This is not health insurance it’s a scam. The Basic and Medium plans are no better than no insurance at all. As you may recall my short ride in an ambulance and 13 hours in the hospital cost over $5,000.
As the Journal story makes clear, the policies in question are so-called mini-med plans with very limited benefits. In the case of McDonald’s, according to the Journal, there are two options: Employees who go with the minimum plan pay $14 a week for a policy that won’t cover more than $2,000 in medical bills a year. Employees who opt for the “generous” option pay about $32 a week for a policy that maxes out at $10,000.
To call that “insurance” is to distort the definition, since these policies would do very little to help people with even moderately serious medical conditions. (You can blow through $10,000 in medical care with one emergency room visit.) And those are the people whom insurance is supposed to help, since they are the ones who face serious financial hardship or have serious trouble getting access to care. As Aaron Caroll, who now blogs at the Incidental Economist, wrote several months ago when the issue first came up, “There are a host of health insurance plans out there that are cheap. It’s just that the majority of those also are crappy. Sure, they’re great if you’re healthy. They only stink when you get sick; but that’s when you need them.”
At the end of the day, our business financed system just doesn’t make
sense, for a whole variety of reasons. We’d be better off with some
sort of baseline single payer system with the ability for those who can
afford it to supplement their coverage.
Cross posted at Newshoggers