Sunday, November 23, 2008

Private health groups say they can offer universal coverage with mandatory insurance

Two health insurance industry trade groups have said that the private health insurance industry would be willing to offer guaranteed issue and cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions, if Congress requires that everyone have insurance.

The two trade groups are America’s Health Insurance Plans (their story is here) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (story here).

The story is by Robert Pear in the Nov. 19, 2008 New York Times, “Health insurers to accept all applicants, on condition,” link here. The underlying logic is to remove anti-selection and cherry picking.

A mandatory guaranteed issued system could work in the individual market, even if employers got out of the picture. Or employers could stay in but coverage should be portable.

Massachusetts has implemented a mandatory health insurance policy, with controversial results.

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