The topic of insurance is always on our minds in these times, one form or another. Even if the new Obamacare plan is working out quite great for our particular case, or if any previous form of insurance plan was simply too good to tamper with, the topic is still very much discussed and important to stay well-informed on. In less convenient cases, comparing health insurance companies and their programs, as well as knowing the latest legal debates surrounding your insurance options, is obviously even more of a good idea. This is why the latest waves created by the Republican candidate Donald Trump with his most recent announcement about his health insurance law plans are very important and worth discussing here.
At the beginning of this month, the press reported that Donald Trump announced his intentions to revise the laws around health insurance, allowing companies to sell their products across state lines, instead of being confined to only the state in which they are based. Mr. Trump, ever the businessman, thinks this will help not only the companies which will gain access to a broader market this way, but also help the consumers as well, since it can be assumed that the companies will come up with better insurance plans when faced with all that extra competition.
Are Donald Trump’s Plans with Health Insurance Law a Good Idea?
In theory, this all sounds very well. Better market exposure and more competition leads to higher quality services for the customers, more sales for the companies, everybody is happy, right? Unfortunately, as the recent recession has shown us, things aren’t that simple and even if it sounds good in theory, the more large, transnational companies gain power and become delocalized, the more they elude being liable for anything that goes wrong (they can simply pick up their toys and take their business elsewhere).
This doesn’t mean that every business should be confined to a small geographical area, not by far, but these things, if done, need to be enabled with a more complex strategy backing the change. Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, his plan for allowing users to simply compare health insurance companies from all over the country and have their pick is well-intended, but still conceived as a businessman, and not as a politician who needs to think out the actual law details and the consequences it may have on the citizens and the national economy, etc.
While both critics and enthusiasts of this plan agree that in theory this removal of state barriers in the way of health insurance companies just may work well and even manage to reduce the cost of insurance plans (since in many states the costs for companies are higher), the trouble is that state regulations are not the sole reason for which insurance plans are so expensive and uncompetitive. The main problem is often money and proper networking: if a company doesn’t have enough of these, it may just be too hard to expand its services to a new state area. Even if the step is taken, the associated costs of obtaining the right doctor and hospital contracts will still make the actual costs of the insurance plans be high.
Furthermore, a study completed in 2012 by a team of researchers from The Center on Health Insurance Reforms indicates that while such across state proposals do allow more options and advantages to medical insurance companies who choose to go beyond their initial state confines, actually, no company decided to opt for that (because the associated costs would be too high, anyway). This proves that while the business plan of Mr. Trump may sound like a good idea in theory, new comers on the market may still find the costs of playing the game too prohibitive to take such leaps, even if leaping across state lines becomes allowed and encouraged.
If we try to compare health insurance companies by looking at their medical insurance quotes, we’ll see that while indeed most of them are quite high for the average consumer, the plan of opening up state borders for these companies won’t actually solve that problem. To take a look at the figures for yourself, feel free to browse the rates of ehealthinsurance, einsurance, anthem health insurance and allstate health insurance by going to their main web pages directly. You will notice how most of them are quite balanced and promise you can save up to a couple hundred dollars a month by switching from your current health insurance to theirs ($272 for ehealthinsurance, for example). Still, not even the best medical insurance companies can do miracles on their rates, and the plan of just opening the borders won’t suddenly solve the problem.
Whether we like it or not, a more comprehensive plan such as Obamacare is a bit more suited to handle the rising costs health insurance take from the people in a sustainable way. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved upon, of course. But, it’s still a far more realistic shot than the current version of the plan announced by Donald Trump.