Insurance Lobby Sounds Alarm Over Cruz Amendment To Senate Health Bill

Ted Cruz, a man so unpopular that his iPhone contact list is just one sad face emoji, has done it again.

By allowing insurers to offer plans that don't cover essential health benefits alongside plans that comply with existing Affordable Care Act rules, Cruz's amendment sets up a system in which healthy people would opt for the cheaper plans, leaving the pool of insureds with more comprehensive coverage full of high-risk individuals.

The main health insurer trade group is warning Senate Republicans against including a controversial conservative amendment in their healthcare bill, saying the move would destabilize the market and harm coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

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The other market, AHIP said, would be non-compliant plans, which would attract younger, healthier customers due to their lower premiums. It would allow insurers serving the individual market and accepting customers who purchase insurance with the help of federal subsidies to offer policies that do not conform with the coverage mandates enshrined in the ACA.

The trade group pointed out that part of the exchanges' current woes stemmed from the Obama administration's transitional policy, which allowed individuals to renew their non-ACA-compliant plans.

So what counts as a preexisting condition that could get you denied coverage under the new plan?

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"Unfortunately, this proposal would fracture and segment insurance markets into separate risk pools (for the healthy and unhealthy) and create an un-level playing field that would lead to widespread adverse selection and unstable health insurance markets", the organization said in a memo it released Wednesday. Alas, the Senate's latest healthcare bill rewrite doesn't even have the industry's support, all thanks to nacho-farting gummy bear Ted Cruz. That meant the people left in the individual market were on average older, sicker, and more costly to insure. Experts say that could weaken the regulations around preexisting conditions. Some of the pre-existing conditions that insurers declined coverage because of before the ACA, according to the foundation, include diabetes and heart disease, which affects millions of Americans. "It shouldn't be the government dictating what insurance you can buy".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that he hopes the legislation will be scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) early next week and approved by the end of that week. And indeed, those are the people who have shied away from numerous Obamacare marketplaces, frustrated by premium hikes and willing to instead pay the relatively small fine for lacking coverage. Those funds could be used to subsidize premiums for people with health problems.

For some consumers, a fixed-indemnity insurance plan is a helpful add-on to a regular health insurance plan, as it helps cover out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses they expect to incur during the year.

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"You the consumer, you the patient, should have the freedom to choose the insurance you want", Cruz said recently on CBS. That wouldn't necessarily make plans affordable, however; many compensate with much higher deductibles and copays. Hence the skyrocketing premiums under Obamacare.

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