What the health-care law means for Massachusetts

The Globe summarizes, seems to mainly benefit people who don't buy health insurance (lower penalties); increase the number of people eligible for government insurance subsidies and let children stay on their parents' plans longer. Also: 10% tax on tanning beds!



    Free tagging: 


    Question re. the kids til 26 plan

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    Say Mom works for XYZ fortune 500 company with a health plan. Johnny graduates from college, who pays for his health care until he's 26? Mom and or Johnny? Is the company obligated to keep paying for the family plan? Anybody know?


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    I believe the thing about 26 year olds was intended to prohibit insurance companies from automatically knocking Johnny off his parent's insurance when he is 18 or 19, which some states allow insurance companies to do. As such, Mom doesn't have to keep Johnny on her health insurance but she has the option to.


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    But does that mean Johnny just has the right to insurance but Mom has to pay the incremental charge to keep Johnny on the plan? Or is the company forced to consider Johnny a dependent and offer their usual "family plan" subsidy which is greater than that for a single or married no kids couple?

    So many questions - my main one being - if we set out to make ground pork - why did we have to make sausage and what the hell is all that extra stuff in the sausage? I probably don't want to know (much as I love my Fenway sausages!)

    I don't have time

    I don't have time to try and understand the legislation. But whatever way it is, there's something wrong with it.

    It's okay!

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    There are people who aren't trying to understand the actual legislation either but have come up with the worst possible connotations of the headlines they've seen and I trust them 100% to be right on this.

    Who Cares?

    So long as somebody is paying something for young Ryan and Brittney to be insured, we all benefit immensely.

    Why? Because Ryan and Brittney get insurance ... and they are so young they won't use very much of it. That means more money into the system than out of it, because healthy people are a bargain. Believe me, from a underwriting stand point and as a payer of premiums you want these kids in your system, and you want their parents paying extra for family plans to cover them. Young adults are far cheaper than kneebiters and noseminers!

    So I don't give a crap about where the money comes from - all I care is that all these healthy youngsters are insured! That way, they also get care while youngsters that will prevent future problems and expenses to our health care system - like regular check ups, contraception, asthma meds and help shedding that college 10.

    Aw, too bad

    They should have insurance, too. Because anything bad that happens to them will then cost the public huge - if they even get the care they need to survive. Accidents and cancer aside, chronic problems often start and can be flagged and treated in young adulthood - but don't get much attention until there is a costly disaster in mid life because people forgo insurance.

    No sympathy there. Too many people think that it is all about them, and all about right now. It isn't. It is about paying in now to support a system that will be there for them - and affordable - later, or, much sooner than they ever imagined in their worst nightmare. I have been putting 8+% into Social Security since I started working a professional job in the late 80s. Someday, somebody will be paying that in for me. Meanwhile, if my husband dies or is disabled (he can't even get life or LTD insurance), Social Security will ensure that we can feed and clothe and educate the kids and not lose the house. Ditto if I die first.

    Young people won't use it.

    The government has obviously figured it can force these people to buy something they won't use to pay for old people who are not willing to pay the price for what they do use.

    Young people do a lot of

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    Young people do a lot of stupid things too. It's not necessarily chronic health issues as it's catastrophic and unpredictable medical emergencies. Bills the state ends up picking up when they visit the emergency room.

    Now they’ll have to take some community responsibility for that through insurance.

    But young people don't get sick that much

    Yes young people get hurt, but your chances of dying are tiny before you are 45. Even with the chances of doing something stupid their health premiums would be lower than they will be under the new system. They will be paying in much more than they take out. THAT'S WHY THEY ARE BEING FORCED TO DO IT.

    The government overpromised on health care to old people, and now you are transferring money from the 2nd poorest 20% to pay for the health care of the wealthiest 20%.

    I'm not necessarily against the whole thing. Some understanding of costs and benefits will have to be brought to this structure. Right now it's if you are poor you die faster when you get old. Health Care will move some of that to the middle class. At some point it may even involve pulling the plug on Swirly Girl or her husband. But this is why it's so unpopular.

    I'm young and healthy I pay

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    I'm young and healthy I pay the same as the 50 year old fat guy with medical complications in the office next to me.

    My brother is younger and even healthier, and upon being laid off at no fault of his own he's paying 4X what I pay through my employer for a minimum plan that he really can't afford and does little for him. And that's WITH State subsidized insurance.

    Guess that "pay less cause you're young and healthy" thing is a little more complicated then what you're pretending is true.

    The vast number of my peers get it through a job, find a way to pay the horrible single payer rates for something they only would need in emergencies [being responsible, even if fiscally irresponsible], or, as many do, go without and hedge their bets. Luckily the ones that don't haven't had any issues, and I pray they don't until this bill takes hold.

    I'm using social security

    Well, actually, I'm not. I've been paying in for 25 years though. See how that works? I have to pay in ... and that is a good thing! If I get too sick to work, I am covered. If I die, my husband and children are covered.

    Same can be said for "being forced" to pay for health insurance when you are young: you WILL eventually need it, you may need it sooner than you think ... but it will be there and affordable when that day happens because you and all the other young people "were forced" to pay for it. Moreover, it will be all the more affordable because you and all the other youngsters had access and incentive to get preventative care.

