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 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.
No matter what system we eventually wind up with, the government will wind up being the back-stop for catastrophies (Medicaid). Why not just have all catastrophic illnesses covered by Medicare for all US citizens. There would be very little paper work needed to verify coverage. Then private insurers could minimizes their risk and lower premimums.
There are plenty of free lunches in most restaurant dumpsters. It seems as though PPACA is in the dumpster.
No Names Please
Jeff Hershberger said…
It’s not your main point, but I do get a cognitive dissonance here. Under cover of the PPACA, the phrase “adult child” seems to have slipped into general usage. Is this really what we’ve come to as a society, that people who have been physiologically adult for ten years can be figuratively and literally dependent on their parents? I only hope there are not many of these people.
May 7, 2011 8:24 AM
By the time I was 28 I was married and had two babies. But I also had a job that provided insurance to me and my family at NO COST to us. Not to be in any way favorable to this new coverage, we do have a job situation going on as well.
The key point is that someone is paying. I’m either paying a monthly premium, taxes or it was the opportunity cost of a raise or other benefits from my employer. There is no free health care and until America understands that healthcare is something we work hard for like food, shelter and digital cable the argument will continue. Please continue to discuss these issues and the payment system. Most need to know that this is real.