Jacob from My Personal Finance Journey hosted the final Cavalcade of Risk for 2011 – the Riskiest Start-Up Business Edition. Along with lots of great risk-related articles, Jacob shares a few business start-up ideas that might involve more risk than reward.
One of my favorite articles in this edition of the COR come from Jaan Sidorov. Jaan writes about the recently released HHS guidelines regarding Essential Health Benefits and the flexibility they’ve granted to states to set their own benchmarks for what has to be covered by health insurance policies that will be sold in the exchanges.
I recently addressed this issue too, specifically in terms of how the EHB guidelines from HHS might impact individual health insurance policies in Colorado.
I particularly appreciated Jaan’s link to this bulletin about Essential Health Benefits from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. It’s a comprehensive look at how EHB will be defined based on the current proposal from HHS, and it includes a call for public comment between now and the end of January 2012. In reading through the bulletin, I was especially interested in the bottom of page 7. They note that in states that mandate coverage for in-vitro fertilization, the mandate increases average health insurance premiums by about one percent. And in states that mandate coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for autism, that mandate results in average premiums being 0.3% higher than they would be without it.
We’ve written a few times about infertility treatments and health insurance, and it’s always generated a lot of (usually quite polarized) comments. People tend to feel strongly one way or the other, often based on their own experiences or those of friends and family members. People who have had to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to pay for IVF tend to be more sympathetic to the idea that health insurance coverage of fertility treatments would be a good thing. Those who have been able to conceive without medical interventions and those who have no desire to have children tend to balk at the idea of paying higher health insurance premiums to cover fertility treatments for other people. But would knowing that mandates on fertility treatment have only increased premiums by about one percent make a difference in how those people feel?
With regards to ABA therapy for autism, the mandatory coverage has even less of an impact on premiums, and I would guess that even people who are opposed to mandatory coverage for fertility treatments might be more sympathetic to the need for care for an autistic child.
If you’re opposed to mandatory coverage for infertility and/or ABA therapy for autism, do those numbers on the HHS bulletin change your mind at all?