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Thread: Why require people to buy health insurance?

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Post Why require people to buy health insurance?

    Why require people to buy health insurance? -- latimes.com

    Any final healthcare bill is likely to require that virtually all Americans obtain insurance. This "individual mandate" has stirred some controversy and confusion. Here are some questions and answers.

    Why require everyone to buy insurance?

    All insurance is based on the idea that most of the time, most people are not filing claims. As it applies to healthcare, supporters say, most people are pretty healthy most of the time, but eventually almost everyone incurs major medical expenses. If only sick people bought insurance, the system would collapse because plans would be forced to pay out more than they took in. And since nearly everyone who develops a serious medical problem gets treated (with or without insurance), the cost of treating the uninsured is passed on to other people. In effect, those with insurance are helping pay the costs of those without it.

    What benefit do I get from being required to buy insurance?

    Making the underlying insurance mechanism stronger by getting more people into the system assures that you will get coverage when you face big medical bills. With everyone paying into the system, companies will get premiums from millions of new clients. That income will make it possible for the companies to stop denying coverage to people who have a preexisting condition or are likely to get sick in the near future -- smokers or middle-age people at risk of heart disease, for example.

    Without the mandate, the proposed rules against denying coverage could lead to only sick people becoming new customers as some others simply waited until they became ill to buy insurance.

    How can insurers afford to cover so many people who have expensive illnesses? Will my premium go up?

    The challenge for insurers is not in covering routine medical expenses; it's the high cost of treating cancer and other major diseases. And Medicare currently covers a large share of people with those problems. For those who develop serious medical problems before they are eligible for Medicare, having more people paying into the insurance pool can offset higher costs, especially if a lot of the newly insured are young people.

    Since young people don't cost the system much, would they be allowed to buy less expensive plans?

    The bills being considered in Congress would use a system called "age rating" to allow insurers to charge older people as much as three times the amount that they charge young people for premiums. If that idea were carried too far, however, it would defeat the purpose of an insurance plan -- spreading the cost and risk. One provision that could end up in the final bill would allow young people to buy less extensive plans. These plans would cost less but wouldn't cover the range of healthcare services that older Americans need and tend to use more frequently.

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    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    My kid can't pay the bills he's already got, how's he going to pay for insurance...

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    Gold Member laynes's Avatar
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    Because like the article says..if they don't then we end up paying.

    It's like car inurance.. everyone should have it! Buy a high deductible plan if you don't want a high premium.



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    It is my understanding that most hospitals operate in the red because people without Health Insurance use the emergency room as a primary care physician of sorts. We all pay. But at the same time I don't get the way some people use health care. I rarely go to the doctor. For some people it's like they go to the doctor once a week.

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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.C. View Post
    My kid can't pay the bills he's already got, how's he going to pay for insurance...
    Going to have to figure it out because they will receive a fine if they dont buy insurance. Curious how that will work if they cant afford the fine...will they go to jail? Thats going to work real well. Not
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    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laynes View Post
    Because like the article says..if they don't then we end up paying.

    It's like car inurance.. everyone should have it! Buy a high deductible plan if you don't want a high premium.

    Driving a car is not a neccessity. Some people don't have a car because they can't afford the cost of owning one. If people are having trouble paying for food and shelter, how can they make health insurance payments? How is this helping the uninsured?

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    Gold Member laynes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quazar View Post
    Driving a car is not a neccessity. Some people don't have a car because they can't afford the cost of owning one. If people are having trouble paying for food and shelter, how can they make health insurance payments? How is this helping the uninsured?
    There will always be exceptions..but if you have a job, you should have to buy health insurance. If you can't pay for food and shelter then of course you should have help.

    I just find it hard to swallow that I have to pay for someone's trip to the ER just b/c they decided cable and going to the bars are more important than insurance. And unfortunately I know several people who have declined medical benefits b/c they'd rather have a higher cell phone plan, movie channels, etc.



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    My SIL is an insurance broker and she says that even for people in good health, age 40, with a $5000 deductible, premiums can be $1200/month. So much for cheap high deductible policies.

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    Gold Member laynes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelbug View Post
    My SIL is an insurance broker and she says that even for people in good health, age 40, with a $5000 deductible, premiums can be $1200/month. So much for cheap high deductible policies.
    Wow.. that's a crappy policy!. We have an HDHP/HSA and the family deductible is only $2400 w/ a $4000 out of pocket limit and my employer gives us $2000 a year in our HSA. We have no monthly premium.

    I guess employers need to shop around.

    HDHP/HSA's are great IMO b/c they teach us to be consumers about our healthcare. You think twice before going to the ER for a hangnail.



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    I don't know anyone who goes to the ER for a hangnail,but I know plenty of them who are forced to use the ER because they have no choice because of lack of insurance. These are also the same people who will wait until they're practically dying to even go to the ER at all because of the ridiculous cost of going. If you are privileged enough to have healthcare,you should be thanking your lucky stars that you are not one of the working poor who are being screwed over once again by this country. Being forced to buy something they cannot afford or be punished by way of massive fines is outrageous and will not work. And not everyone's employer offers insurance,and if they did it would be a lousy plan with high deductibles and premiums so what good would it do? This bill is garbage,plain and simple. This is not reform at all. The US needs a public option,and without one this is just another bonanza for the insurance industry,and helps no one. No one should be punished simply for being poor.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    Going to have to figure it out because they will receive a fine if they dont buy insurance. Curious how that will work if they cant afford the fine...will they go to jail? Thats going to work real well. Not
    I guess the jails will be full of people including myself because I can barely afford what I have to pay now so I imagine it won't be much cheaper but cost me much more if I have to help pay for all these other people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mivvi21 View Post
    I don't know anyone who goes to the ER for a hangnail,but I know plenty of them who are forced to use the ER because they have no choice because of lack of insurance. These are also the same people who will wait until they're practically dying to even go to the ER at all because of the ridiculous cost of going. If you are privileged enough to have healthcare,you should be thanking your lucky stars that you are not one of the working poor who are being screwed over once again by this country. Being forced to buy something they cannot afford or be punished by way of massive fines is outrageous and will not work. And not everyone's employer offers insurance,and if they did it would be a lousy plan with high deductibles and premiums so what good would it do? This bill is garbage,plain and simple. This is not reform at all. The US needs a public option,and without one this is just another bonanza for the insurance industry,and helps no one. No one should be punished simply for being poor.
    You said it sister. I know too many people who put off getting medical care because they could not afford it. It's the shame of a nation as prosperous as this one.

    Too bad the poor can't afford lobbyists.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    why not combine a public option and mandatory insurance, which is what countries like switzerland have? everyone has to buy insurance bit if you can't afford it, then you receive help from the government.

    wiki article:
    Healthcare in Switzerland

    prices may seem high but keep in mind salaries are much higher in switzerland too.
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    Or even better, a mandatory but affordable public system which you can then "top up" with private insurance if you so choose.
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    ^^^
    yeah but that might be too much for many americans and their fear of teh evil 'socialism'
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