As the reform bill was passed policy rates were climbing. A report revealed that members of the middle class were losing health insurance faster than any other income group. Those who missed the Government provided safety net because of their income were thrown on the mercies of the individual market. Here, insurers have been denied coverage based on preexisting conditions and are vulnerable to charges of high and ever increasing premiums.
The limits insurers placed on who gets coverage is one of the three major problems that needed to be addressed in the individual market. The other two are the affordability and whether the policy would pay for what is needed when the insured gets sick. A study found that excluded conditions varied by insurer. In a 2001 study by the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, researchers 37 percent of applications were rejected. There were insurers who would turn you down if you had hay fever. The public thus was a victim of a roulette insurance market. How easy is it for individuals to wade their way through the market to insurers who would cover them is a question. Although federal law requires insurers to sell policies to certain people who lose group coverage, including those who lost their jobs due to lay offs; but places no limits on what an insurer can charge. In February 2010, Connecticut announced that health premiums for individual medical plans rose in price by 20 percent over in 2009. In this void have stepped some states in varying degrees. Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont required insurers to sell individual policies to everyone, irrespective of their health. Washington state required insurers to take individuals with some health problems. While, Iowa required insurers to cover preexisting conditions in new applicants, if they had insurance previously for those conditions and did not let the insurance lapse.
Of those who do buy their own insurance the health insurance market works well for some; but, not for others. In the individual market prior to the reform bill, in order to lower their risks insurers preferred the healthiest applicants. In most states, insurers may consider the health history of the applicant in deciding coverage and its cost. Unlike group plans offered by employers which provide coverage to everyone, there is no guarantee in most states individuals can obtain insurance. It has been realized that solving problems in the individual market would improve the health care crisis. In California, Connecticut and several other states regulators have taken actions against insurers who revoked individual coverage after policyholders fell ill. Before the President won the election Senators Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Bob Bennett, a Republican from Utah were supporting a bill that would shift workers getting coverage through employers to purchase their own insurance. The intention of their proposal was to break the link between employment and insurance. The two supporters of the bill believed this would let people keep their coverage even when they lost or switched their job. The proposal would have required everyone to have coverage and insurers to sell insurance to all applicants. The health reform bill has addressed these failings. Both presidential candidates had expressed the desire to improve options for people who buy their own coverage. Candidate Obama wanted to allow individuals and small firms to have the bargaining leverage and purchasing power of latge firms by creating ways for individuals to buy insurance in groups. Advisors to candidate McCain had acknowledged the current system was broken. Douglas Holtz Eakin, who was a senior policy adviser noted that he did not want to give the impression the individual or small group market is a good place to be, as it was not
The public hospitals have been at the vanguard of the victims of inadequate and absent coverage. They have provided for the uninsured and those under insured by Medicaid, that reimburses them at below cost. They are also unable to compete with private and nonprofit hospitals for patents with private health insurance coverage. Yet, the cost of providing care to the uninsured and under insured has climbed and taxpayer support remained static.
Currently employers are looking to shift more burdens to their employees due to rise in the cost of health insurance. A Reuters research team in analyzing claim data has discovered that smaller employers saw costs rise the most. According to a report released in March 2010, the cost for an employer to offer individual plans to workers increased by 43 percent over a eight-year period. The amount employees paid for the single plans increased over 64 percent.
Large corporate employees have enjoyed the most secure and highest quality coverage in the nation during their employment. They have not been victimized during their employment with revocation or denial due to preexisting conditions. Nevertheless, a recently released annual survey by the National Business Group on Health has indicated that the impact of rising costs means this island of safety is about to be buffeted. This surveyed large employers indicated they were considering shifting more of the cost on their employees.
Harvard researchers looking into what portion of bankruptcy filers filed for medical reasons found some enlightening information. They found that illness caused the majority of filings. The study looked at a year that preceded the housing bust; but reveals what is the general scenario absenting this reason. The larger segment of filers were covered by insurance they lost or proved to be inadequate. Majority of these were middle class homeowners who had college degrees. The study revealed the vulnerability of Americans who were literally one major illness from bankruptcy. There are big Obama effects on individual health insurance coverage. Certainly there are due to be major Obama effects on individual health insurance.