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Letter: Insurance reform is a disaster

As of Feb. 1, I have been in the health insurance business for 43 years. Thanks to Obamacare and MNsure this is not exactly a celebration. In 1973 I could insure a family of four with a no-deductible health plan for about $30-$35/month. It doesn'...

 

As of Feb. 1, I have been in the health insurance business for 43 years. Thanks to Obamacare and MNsure this is not exactly a celebration.

In 1973 I could insure a family of four with a no-deductible health plan for about $30-$35/month. It doesn’t work that way anymore.

I believe Obamacare and MNsure are two of the worst ideas this country has ever had.

We are starting our third year under these programs, and each year the problems get worse. If you do not purchase an insurance plan by Feb 1 this year, you are probably locked out and cannot buy one unless you experience a life-changing event such as the birth of a child.

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Also, if you don’t buy a plan, you may be subject to a $695 tax penalty per adult or $2,085 for a family.

In the first year, 2014, Preferred One made an effort to meet the new federal laws and provide coverage for a reasonable price. After having millions of dollars of losses, they were forced to raise rates 67 percent. Almost everyone left them and went to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. They had incredible losses as well and had to settle the next year with a 47 percent increase. This year, 2016, Medica seems to have the best rates, and they too may experience losses.

The government established the Affordable Care Act with good intentions. However, now we cannot afford our own individual health plans. The MNsure process has been a disaster. The long phone waits have been frustrating. Many who should get help aren’t, and some who shouldn’t are. About 80 percent of Minnesotans who get government help get it from the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare plans that we already had. Only a small percent actually buy a tax-credited health insurance policy.

So now we sell the worst health insurance ever at the highest prices. I don’t see that it is going to get any better. This is an election year. I hope Minnesotans will pick candidates who realize Obamacare needs to get fixed.

Gerry Fladeboe

Spicer

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