Public Option Health Insurance

By BenefitMall

On today’s episode, Misty Baker and Dave Mordo are going to be discussing the public option. It’s a simple idea, but also one that is hard to get out there and make happen. A public option is a health insurance plan offered by the Federal or State Government that would provide coverage with, hopefully, competitive premiums that would compete with other options on the market. This concept would introduce a brand-new way to access health insurance. This is not a single-payer situation, it’s just another choice to the private market that many of us work in. Although it is government backed, many of the proposals look to include the insurance carriers as a way of administering the public option. The question is, if you have carriers already in the market and the government running a public option, does that lend itself to looking at a one-size-fits-all approach to insurance? Does it undermine changes in the Affordable Care Act? A further question is, how would this reduce rates overall? There’s reason to believe from surveys and what we have seen in Washington State that it simply doesn’t. In fact, in the end, it could cause premiums in the employer-based market to go up. We’ve also seen that some of the reimbursements could be tied to Medicaid. This won’t be enough to cover doctor’s expenses, and the only way to make it up would be to increase premiums. Many public options also have a subsidy built in, which introduces a plan that is not only confusing, but also possibly unnecessary. Why would employers take the extra time and increased employer contributions if there was a public option? They could just stop providing that coverage. Why muddy the already murky waters when we could just improve the system we have? Contact us: compliance@benefitmall.com

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