I have been talking to clients and even some random friends about health insurance mandates. No one really knows what they are or how they affect your premiums and livelihood. So I thought I would spend a few minutes talking about them.
There are two types of mandates currently State mandates, which are basically the rules of the state. Each State has their own mandates of what must be in every policy. The States currently make their own. And Federal mandates which are now imposed by the federal government. The new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), has a list of mandates that went into effect on September 23rd of 2010.
An example of a mandate is for example Mental Health. In Ohio, all plans have to cover mental health. In Illinois,before the PPACA, all plans have to cover Mammograms. Mammograms are now a federal mandate. One of the mandates I find unique is in the State of Colorado, they recently passed a mandate that all plans must cover maternity. A lot of insurance carriers were forced out of the State, because they did not offer maternity coverage even as an option. What is interesting about that mandate, as I understand it, is I am a 42 year old male, my wife is not on my policy. Why do I have to purchase maternity coverage? I biologically speaking, can never deliver a baby.
I am all for making it an option on every policy, I have no problem with that. Mental health and Substance abuse are another one. I think it might be a good idea to offer it, I personally, do not want to pay for substance abuse. Mental health, I guess we all might need some day.
The point is with every mandate, comes added premium. I use the analogy if I owned a pizza restaurant, and it became a mandate that all pizzas came with pepperoni, I would still have to charge for the pepperoni.
We can control premiums in the insurance market if we made them ala carte. Almost like auto insurance where the car rental coverage is optional and the towing is optional.
I have to think I know what I need better than the State or Federal Government.
Just my thoughts of the week.
Thanks for reading.
Eric Wilson is President of I Sell Health, Inc. A Chicago based company. He can be reached toll free at 888-448-5370 or online at www.isellhealth.com