Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Health Insurance Costs

Well, it looks like I called it. The CEO of Aetna is interviewed in the April 5, issue of BusinessWeek. The answer to the question, "Will insurance premiums go up?" Is a direct yes. He cites that some of the reasons leading to higher premiums will be an increase in taxes, but I have a hunch that is just a small part. It may be politically difficult to blame the very sick people who previously couldn't get coverage and will now be subsidized by the rest of payers.

Think about it: according to aids.org, nearly 900,000 people live in the US with HIV. Since it costs nearly $25,000 a year in health case costs for a person with this disease a simple calculation shows that these insurers will now be paying an additional $22,500,000,000 per year. And that is just one disease.

And what about those who live irresponsibly with unhealthy lifestyles: smoking, obese, excessive fast-food eaters, excessive drinking, drugs, the list goes on. Don't make the responsible people pay for other people's poor life choices.

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