My wife is French. She has French health insurance.
However, because health care is so expensive in the U.S., the French insurance now covers only about the equivalent of $300,000 in treatment and services rendered here. After that, my wife would have to go to France to continue being covered. The insurance policy will pay the cost of getting to France, but who wants to be shipped overseas, while suffering from God knows what ailment, to be treated by new doctors?
$300,000 sounds like a lot of coverage. However, in the case of certain treatments, a patient can blow well past that amount. This, of course, is why the $300,000 cap was imposed.
After the cap went into effect, I thought my wife should have supplemental insurance to cover a medical catastrophe. Thus, I went shopping for “catastrophic insurance” in the pre-Obamacare market.
I found a fairly reasonably priced policy with a pretty high deductible and we purchased it. “Pas mal,” we thought.
Then came Obamacare. As I expected, we received notice from our supplemental insurer that our policy could not be renewed. As I expected, we could find no similar policy.
We liked our back-up policy, but we could not keep our back-up policy.
Obamacare deems high deductible policies like my wife’s “junk insurance.” Sure, it was the insurance my wife happened to need, but it fell short of President Obama’s standards, ostensibly because of the high deductible and because it doesn’t cover things like obstetrics, drug abuse treatment, and other services my wife doesn’t need.
The real reason why Obama decided my wife’s insurance wouldn’t do was because it didn’t cost enough to help pay for other people’s insurance. By demanding that she pay for stuff she will never need, extra money could be squeezed out of us for the Obamacare subsidies.
To me, that’s the essence of Obamacare: coerce certain people into paying for more health insurance than they need in order to subsidize health insurance for other people.
My wife’s situation is anomalous. I assume that only a small number of people in America have a primary insurance policy like hers.
But there may be millions of Americans who would like to buy the kind of policy we got for my wife — a lowish cost one with a high deductible that will protect us against the cost of medical catastrophes. (Indeed, it’s one of the principles of normal insurance purchasing to insure only against events you can’t afford the cost of bearing. That’s why I want to buy insurance for my home but not for my television or cell phone).
Under Obamacare, these Americans are out of luck. We cannot buy such health insurance.
Let’s hope that under Obamacare’s replacement, this freedom will be restored.