Archive for August, 2009

What is needed in Health Care Reform

Friday, August 28th, 2009

While I am strongly against President Obama’s plan for health care as harmful for all Americans, I also do not support the disruption that he is receiving while explaining his plan. A free and open discussion is needed to arrive at a solution. If we blind ourselves to any point of view, we may be loosing good ideas. Reform is needed to make health care affordable to everyone. My suggestion for what is needed is as below

1.According to everyones estimates, the un-insured are the single largest group of individuals. Thus they deserve the best possible rates. It should be illegal to charge anyone that does not have health insurance more then the lowest negotiated rates with any insurance company. However, the individual will have to make the full payment themselves as they do not have any insurance.

2.Health insurance has to become portable. When a person leaves a job, they should be able to carry their insurance with them. They will become liable for paying the full premiums themselves unless their new job provides health benefits and will subsidize their premiums.

3.It should be illegal for insurance companies to drop individuals except in cases of fraud, deliberate lying on their application to get a better rate, or non-payment of premiums.

4.Pre-existing condition exclusion needs to be eliminated when moving to a different insurance company as long as benefits are comparable or lower. It can remain when moving up to a higher level of coverage.

5.Insurance should be voluntary. Of course, the later you join an insurance plan, the higher the rates will be. In addition, pre-existing condition exclusion can apply to those seeking insurance from an un-insured state.

6.Medical expenses need to be deductible from the first dollar spent without the need for itemization, and available to everyone regardless of the form used.

7.Reform is also needed so that punitive damages for accidents only come into play in case of deliberate negligence, or a pattern of inappropriate negligence.

8.Required and annual notification of
a. Percent of gross income paid out in claims. This should be considered with the size of the insurance company, but the greater the percentage, the more efficient the company is.
b. Average, minimum and maximum time to payment to providers from submission of bill. The lower the time, the better the chance of having a better quality of doctors who take this insurance.
c. Time taken to contact a live human who has the ability to address your concerns on phone calls. The shorter this time, the more concerned the company is with keeping its clients satisfied.

9.Published rates for routine hospital services inclusive of all charges by all service providers. Patients should be able to shop around for best rates, and have the confidence that the rates quoted will be the rates charged.

I am sure that I am missing some important items, but that is what a good discussion is about.