Smug Because You Have Employer Provided Health Insurance?

Well, wipe that smirk of off our collective faces, because the American Health Care Act may have some very serious deleterious effects on our coverage as well. Remember that little nugget about granting the states waivers if requested to remove any number of basic benefits from coverage offered in their states? Things like coverage for pre-existing conditions, maternity and pre-natal care, mental health care, life time coverage caps, etc, etc, etc. Well apparently if a state applies for any one of these waivers…it doesn’t just apply to insurance sold on the federal or state exchanges that were established under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), but could be applied to any insurance coverage provided in the state. Go figure…so our employer could opt out of providing those benefits and reduce costs and leaving any number of us hanging!

And that’s just the start of it. If your employer, like mine, has multiple locations across the United States, they can cherry pick which state they want to use for their insurance rules…so they could conceivably pick the state with the most advantageous waivers and minimize their costs. So even if you live here in Wisconsin you might be only able to get insurance based on the waivers and rules set down in West Virginia for instance…and you might not like them at all.

I am guessing that young people just starting a family might care about maternity benefits, Americans with chronic illness might care about lifetime caps, and I care about pre-existing conditions.

Other than being really troubling to consumers of health care who won’t actually get to control their insurance benefits, this seems to fly in the face states rights so popular with the GOP. Now Wisconsin wouldn’t necessarily control it’s insurance market anymore…it’s at the mercy of every other state. I am not sure this little quibble is even apparent to the Trump Administration or the House of Representative members who wrote the AHCA, but I would think it is of serious concern to the 49% of Americans who have employer provided health insurance.


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