David Kirkpatrick

February 15, 2010

Is the insurance industry trying to force health care reform?

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:14 pm

It sure seems like it. This is akin to the credit industry going draconian in advance of increased regulation only to prod DC into pushing the date of all that regulation up quite a bit.

Of course, the health insurance industry stands to gain a lot if health care reform with mandatory insurance and no public option is in place. Maybe the move of drastically raising individual health insurance premiums is a ploy to force something close to the current set of bills in Congress through and stifle any new debate on how to fund reform and cover the uninsured. I’m guessing the industry sees its future as something of a complete spin of the roulette wheel with a lot of possible outcomes and just a few that are favorable to its interests. Crazy moves with this bad of PR strike of a desperate attempt to influence that spin.

From the first link:

AP reports that insurance companies in at least four states are raising their premiums for individual insurance policies (those that people have to buy themselves, because they don’t get coverage from an employer) by 15% or more. To give you a sense of what we are talking about if these rates go into effect, a family of four in Maine (which is a relatively poor state) can expect to pay $1,876 a month–about $22,500 a year–for health insurance, starting in July.

And this is just the beginning of what we can expect to see pretty much everywhere:

Premiums are far more volatile for individual policies than for those bought by employers and other large groups, which have bargaining clout and a sizable pool of people among which to spread risk. As more people have lost jobs, many who are healthy have decided to go without health insurance or get a bare-bones, high-deductible policy, reducing the amount of premiums insurers receive.

March 14, 2009

Health insurance and entrepreneurship

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:26 pm

Not certain if I completely buy this concept, but I have to admit it’s very interesting and may well have merit. I’m of mixed-mind in terms of any version of “universal” health-care. The current system is not working. Insurance as an industry is not truly serving its customers and far too many people are without health insurance.

For the next few weeks I’m included in that number, and over my career as a freelancer I’ve rarely been covered. When I have been it’s been on the coattails of my spouse.

From the link:

Even younger startup owners who are relatively healthy and have insurance are just a half-step from disaster. The insurance industry is in the business of not paying claims whenever possible, after all, and health insurers are working hardest to find ways not to cover people who might get sick even as they deny as many claims as possible from people who’ve been paying premiums.

The day we have national health care is the day that we unleash a wave of entrepreneurship the likes of which we’ve never seen before. That’s one of the best reasons for moving toward such a system.