Senior citizen can have a health savings account after all. The annihilation of traditional health insurance is worse than we assumed. And what about Obamacare’s achievement in reducing the uninsured? It’s all due to Medicaid growth, rather than private insurance. And there’s more.
If you’re a Senior Citizen, you too can take a Health Savings Account. Well, at least in principle.
You first have to find a private, Medicare Advantage plan that will sell you one, as Greg Scandlen reports in a guest editorial. And if you’re fortunate enough to find one, the federal government will credit $1,500 in your account every year. By the way, for seniors they are entitled as “Medical Savings Accounts.”
More on the annihilation of private health insurance.
Perverse incentives in the (Obamacare) exchanges are even worse than we previously stated. (See How Obamacare is Sullying Health Insurance.) One way that insurers are trying to attract the healthy and evade the sick is by out-of-pocket costs for medications. A common practice between insurers is tiered pricing, under which patients bears a large percent of the cost of the utmost expensive drugs. These are named as “specialty drugs” and they are in the highest level. A new report from Avalere finds that:
“51 percent of exchange plans put all multiple sclerosis agents, including generics, in the highest tier in 2015, up from 42 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, 29 percent of plans – nearly double the amount in the previous year — placed protease inhibitors and available generics used for HIV/AIDS patients on the specialty tier, compared to 16 percent in 2014.”
“We believe some insurers are purposefully designing plans in such a way that discourages patients, particularly those with chronic health care conditions, from signing up for them,’ said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of the AIDS Institute.”
The major hindrance to Obama’s push for adapted medicine is Obama’s FDA.
Though President Obama has legendarily swore to use “phone and pen” to act unilaterally to attain his public policy objectives, this is one area where he hasn’t acted. As previously described, the president’s new found interest in personalized medicine is at alteration with the general thrust of Obamacare – which is in the course of cookbook medicine. But if the president is thoughtful, Henry Miller reminds us that unwise regulations are the biggest obstacle to the development of any drug:
“Increasingly defensive about accusations that drugs and vaccines are inadequately tested for safety, in recent years highly risk-averse regulators have required huge, expensive and time-consuming clinical trials designed to detect even very rare possible side effects”.
“[FDA approval is] a long and complex process … and regulators’ demands have pushed the average cost to bring a new drug to market to a whopping $2.6 billion.”
Obamacare is decreasing the number of uninsured—but how?
Obamacare is turning out to be single-payer health insurance after all. And that payer is Medicaid. The Senate Republican Policy Committee reports:
“According to an analysis released by the Heritage Foundation late last month, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is responsible for almost all of the law’s net increase in people with coverage. Through the first nine months of 2014, the increase in individual market enrollment was 5.8 million people, which was largely offset by the 4.9 million people who lost workplace coverage. Over the same time, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program increased by 7.5 million people. The total increase in Medicaid accounted for 89 percent of the net increase in people with insurance coverage between January 1 and September 30, 2014.”
Is this real insurance?
Kaiser reports that the average deductible in a standard Silver Plan last year was $2,556 and the average out-of-pocket limit was $5,826. Remember: although many exchange plans are HSA compatible, I don’t know of any that actually put money in the enrollee’s Health Savings Account.
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