My Healthcare Questions for Journalists

I am a 49 year old male and I’m married with no kids.

I am an entrepreneur with a young startup and no employees.

I am not an expert on healthcare.

I currently buy health insurance through the exchange via the Affordable Care Act.

I chose a mid-tier policy that I think meets the needs for my wife and me. Here in Virginia, it seems affordable for the coverage it provides. The deductibles are higher than I’d like but that possible cost weighed into my decision on the plan I chose.

As a startup, we don’t always get a regular paycheck but we think health insurance is very important and so my wife and I never fail to pay that bill!

Prior to starting my own business, I had been fortunate to work for thee very large companies that provided health insurance for my family.

Here are the questions I’d really like to hear answers to from the journalists writing and talking about the Trump proposal on the future of healthcare in the US and the repeal and replace plan for the Affordable Care Act:

  1. Why would insurance companies want to sell affordable policies directly to individuals? I always thought that insurance companies preferred to sell group policies to corporations with many employees so they could spread out their risk and that insurance companies really didn’t want to cover individuals directly.
  2. Under the new proposal, everyone is saying that a person can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. The pre-existing conditions requirement in the new proposal doesn’t really have anything to do with anything right? There were very few companies that sold health insurance to individuals before the ACA, just because they didn’t want to. Won’t many companies just choose not to sell to individuals again?
  3. Today, if a company has more than 50 employees, they are required by law to provide insurance. How many of those companies are going to now stop group coverage?
  4. When people say that before Obamacare, they had lower health insurance premiums, did they have plans with unlimited coverage before or are they comparing apples to oranges?
  5. Is the proposal keeping the exchange site online so people can easily shop for insurance in one place?
  6. Why should we think medical costs will come down? Prices are inflated. How much is an aspirin if you get it inside of a hospital? Also, Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many people went to the emergency room and then bailed on their bills because they had no coverage, but they stiffed the hospital on the payment. Those drove costs. How does this proposal help?
  7. Why should we think that any new affordable policies will provide quality coverage? Won’t they go back to their old ways of making “fine-print” policies that were basically scamming people who didn’t fully understand what they were buying and when something bad happened, that event wasn’t covered.
  8. When you hear that consumers will be able to have access to more affordable coverage, will any of those affordable plans cover something traumatic like open heart surgery and follow up recovery treatment? My mom’s chemotherapy treatments were insanely expensive and had she not had insurance that took care of everything, she couldn’t have afforded the co-pay to have the treatments in the first place.

I have two more points that I couldn’t really turn into a question.

First, I feel like there are a lot of people who are complaining about their insurance costs don’t really know the details to fairly compare their plans before the Affordable Care Act and after and they haven’t had any health incident where they were required to understand.

Secondly, The media is not asking the right questions of people to uncover the details of how these new proposed changes are really going to change healthcare insurance coverage for the Americans who aren’t covered by their companies group policy.

On that note, I think every journalist should start interviews with anyone buying insurance with, “Do you pay for 100% of your own health insurance for you and your family OR are you covered by a company group plan because of where you or someone else works?”