Barbara Vicevich – contributor here at Radio Vice Online – discussed the Massachusetts health care plan this morning on the big show. Sure enough, Boston.com has the story about short-term customers gaming the system and raising costs for everyone else.
Hat tip to American’s for Tax Reform, who links to a Boston.com piece by Kay Lazar.
Thousands of consumers are gaming Massachusetts’ 2006 health insurance law by buying insurance when they need to cover pricey medical care, such as fertility treatments and knee surgery, and then swiftly dropping coverage, a practice that insurance executives say is driving up costs for other people and small businesses.
In 2009 alone, 936 people signed up for coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts for three months or less and ran up claims of more than $1,000 per month while in the plan. Their medical spending while insured was more than four times the average for consumers who buy coverage on their own and retain it in a normal fashion, according to data the state’s largest private insurer provided the Globe.
The typical monthly premium for these short-term members was $400, but their average claims exceeded $2,200 per month. The previous year, the company’s data show it had even more high-spending, short-term members. Over those two years, the figures suggest the price tag ran into the millions.
Read the full article. Obama’s health care plan partially used the Commonwealth’s plan as a guide and pointed directly to the legislation as a “success” since a significant number of residents – somewhere in the 95 percent range – were now covered.
Gaming the system is a clear option with the federal legislation. It will not end well if it moves forward.