Wed
Sep 20 2017
06:34 am

NYT: While Premiums Soar Under Obamacare, Costs of Employer-Based Plans Are Stable

Surprise, surprise. For one thing, most people get their insurance through their employer, so group plans encompass larger risk pools. Allowing insurance companies to carve out individual markets into their own, smaller pools guarantees higher individual premiums.

Also, employees covered by the plans are healthy enough to work, so the medical costs are generally lower. But some companies, especially the "self-insured," will find ways to fire employees who develop conditions requiring expensive treatment. I've seen it happen.

These are good arguments for single payer. Right now, though, it's more critical to preserve the benefits of ACA, and to fix its flaws.

And by the way, the NYT headline is misleading. "Obamacare" and employer-based insurance are both part of ACA. People who get their insurance through employers get the same protections against exclusions and recisions, guaranteed minimum benefits, and premium cost controls.

Employees may not always realize that, and therefore may not care so much about people in the individual markets who will get hurt by further GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. They should be careful, though, because measures such as dropping coverage for pre-existing conditions will affect them, too.

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