Pre-existing condition? Act now or never

There is a March 2 deadline to apply for high-risk insurance coverage under Obamacare.  They are broke and cannot accept more. Photo: Getting what they want - Obamacare / AP Images

WASHINGTON, February 24, 2013 – If you are in one of the 27 states the chose to run the federally funded high-risk program, applications for high-risk policies, aka “pre-existing condition” policies must be received by March 2 to be considered.  

Residents of the other 23 states states are already ineligible.


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The portion of Obamacare that was the most highly supported and referred to constantly as the defining feature that made the entirety palatable is broke. 135,000 have enrolled nationwide in the program, which is slated to be fully implemented in 2014.

A recent Associated Press release states: “citing financial concerns, the Obama administration began quietly winding down a plan that helps people with medical problems who can’t get private insurance.”

As of January 1, 2014, it will be illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone because of poor health.

That is when it starts to get really interesting.


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An estimated 129 million Americans could be denied “affordable” coverage without the provision according to the report published at healthcare.gov. The report expounds upon the life-threatening illnesses that many Americans have that would not be covered should they lose their current job, start a business or any other myriad life changing events.

The federally funded high-risk insurance pool has a budget of $5 billion with about 150,000 (estimated for March 2 deadline) participants. That works out to about $33,000 in expected healthcare costs per person.

What if even 2 percent of those they claim to be at risk see that risk become a reality over the next year? That would add an additional 2.6 million individuals to the “accounts payable” rolls immediately early next year.

There would be no buffer, no time to hoard cash for insurance companies, just the sudden addition of millions of individuals in need of immediate care, many with illnesses such as cancer or other conditions with very high treatment costs.


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At even the relatively low per-person estimate of $33,000 each per year, (just the drugs for cancer treatment can run over $100,00 per year, let alone actual treatment) the amount of money that would be required is staggering; about $85 billion.

Untied Healthcare is the largest health insurance company in the United States. They provide service to nearly 70 million individuals nationwide. In 2011 they collected nearly $100 billion in premiums, and realized a net profit of $5.1 billion for the year.

Imagine doubling the accounts payable instantly for United Healthcare. What would happen to the insurance premiums of those currently enrolled?

How much less money would you take home if your insurance premiums doubled? Tripled? What will it do to the struggling economy? How many small businesses will it destroy?

In the words of President Obama “this is not an abstraction, people will lose their jobs.” He was referring to the sequester of course, but his healthcare plan will be much more devastating.

And it is law. It is going to happen, there is no way around it. This is not might, or maybe, it is is. 

Most Americans remain blissfully unaware, hearing glowing jobs and housing numbers, ignoring the “seasonally adjusted” disclaimer not knowing what it means. It means that when the government cannot believe that only 35,000 homes were built last quarter, they average it with several years worth of data and tell us that 200,000 homes were built.

But pretending will only last so long.


Read Mike Shortridge = Politics from the Blue Collar



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Mike Shortridge

Mike is a former Marine who served in the Middle East. He is disgusted with both the Republican and Democratic parties, seeing them as two heads of the same beast. He writes from the conservative perspective, with a focus on making complex subjects easy to understand.

 

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