Daily Nonpareil: Research candidates’ stances on health care before voting
November 1, 2018
By Judith Stark, Clive
In the lead up to Election Day this year, I’ve heard Republican candidates suggest that state high-risk pools would be a good replacement for the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers be required to cover individuals that have a pre-existing condition. This is NOT a good idea. Here’s why:
1) Iowa high-risk pools covered only a limited number of pre-existing diagnoses. If your pre-existing condition excluded you from commercial coverage but did not qualify you for the high-risk pool, you were out of luck.
2) Those persons with a pre-existing condition that were allowed into the state’s high-risk pool were denied treatment for their condition for the first six months of coverage. Many of the patients with these diagnoses are not in a financial position to pay out-of-pocket for the services they need.
3) The high-risk pool carried a lifetime maximum. Many of the conditions, if properly treated, could exceed this lifetime maximum, thereby forcing those who need treatment to go bankrupt or go without care.
4) Premiums are set by the state at 175 percent of the average commercial premium for individual coverage. This clearly makes coverage unaffordable for many. The premiums range in 2017 from $189/month for a 17 year-old male who does not use tobacco and elects the plan with a $10,000 deductible to $2,229/month for a 65 year-old male who uses tobacco and elects the plan with a $1,000 deductible.
5) Premiums for females were uniformly higher than those for males through the age of 59. This is clearly discrimination on the basis of sex.
As you are considering who to vote for this year, I hope you will investigate where candidates stand on this issue and if they will really take action to protect our care.