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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Health insurance in New York,study in the effects of community rating & guaranteed issue

This article in the Wall street Journal,Opinion, on line discusses how the mandating or community rating and guaranteed issue for health care insurance has worked out in New York state-in a word- badly.Here are two quotes from that article.

"A 2007 report by the respected Seattle-based actuarial consulting firm Milliman surveyed the damage. It noted that "by 1996 GI and CR requirements effectively eliminated the commercial individual indemnity market in New York." While the reforms were supposed to help keep insurance affordable, "premiums for the two [remaining] standard plans increased rapidly," with one researcher noting "insurers increased premium rates 35%-40% in this period."

Today, New York's private individual insurance market is among the nation's most expensive and highly regulated. New York City residents buying private, unsubsidized individual insurance coverage pay at least $9,036 a year for individual coverage and $26,460 for family coverage. New York's average premiums in the individual market are more than twice the national average, according to a 2007 eHealth Insurance survey."

OK, so it costs more , what about increasing the coverage?

"Today, 14% of New York's population lacks coverage, essentially the same as the national average of 15%"....."In 1994, about 4.5% (10.45 million) of the U.S. nonelderly population was covered by individual insurance. Today, that number has grown to 5.5% (14.35 million), a 20% increase."

The old saw about someone who continues to do the same thing and expect a different result is foolish may not apply to legislators. Maybe the Washington lawmakers know what will happen and believe the less than desirable results will move the U.S. closer to a single payer.

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