If you live in Colorado and don’t get your health insurance from your employer, finding health insurance can be difficult and confusing. The reason is because it’s not like shopping for any other insurance, financial, or retail product in the marketplace. In Colorado, you have two choices:
- an underwritten individual/family plan
- a non-underwritten plan like CoverColorado or a group of one
While it’s true that other insurance products won’t cover your house or car if they’re on fire or totalled, you wouldn’t be buying insurance for them in that case anyway because you’d just get new ones. But if you lose your job and need to get your own health insurance, you can’t really get a new body if you’ve got type 1 diabetes. So you’ll have to go into a pool with all of the other sick people on a non-underwritten plan and pay 2-3x as much as an individual plan.
If you’re healthy when you start shopping for health insurance, you’ll have a wide variety of plans to choose from covering (and not covering) a wide range of services. However, the plan descriptions and wording make sense to about 5% of health insurance shoppers in Colorado. If you have an agent or several agents recommend plans, you’ve got an advantage. But there’s still a good chance that an agent might steer you in the wrong direction. The bad part is that by the time you find out, you’re stuck with what you have and won’t be able to switch.
If every other industrialized nation has figured out how to provide healthcare to all it’s citizens, what’s wrong with us? If the system is obviously flawed, why don’t we change it? Is it because of all the people making money in the health insurance industry with powerful lobbies?