A couple weeks ago I walked the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska, talking to men and women about whether they thought Washington was listening to their economic concerns. Jeff Melichar manages his family’s Phillips 66 gas station on the city’s main street, and one of his big financial problems happens to be health insurance. The more we talked, the more I realized what a jam he could be in down the road because of a loophole in the health reform law, which has received almost no press coverage or public discussion: If you have health insurance from your employer, you may have to keep it whether or not it’s adequate or affordable. Buying less expensive or better coverage from one of the state “exchanges” or shopping services will be off limits. So despite all that talk about consumer choice, for many like the Melichars, there may be no choice.
Melichar’s wife is eligible for health insurance from the optical company where she works. But the family waited until this fall to enroll when the firm offered coverage they finally could afford. Their premium is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*