We take a break from our regularly-scheduled programming to discuss health insurance. There's no point rehashing what went wrong. My question is: Can we come up with one simple five-point plan and actually get it passed? Can it be simple enough to fit on a single sheet of paper?
Here's mine. It's under 250 words. What's yours?
- All health insurance companies are required to offer the same plan. It costs $99 per month for people under 30, and $199 per month for people ages 30-65. No pre-exisiting condition restrictions, and no cancellation except for non-payment.
- The plan has a $10,000 annual deductible. It's a catastrophic plan intended to cover emergencies and serious illnesses. However, it does cover one free wellness check-up a year that includes a few basic tests and vaccines.
- Everyone who signs up for the plan is automatically enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay their basic medical costs. The monthly premium is paid through the HSA and is tax-deductible. (HSAs already exist, with rules governing how they operate and limits on annual contributions, but currently the premium is not deductible.)
- Anyone can make a tax-deductible contribution to another person's HSA, subject to the annual limits already in place. Parents, children, siblings, grandparents, employers, churches, community groups, neighbors–if someone wants to help you with your medical bills, they can.
- The plan is backed by a federal reinsurance program similar to what the FHA does for home loans. Insurance companies are unlikely to go broke by offering this plan, but if they did, they'd have backing from the feds.