Question about John Kerry's plan to open the FEHBP to the public

This link says 8 million people are covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. John Kerry wants to open this program to the US public in general. I have read this will cost $72 billion a year. I assume/hope this means that the public will get the same rates as government employees. Is this true?

For example the NALC plan, which is a good plan, charges $382.51 for yourself and $817.42 for a family if you are under the classifications of Certain Temporary Employees or need a Temporary Continuation of Coverage charges. It charges $111.98 for yourself and $201.03 for a family if you are a non-postal employee or an Annuitant. It charges $64.48 & $92.63 if you are a postal employee.

Which version would the public be open to or would it be a totally different version? $382 for individual coverage is insane, I can get blue cross coverage for $50/month if I need it.

There aint no free lunch… nuff said!

I think we need some more info from you, Wesley Clark. For example:

Where can you get Blue Cross for $50 a month, even the most bare-bones plan?

You say that Sen. Kerry wants to put everybody on the FEHB program, but that isn’t quite what his web site says. Can you explain?

Are you sure you meant to ask this in General Questions?

I’d speculate that unless he said “open the plan to citizens as if they were government employees” then he meant that he would allow you to buy into the plan as if you were “Certain Temporary Employees” or under “Temporary Continuation”.
Wesley, I mean no disrespect, but if you’re asking this question it probably shows that you don’t really understand how medical insurance and medical bills work for many American families.
$382 for a very good individual coverage medical insurance policy is actually a good deal.
While $817/mo seems like a ton of money, if you have one or two lengthy hospitalizations or surgeries in a year for even one family member, you’ll blow $817/mo out of the water. Last year my household had $41K in medical bills, with only 3 hospital stays.
$817/mo is only $9800 or so per year.
If I hadn’t had my insurance through work, I would certainly have been better off being covered under “Temporary Government Employee Family Plan”.
If I hadn’t had insurance, I’d be either bankrupt right now or on the verge of it.
Blue Cross may sell a policy for $50/mo. And that policy may help you if you wind up needing 2 months of continuous hospitalization. But I guarantee you that unless you get sick enough to meet a sizy deductible, that $50/mo policy probably won’t do anything besides get you good deals on prescriptions and make doctors charge you “in-network” fees rather than “out of network” rates.

He wants to open it to the uninsured, small misspeaking. Yeah this goes in GQ.

On Ehealthinsurance.com I, as a 25 year old non-smoking male get quotes starting at $36/month. Even the most expensive plan is $208 and it is an Indemnity with a $250 deductible.

I filled one out to near completetion with previous medical history once and it still only came to about $42/month.

Jonathan Woodall - What are you saying about comparing the $50/month plan to the $382/month plan? It is a much better deal to get a MSA with catastrophic health insurance than to get full coverage IMO. A catastrophic plan with a $2500-5k deductible, and a $10 a month dental/vision/prescription discount card (instead of getting dental/vision/prescription insurance) is a better deal in the long run than a full coverage plan with a $250 deductible. Unless you use tons of prescription drugs. But I don’t right now luckily.

I think I might be responsible for that. In this thread,I said that it sounded like Kerry was in favor of opening up FEHBP to 95% of Americans, based upon his election-year promise to provide Americans with the same coverage that members of Congress have. That’d be FEHBP, but I also admitted that I wasn’t able to find specifics.

Now that I look a little more, it is indeed his plan to allow businesses to buy in to FEHBP. See here, three-quarters of the way down.

[QUOTE=Jonathan Woodall]
While $817/mo seems like a ton of money, if you have one or two lengthy hospitalizations or surgeries in a year for even one family member, you’ll blow $817/mo out of the water. QUOTE]

Dude, my income is $817.00 a month.

Must resist urge to editorialize in GQ.

Yeah but he says

John Kerry’s plan would allow all Americans to join FEHBP by adding a new pool for small and large businesses, as well as individuals and families who need affordable health insurance.

Yes. Yes, he does. Your point?

With reference to your specific question, there’d doubtlessly be three or four new categories created on that FEHBP website you looked at: small business, large business, self-employed, unemployed, and probably some others, also. The rates could stand to be substantially different than those quoted for temporary coverage, because (a) the overall pool of insured would be substantially larger, and (b) the risk for each pool of insured (postal, non-postal, small business, self-employed, etc) would probably differ.

If you’re looking to figure out how much health insurance would be for you, Wesley Clark, under a Kerry plan, I simply doubt that there is a factual answer for you right now. Even if Kerry is elected and the plan is enacted into law, it would most likely take months of work by the Department of Health and Human Services to figure out how to bargain with the private insurers to establish rates for the coverage offered under FEHBP.