Great information came in from a Dr. Radio listener about The Texas High Risk Pool (for those who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting conditions).
For those who were listening to the show on Thursday, Sept.15th we had a caller who said the pool was easy to access and open to anyone who is denied insurance for a preexisting condition. Thus the only reason 24% of Texans lack health insurance (the highest rate in the nation) is by personal choice.
Our listener told us the following: the enrollment is not even 40,000 it is 26-27,000.
Premiums for a 50-year old female, non-smoker are $907 per month with a $2500 deductible, a $250 prescription deductible, 20% coinsurance and a $4000 annual out-of-pocket (additional to the deductible – not including it) making this an approximately $15,000 policy. Also, the premiums rise every 6 months. In Dec 2008, premiums for her started at $634 per month. In less than 3 years, there’s been a 43% increase in premiums. Most people who enter the risk pool cannot stay in for very long. It is simply unaffordable not because they chose to stay out of it.
The key in healthcare is to make sure you know the facts. It’s ok for Governor Perry from Texas to want to repeal healthcare reform – as all the Republican candidates are saying – but we should be demanding them to explain to us their proposals as an alternative. Simply maintaining the status quo seems high dangerous for all of us who will someday rely on the healthcare system and Medicare and for the United States financial health in general.