermines the whole concept of insurance and the whole financial stability of insurance companies. The proposed bill will make things worse. 

There will be no reform of the basic health care problems we have. This pseudo-reform will makes things worse. 

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