Washington State to Offer Public Health Insurance Plans, Regardless of Income, by 2021

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Re: Washington State to Offer Public Health Insurance Plans, Regardless of Income, by 2021

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Is a good start but not enough I do believe that eventually it will not succeed. The reasons are many and they are all economical.

Unless you have full participation and I don't know if they do.  The present costs of healthcare will be too much for the State to bear.

There is a thirst for a decent Healthcare plan in this country but I have not seen the willingness to realize that there ca not be exceptions.

The minute that we have those, they start to unravel.

Is all or none, and still the price control that we all need  At the hospital and Pharmaceutical levels need to happen.

Like Churchill  said. The US always does the right thing after trying everything else

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Very proud of my home state!! Its not perfect, but its a good start.
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Washington State to Offer Public Health Insurance Plans, Regardless of Income, by 2021

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TIME 05/12/2019 - Washington State to Offer Public Health Insurance Plans, Regardless of Income, by ...

 

Governor Inslee signed the legislation today -  What do you think?  I give them an A+ for trying although I am not holding my breath for success - This article points out all the obstacles.  but they seem to be going into it with open-eyes.

 

Should be very interesting to watch the development.

 

(SEATTLE) — Washington is set to become the first state to enter the private health insurance market with a universally available public option.

 

A set of tiered public plans will cover standard services and are expected to be up to 10% cheaper than comparable private insurance, thanks in part to savings from a cap on rates paid to providers. But unlike existing government-managed plans, Washington’s public plans are set to be available to all residents regardless of income by 2021.

 

. . . . The move thrusts Washington into the national debate over the government’s role in health care, with a hybrid model that puts the state to the left of market-only approaches but stops short of a completely public system.

 

Instead, the state will dictate the terms of the public option plans but hire private insurance companies to administer them, saving the state from having to create a new bureaucracy — and guaranteeing a role for the insurance industry in managing the new public option.

 

. . . . Backers acknowledge the rate caps at the heart of the plan risk creating coverage gaps in rural areas. But they hope to persuade doctors to accept lower rates by bringing the state’s purchasing power to bear. The savings would be used to sell the plans at a competitive price.

 

. . . . The core proposition of Washington’s plan, dubbed Cascade Care, is that it will save consumers money by capping payments to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

 

. . . . The cost cap is central to the program’s long-term survival: Set it too high, and there will be no savings to pass along. Set it too low, and the state runs the risk of providers declining the plan, leaving it to whither as consumers seek alternatives that provide more choice,

 

The question is especially critical in Washington’s rural counties, many of which were already hit hardest by health care cost increases.

 

To attract providers, Washington lawmakers chose a relatively high figure to start: The plan caps payouts at 160 percent of federal Medicare rates.

 

That’s more than other states have proposed. In New Mexico, lawmakers considered using Medicaid rates, among the lowest paid to doctors and hospitals by any insurance plan.

 

By comparison, Washington’s higher pay rate for doctors is estimated to save participants only 5 to 10%,

 

But even at the higher rate, the plan risks leaving coverage gaps in the least-populated counties . . . . . The state has already had problems guaranteeing private coverage in those areas. Two counties were recently at risk of having no insurers offering individual plans, and others have only a single hospital or hospital network, allowing providers to drive up costs.

 

The result has been rural areas bucking the state’s broader trend of moderate cost increases: A quarter of Washington counties, mostly rural, have seen triple-digit increases in the cost of premiums for a benchmark bronze-level plan in the last year alone, with some rising by as much as three times the increase seen in King County, home of Seattle.

 

Another unique aspect of Washington’s plan is its hybrid management model.

Despite its name, the public option won’t be provided by the state itself, and state employees won’t deal directly with patients.

 

Instead, the measure directs state health care authorities to hire one or more private insurance companies: The state will determine the broad outlines of the public plans, but private companies will handle day-to-day administration, including enrolling patients and paying out claims.

 

more at the link ~


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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