    My friends and I paid a great deal for health care when we were in our 20s, and used very little of it. Then, at age 31, a friend needed one of these for a congenital heart problem gone bad:

    Another friend of ours didn't want to go without insurance when he was between jobs, and decided to pay the $150 for a month of cobra coverage. He was in his 20s at the time. Two weeks later, he broke his spine in a car wreck while travelling the country.

    Paying for health insurance only when you need health insurance is about as dumb as saving for retirement only once you have retired.

    Oh, but these are highly immoral people for having God hate them and inflict car wrecks and heart malformations upon them. They MUST have done something wrong, and now those ingrates can't even pay for it themselves! That your take on it EM? Oh, and how dare ANYBODY get old - you're with Silber on this, right?


    This is entirely funded by restoring a fraction of the taxes that were cut on the wealthiest of Americans.

    Go do some google news time on this. Seriously.

    Find a Clue

    Young workers will, at most, be on the hook for 30% or a modest maximum amount of premiums. Run some numbers yourself

    Go get your reading done, please. What it amounts to is this: one car wreck or one broken bone every three years and you are way ahead - even if you never see a doctor otherwise. Even "being forced OMG!!!" to buy insurance, young adults will be HEAVILY subsidized by restoring taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Somebody making 25K a year has premiums capped at around $2400 or 30% of premium. Ask a low income young person who paid more than that for insurance each year for several years what an appendectomy costs when the insurer denies the bill. Then ask how they plan to pay for it.

    Meanwhile, ever think about why people in the US have more health problems at mid life - more COSTLY health problems - than our Canadian or English counterparts? Hmmm? Something to do with consistent preventative care, smoking cessation, weight management, etc. at younger ages, perhaps?

    Thanks, concern troll

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    Concern troll is concerned.

    Your concern for the Democrats is duly noted.

    I had a much higher cobra.

    I got laid off from a job in the early 1990s. I could continue with a good cobra plan (at about $300 a month) or find a job right away with benefits. So I found a job at a retail company just to have benefits. And that brings me to think about something else. What would I do today if I were in the same situation? Does finding a job with benefits even matter any more? Does that same retail company need to even offer good benefits today to get good workers? What about those who aren't looking for jobs at all? What is the incentive to look for a job with benefits?

    And now that I think if it again, I left the retail job after a few months and took a masters level class at Umass Boston. There I paid almost nothing for pretty good insurance, as I remember going to the emergency room once, getting an MRI, X-rays and a few other things for very cheap. I can't remember the name of the Umass company that offered insurance, but I always told people about the policy as well. If people were in need, one masters class ($600 in the early 1990s) gave you one full year of health insurance regardless if you took a class the next semester. It was a lot cheaper than the 3K+ a year for Cobra.

    But I think this new healthcare thing will work out just fine. There will always be scammers, but a lot of areas of the health care system didn't really get effected with this bill (drug company profit issues, private insurance comapanies still exist, etc)

    “I got mine, so F_ck you”

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    The GOP motto in this new century:

    “I got mine, so F_ck you”

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the founders envisioned.

    We all should care

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    If Mom and Dad (or Ryan and Brittany) are on the hook - then that's fair and reasonable especially if it covers them for pre-existing, makes sure they have coverage etc. - but if the employer is on the hook to insure all the kids until they are 26 I can see a lot of employers saying to hell with it - I'll eat the $3000 penalty and you go find your own insurance while your kid "finds him/herself". So If Mom and Dad don't make enough money - we are on the hook for the balance between the $3000 the company is kicking in and the $12k it costs to insure the family of four.

    Again - I don't know if it works that way - just wondering. Looks like about 80% of the bill was good (the ground pork part). The rest of the sausage looks like snouts, hooves and other unidentifiable nasties - along with possibly a little ecoli (things like the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback - which I believe wasn't thrown out but actually given to EVERY state - which is why Capuano voted for it).

    So does anyone know - who pays for Johnny, Ryan, Brittney and other assorted kidlets not in college from age 18-26? Mom, Kidlet, employer or insurance fairy (if you can read this and work you are the insurance fairy, so yes Virginia, there is an insurance fairy).

    PS - appear to have had a technical glitch trying to post similar response earlier - sorry if double posted!

    SwirlyGrrl, In Dutch national


    In Dutch national health care system, which rates very highly with Dutch nationals, health insurance is required and everyone pays exactly the same premium. How's that for stirring up the risk pool, eliminating gender and age pricing, and making it a national purpose?


    Us public health types compare notes at international conferences. Even the Brazillians are appalled by our (lack of) coverage.


    Food bought in grocery stores or farm stands (as opposed to restaurants) is exempt from Massaschusetts sales tax.


    I was joking. I heard he wanted to tax those things though!


    Joke fail! That means we have to throw vegetables at you, Pete!

    26 Year Old Coverage

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    Currently, companies significantly subsidize family rates. Covering children for another 4-6 years will raise company costs and make them more likely to simply pay the fine and put their employees in the upcoming public option. Covering adults as children up to 26 years is not good for America. I just turned 26 and I see that many of my peers are completely reliant on either the government or their parents. This will simply increase that trend, but more importantly it is in place to make health insurance more costly for employers. The Democrats are trying to ruin private insurance and Medicare in order to make government healthcare look better in comparison. I know that there are some helpful items in the bill, but these are simply feel-good measures so their true motives aren't obvious. Any Congressperson that voted for this bill is either a liar or an idiot.