From our friends at the GAO, released March 28: Private Health Insurance Coverage: Expert Views on Approaches to Encourage Voluntary Enrollment. The report was requested by Senate Dems, maybe as a road map for a post-individual mandate world. The highlights include some now-familiar ideas:
• Modify open enrollment periods and impose late enrollment penalties.
• Expand employers’ roles in auto enrolling and facilitating employees’ health insurance enrollment.
• Conduct a public education and outreach campaign.
• Provide broad access to personalized assistance for health coverage enrollment.
• Allow greater variation in premium rates based on enrollee age.
And also the “road not taken,” using the taxing power to side-step the current constitutional challenge:
• Impose a tax to pay for uncompensated care.
And three newer ideas (at least to me):
• Condition the receipt of certain government services upon proof of health insurance coverage.
The tuition mandate – no federally guaranteed student loans without health insurance! Constitutional under the spending power, but adds administrative complexity. Why not go all the way – the drivers license mandate?
• Use health insurance agents and brokers differently.
Let’s pay those unemployed health insurance brokers to drag free riders into the system. Does anyone outside of the industry think this is a good idea?
• Require or encourage credit rating agencies to use health insurance status as a factor in determining credit ratings.
What a terrible idea, on so many levels.