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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: You won't be able to buy insurance year-round any more

Missed this from early April:

Many people who didn’t sign up during the government’s open enrollment period that ended Monday will soon find it difficult or impossible to get insured this year, even if they go directly to a private company and money is no object. For some it’s already too late.

With limited exceptions, insurers are refusing to sell to individuals after the enrollment period for HealthCare.gov and the state marketplaces. They will lock out the young and healthy as well as the sick or injured. Those who want to switch plans also are affected. The next wide-open chance to enroll comes in November for coverage in 2015.

It’s a little-noted consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, which requires nearly all Americans to be insured or pay a fine and requires insurers to accept people with health problems.

Why? Adverse selection:

After those extensions, eligibility for coverage during 2014 is guaranteed only for people who experience certain qualifying life events, such as losing a job that provided insurance, moving to a new state, getting married, having a baby or losing coverage under a parent’s health plan.

The federal law doesn’t prevent companies from selling policies to everyone all year. But insurers consider it too risky now that the law prohibits them from rejecting people in poor health.

If you didn’t have an open enrollment period, you would have people who would potentially enroll when they get sick and dis-enroll when they get better,” said Chris Stenrud, spokesman for insurer Kaiser Permanente. “The only insured people would be sick people, which would make insurance unaffordable for everyone.”

So, I get a dread disease a month from now, and can't get insurance until next November, when I'm still guaranteed to get it, except I'll be sicker. How much sense does that make?

To which the riposte is, "Well, you should have gotten insurance right away." To which the riposte is, "No, health insurance shouldn't even exist, because people should just be covered with single payer. Nobody should have to enroll."

Meanwhile, we can look forward to giant peristaltic waves of ObamaCare "reform" -- fixes, rate hikes, slashed coverage, shrunk networks, all gussied up in "shared responsibility" rhetoric -- between the open enollment periods, year after year after year. They think we'll tire and and give in and get used to it. Maybe they're right.

NOTE Anyhow, I've always wanted to move to Vermont.

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Dromaius's picture
Submitted by Dromaius on

So, I get a dread disease a month from now, and can't get insurance until next November, when I'm still guaranteed to get it, except I'll be sicker. How much sense does that make?

Yeah, and it makes even less sense when you realize that if you're really sick, you probably won't have decent providers available to you anyway because you signed up for a craptastic Obamacare plan. So the're missing out because they could collect your cash AND not give you care. Not such a brilliant strategy on their part, for certain.

mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Yup, this is an essential part of the system, just like giving poor people substantially worse coverage is too.

After all, you should be encouraged to get rich so you can buy real insurance. In order to make it clear that its worth it paying $6000 a month for "good" insurance (cost of a PPO for a family in New York) the poor people's insurance has to be terrible.

They actually said that in the hearings in 2009, repeatedly. The phrase they used was "not be too attractive" - the government repeatedly promised the insurance industry that it would and could not be so attractive as to cut into any of their core customer groups. .

Dromaius's picture
Submitted by Dromaius on

If purchased on the individual market, the PPO plans in New York are just glorified HMO plans anyway, because the networks are narrow. PPO these days on the individual market is just a ruse for saying 'we won't overtly gate-keep your care ala HMO, we'll covertly gate-keep your care via narrow network PPO.'