With the mandate taken out, and threads talking about how no enforcement existed anyway people are saying that now health insurance has to cover pre-existing conditions w/o a mandate that it will bankrupt the system.
But last year they were forced to cover children with pre-existing conditions as well as implement various other important reforms (end rescissions, cover kids until they are 26, end lifetime caps). I think the total cost of all of those was 1-3% higher health insurance premiums. But health insurance premiums have been going up 10-40% a year before that. So if forcing insurers to stop rescinding coverage, cover kids with pre-existing conditions and end lifetime caps only results in a 1-3% cost increase (far less than what happens in a normal year anyway) why would pre existing conditions for adults make such a huge difference?
Would the cost increases in 2014 when adults with pre-existing conditions get coverage honestly be anywhere near the regular 10-40% annual premium coverage people see anyway, or will it be another 1-3% spike like in 2010 when the other reforms started?
For that matter, who are the uninsured with pre-existing conditions among the 60 million total uninsured? The cultural stereotype is they are someone who developed cancer and needs 100k in chemotherapy. But I wouldn’t be surprised if 90% of them are people with conditions that can be managed fairly well for less than a few thousand dollars a year, if that.
I have pre-existing conditions, but my medications to control them cost less than $30 a year. I have heard numerous stories of other people saying the same thing. They have a chronic condition, they take generic medications that cost $50 a year and it is controlled. But they can’t get insurance because of it.
People over 65 are on medicare and most serious cardiovascular and cancer illnesses are among those 65 and older.
There are various state programs in many states for those with serious illnesses (high risk pools, maybe medicaid or other programs for sick adults, etc).
So those with truly expensive conditions seem like they are mostly taken out of the pool of uninsured.
So is opening health insurance up to those with pre-existing conditions really going to make a difference? I am guessing the jump in premiums will be a fraction of the 10-40% that will happen in 2014 anyway, even without the pre-existing condition law taking effect.
It seems the system is set to collapse anyway with radical premium increases, but the premium increases from the reforms put in by congress (ending pre existing conditions, ending rescissions, ending lifetime caps) may only be 5% or so, which is less than the jump that occurs in a normal year anyway.