Reader Question – What about those not 55 years old?

The new Senate compromise must have freaked a lot of you out.  I’m getting slammed with emails.  I’m going to try and get through a few here.

A reader asks:

So I have a 26 year old daughter, poor college student with no insurance, no money to buy insurance and 3 pre-existing conditions.  I had to drop herfrom Federal employees plan when she turned 23.  I always feel I am on the verge of bankruptcy if one of her conditions requires a major hospital event. I can’t believe they sucked up to AARP and gave the over 55 crowd a walk into health insurance while as always they have left the rest of America who is not elderly, cobra eligible, or schip out in the cold. Whats in the new bill that might help my kid or is she looking at nothing for 3 to 4 years and then an expensive insurance possibility in the non-profit exchange?  Blue Cross is non-profit and its premiums are about as high as anyones in the FEHB excahnge. I have FEHB as a fed retireee Mail Handlers Insurance administered by Coventry and my premiums are increasing 27% come January 1, So much for cost control.

Well, things are pretty much just as they were before the deal.  What’s in the new bill for your daughter is (1) the fact that they will not be able to deny her insurance because of her conditions, (2) they won’t be able to charge her more than a healthy person because of her conditions, and (3) if she makes less than 300% (or 400%) of the poverty line she’s going to get subsidies to help her buy insurance.  This bill will likely help her.

I don’t disagree with you assessment that both the FEHBP and the reforms as proposed will do much for cost control, but of the many people writing me today, your daughter is likely to be one of the most helped with health care reform.

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