Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sensible Carrier Tricks

Humana has announced that they are discontinuing so-called "HIPAA plans" in Ohio. This follows Anthem's announcement last month that they're pulling their version. One presumes that any other carriers that still have these on the books will soon be following suit.

"HIPAA Plans" came about as a result of, well, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Briefly, the law said that if you were uninsurable in the individual (underwritten) market, you must be offered a standardized guaranteed issue plan. There were two versions, Standard and Basic, both with the same out-of-pocket maximums, but different deductibles and co-insurance levels to get you there. Depending on timing, these plans would also have to cover any pre-existing conditions. The plans were modestly mediocre, and priced on the expensive side (which makes sense, as only folks with substantial health issues were going to need it).

It makes sense, too, that carriers will be deleting these plans: after all, when all health insurance plans must be guaranteed issue, who needs these?

Well, other than the folks who liked their plans and doctors.

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