This will attract only the sickest of the sick to apply for individual coverage – after they’ve already been diagnosed. Remarkably, the bill also has the positive reform of allowing (requiring?) employers which do not offer coverage to use IRS Section 125 to permit their employees to use pre-tax dollars to buy individual policies. It also makes COBRA continuation (for those who lose their jobs) more “generous.”
But what’s the point? If everyone can wait until they become sick to apply for individual coverage, I doubt many people will worry too much about continuing group-based coverage.
We’ve been saying that New York is an example of what the whole U.S. will look like under the looming federal health “reform.” We may have to move our focus to Ohio, where “reform” is code for a complex mess of adverse selection, with broadly predictable, if unintended and undesired, consequences.