[Housekeeping note: David and I will be out of town bringing home the bacon in this holiday season, so there will be light posting until Friday.]
Here is a rundown of the problems with New York State’s supposedly innovative health care deal, where small businesses and individuals are offered low-cost, low-benefit insurance. It’s simple: these folks just don’t have the money.
This is intriguing, however:
State Insurance Superintendent Gregory V. Serio said some insurancecompanies imposed impediments to enrollment, fearful that low-wageworkers would wind up having more illnesses and require more expensivetreatment. To allay fears, the state agreed to absorb 90 percent of thecost once a patient’s medical bills exceeded $30,000 in a year. Butthere were so few claims at that level, the state last year startedcovering the bills when they hit $5,000.
With the state agreeing to give insurers a larger financial cushion,HMOs lowered premiums by 17 percent last year. That, combined with anaggressive advertising campaign, has helped Healthy New York gainmomentum, with an average of 5,400 members joining each month this year.
Having the state get involved in the re-insurance game could be a win-win-win situation for insurers, the state, and jes’ folks like us.
Sometime later I’ll post on the self-employed and health insurance: not a small issue for musicians …