There Can be a Downside to State Mandated Health Insurance

Individual or Family Health
Group Health Coverage

State Mandated Health Insurance

Recently States like Massachusetts have put into effect reforms to their healthcare system designed to make sure that all citizens in that state have access to health insurance. The cornerstones of such programs is that the State actually mandates that all citizens have health insurance, and offers penalties to those that do not comply. But according to some there can be a downside to such mandated health insurance plans, and it is still way too early to tell if the "Massachusetts Experiment" will be a successful one.

Opponents of such mandated health insurance plans say that they can and do result in higher health insurance rates to all residents in the states. In Massachusetts before the law mandating medical coverage was passed family health insurance was running close to 10,000.00 a year. Whether those rates will come down significantly for the majority of these in the State who already had insurance - remains to be seen. Health insurance programs like the one piloted in Massachusetts require that all people pay the same rates for insurance regardless of their medical conditions, this raises the rates for all - and a healthy person can wind up paying as much as a very sick one - which would not be the case in other States without such mandates. Also the rates under such medical plans tend to be high because the sate mandated health insurance covers many procedures and treatments not often covered by other commercial private health insurance such as infertility treatments. All medical insurance consumers bare the burden of such coverages whether they will ever use them or not.

Subsidies will help the poor and those who went without insurance because they could not afford it under such State Mandated health insurance plans like that implemented in Massachusetts. Those who could afford the high premiums will continue to be able to, but opponents of such plans see them as a major squeeze on the middle-class. Since the mandated health insurance plans have that guarantee of coverage for all regardless of medical condition built in, despite the risks of penalties, many young and healthy people forego buying medical coverage until they get sick, since they know they cannot be denied coverage. This creates an unhealthy pool of people with insurance in the State and continues to drive rates up and keep them high.

There have been many provisions built in to the programs to try to take these factors into account such as special provisions for smaller groups made up of individual who a e 19 -25, and letting people stay on their parents heath coverage until age 25. In addition all such State Mandated health insurance plans currently proposed and in effect also call for significant tax breaks and credits to individuals that were formerly reserved only for businesses. And of course the programs themselves are new. Their very nature will need to be to evolve and ebb and flow with the tide of the new waves in the health insurance industry. The White House and lawmakers nationwide are keeping a very close eye on Massachusetts and the other States that have now put forth such plans - their success or failure could spell the path to being a "One Nation Indivisible with Liberty and Healthcare For All"