During Thursday’s heath care summit, Senator Kyl said he believes consumers are better able to make choices about their health insurance than Washington. Senator Kyl doesn’t like the idea of a Washington bureaucrat setting standards for health insurance plans. What do you think? Here are some choices you have if you are looking for individual insurance in Arizona.
I was just looking over coverage options for a 55 year old healthy woman and here are a few of her choices:
BCBS of Arizona: Monthly premium: $148/mo with….
$5,000 deductible: She will pay the first $5,000 of her health insurance bills.
She gets three doctor visits per year for a co-pay of around $40.
60/40% co-insurance (She pays 40% of her bills after she has paid the deductible and until she hits her $4,000 maximum-out-of-pocket.)
So if she gets sick she pays $5,000 (deductible ) plus $3,000 (co-insurance) during the year. This protects her against catastrophic costs by limiting her yearly out-of-pocket costs to $8,000.
Or she can pay $198/month for a similar plan – except that it allows for six doctor visits per year for a co-payment.
Another company, Assurant, tells insurance agents to discourage clients from including doctor visits for a $35 co-pay. They say that customers will save about $100 per month with their premium if doctor visits come under the deductible. This means the consumer is buying coverage in case of large medical bills. The idea of going to the doctor to stay healthy is out of the picture. The consumer only goes to the doctor if she is seriously ill – and she pays the full doctor bill, which is applied to the deductible amount ($5,000).
Senator Borasso, from Wyoming, said that people with catastrophic coverage (like the plans described above) are the best health care consumers because they think twice about getting care. He was implying that people with more comprehensive coverage tend to use the health care system too much. This is known as “consumer-driven heath care” and it is the mantra of health insurance companies. We can control health insurance costs by putting more and more of the cost onto consumers.
What do you think?