Wednesday, January 20

Serious Health Care Reform Question

Jose is in reasonably good health--no pre-existing conditions. Jose is currently enrolled in the Duke University student health care plan, which is okay, but not great. Jose has maintained MA residency and fully intend to purchase insurance there after Jose graduates provided that Jose can't find a job that provides insurance.

Here are Jose's questions. Imagine for a moment that Jose does not have MA residency:

1. Let's say something horrible happens to Jose, like cancer or signing Julio Lugo to a mutliyear deal, between now and graduation. If Jose weren't a MA resident, would Jose still be able to purchase insurance from someone? Anyone? Would my only option be to COBRA my Duke plan until COBRA ran out? And would Jose be fucked once COBRA ended?

2. Jose can get insurance through an employer. Yay! But can the employer's insurance refuses to cover me knowing that Jose is sick?

Jose is not being glib. Thankfully Jose is healthy, but these are situations that are realistic to me, and that Jose doesn't worry about because Jose is, at least theoretically, covered under the MA deal. Jose has been uninsured, not even for a day. Would Jose be certain that if something happened to me, Jose could maintain coverage?

This is NOT intended to be a debate about broader health care reform issues. Rather, this is intended to be a discussion of whether the current system allows, what Jose regards as the absolute minimum consensus. That if you've purchased insurance you're whole life, you should be guaranteed that you can keep it if you get sick.

Jose imagines that right or left, we would agree that if you have maintained coverage at all times, you should not be fucked because you are leaving school or changing jobs around when you get sick. Jose want to know if the current system protects against that.

Aside from COBRA, it is not clear to Jose that it does.