08 September 2007

Kudos To Anthem

Progress Now rightly gives kudos to Anthem for including domestic partnership benefits in its small business health insurance plans.

Anthem also deserves credit for marketing relatively low cost, about $100-$150 a month per person based on age and location, albeit with a relatively high $2,000 deductible, individual health insurance plans to the public who often have no idea how much it would cost to get insurance separately from an employer, although the website to which the newspaper ads refer you to pathetic, requiring you to subject yourself to broker pressure at the stage when you are just gathering information, rather than making information easily available.

Like most marketing of individual health insurance plans it also fails to make clear how these plans differ from conventional employer provided plans, which are more heavily regulated. Still, if you don't have a health insurance option through your employer, this is a must have item, and at $1,200 per year, per child, is not entirely out of reach for many families. A child's major illness is still a hardship to a family with coverage, but it isn't a catastrophe.

At a recent visit to the local school playground, one of my fellow parents was keeping an especially tight rein on her child because she had no health insurance and an ER visit for a broken bone could put her family in debt for years.


Anonymous said...

Don't be too quick to laud Anthem. The root problem is that we do not have universal, single payor health coverage in this country. If we did, then coverage for partners of any kind would not be an issue. Anthem is part of an insurance industry which is and will be fighting against universal health insurance coverage tooth and nail.

As a small business person, I am struggling to keep health insurance coverage for my employees in the face of ever rising costs. Whether they are straight, gay, blue, green or white, unless we fundamentally change the financing of our health care system, my employees will not have coverage because I simply will not be able to afford it.

Sorry, I cannot thank Anthem for a public relations bandaide.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

It isn't primarily Anthem's fault that "we do not have universal, single payor health coverage[.]" You also certainly can't fault them for lobbying to keep their business, which has thousands of employees, in operation.