Of Course It Is A Good Idea. I’m Not Paying.

Friday, May 6, 2011
One of the new benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is that dependent children, even if they are married, can be covered on the their parents’ policies until they reach the tender age of 26. Ohio upped the ante and made it 28. Employers are rejoicing.

A provision was built into the law that prevents an employer from passing any of the extra cost of insuring an adult child onto the parental employee. If the employer pays 75% of the cost of insuring a five year old girl, the employer must pay 75% of the cost of insuring a twenty-five year old woman. There is a huge difference in these risks. Neither the State of Ohio nor the US government is concerned.

The insurers are passing the additional cost to cover these adults, much like the other new benefits, to the policyholders. Individual (non-group) contracts are rising. Group policy premiums are climbing. Some employers are absorbing the difference. The recent hike in gas prices will quickly end such largesse.

I am seeing employers tackle this problem by raising their deductibles and co-payments in an effort to retain reasonable premiums. Other clients are asking their employees to pay a larger portion of their premiums. This would appear to be inevitable.

As the costs continue to mount, there are still those who want more. Can we include the spouses of the married children? Shouldn’t we include grandchildren? I’m reminded of my friend Jack who didn’t quit smoking. He simply quit buying!

There are no FREE benefits. There are no Free physicals. No Free colonoscopies. No Free coverage for dependent children. We are all paying for this, directly or indirectly. If this, any of this, makes sense as part of some greater public good, say so. It is time for our political leaders to publicly state their values. We need to be asked to support their choices with out money.

We’ve had subterfuge and deception. Let’s try something entirely different – honesty and transparency. I’m paying. Let me feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.