cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
At least this time, the spate of health policy cancellations is not the fault of the ‘nasty’ insurance companies. The letters announcing that many people will lose the health plan coverage they now enjoy are simply the result of those policies not being in compliance with the new ObamaCare law concerning coverage. These same insurers are often rolling out new policies that do comply with ObamaCare.
A big problem with the new policies, however, is the cost. These policies must cover all the things that ObamaCare promised would be covered AND they must be issued without regard to the health history of those applying for coverage. Quite simply, the health insurers must plan for the worst case scenario as defined by their actuaries, the numbers junkies that live for these kinds of analytical problems.
All this flies in the face of the famous, or infamous, words of our President who said that we could keep our policies if we liked them.
Beyond pure cost issues, lies the additional issue of provider networks. A number of the new policies being sold for January 1, 2014 and beyond rely on what are known as ‘narrow networks’. Not much has been made of this phenomenon but it is a huge issue. We have become accustomed to ‘broad networks’ that have tended to have virtually every heath care provider and facility in the area as a member of the provider network available.
The statement that basically said ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep seeing that doctor’ is potentially not true and the ‘exchanges’ do not do a good job of raising provider network issues. The federal exchange, of course doesn’t even do a good job of letting one sign on to see a network of providers.
The navigators and enrollment advisors that have been hastily trained to help people are not, in many instances, even tuned in to the importance of provider networks because they’ve never been in this world until very recently. The twenty or thirty hours of training they receive is simply grossly insufficient to equip a neophyte in the health care and health insurance world to handle the real world questions and to anticipate the real world issues.
Our President, for whom the success or failure of this namesake program is critical to the way he’ll be viewed by history, continues to put his head down and charge into the fray with misstatements and outright incorrect statements that even he should know are untrue. This is, as he has acknowledged, his signature program for the two terms of his presidency, and he is hell-bent on not allowing this to implode.
But, this is a creation that seems, for anyone with any experience in this segment of the economy, fraught with pitfalls anyone of which may be sufficient to de-rail the whole thing. No matter the volume of the tirades or the audacity of the lies, this program is not well-written because it was never well-thought. It was cobbled together by politicians who had to pass it in the dark of night so we “could see what was in it”. That simple admission should have been sufficient for most to see that this could only portend disappointment and disgust.
This is all continuing to be exacerbated by the “king who has no clothes”.