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Mandates costly? Who knew?

Want To Reduce Health Insurance Costs? Eliminate Mandates
Say Anything (Blog), May 20, 2008, posted by Rob

Or, in other words, make the health insurance market truly free. Or freer, at least.

A 2005 study by the Commonwealth Fund illustrates how insurance rates for young people are far higher in states with guaranteed issue and community rating than in states that do not have them. For instance:
  • A healthy 25-year-old male could purchase a policy for $960 a year in Kentucky but would pay about $5,880 in New Jersey.
  • A similar policy, available for about $1,548 in Kansas, costs $5,172 in New York.
  • A policy priced at $1,692 in Iowa costs $2,664 in Washington and $4,032 in Massachusetts. . . .

Forcing insurers to cover benefits that many consumers may not want (or need) also drives up premiums. For instance, New Jersey is one of only four states to mandate coverage for chiropody. And it is one of only 13 states that mandate coverage for in vitro fertilization — adding 3 percent to 5 percent to the cost of premiums. Proponents often argue that their particular mandate costs little; but when all 42 of New Jersey’s mandated benefits are added together the costs are significant. Nationwide, as many as one-quarter of the uninsured may have been priced out of the market by costly mandates.

What’s troubling is how many politicians want to solve this problem which was created by too much government interference with more government interference in the form of expanded government-provided health care.

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