The discussion by Insurance Commissioner, Monica Lindeen, in the guest column of the March 23 Missoulian supporting the Affordable Care Act caught my attention.
As a subscriber to an individual Blue Shield Health Plan for 20 years, I am an expert in the mine field of “reforms.”
1) Highest annual deductible (out of pocket before insurance pays anything) used to be $2000. That plan is so expensive, now highest deductible is $5000.
2) Sacred 80-20 copayment that lasted for decades has been upped to 70-30. That is 30% copayment after deductible.
3) For decades there was a small flat fee for doctor office visits. Not anymore. It is part of one’s annual deductible.
4) For decades age-based rates were in ten-year increments. Not anymore. A high rate class hits every 5 years.
5) Underwriting: This is the great white shark. There are now 3 tiers of rates depending on how sick you get. The new law will require underwriting to take people with pre-existing conditions. How will they afford the premium rates?
6) The cost! I had to quit when I turned 60. I received 3 separate rate increases in four months, costing $700 per month.
This Care Act will be everything but affordable!