nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Just When You Thought HCR Was Safe From More Poison Pills

How often do you run across a situation where two goods make a bad?

I didn't put this together either, but it's right there in the law, and I should have picked up on it.

Take two positive elements in our healthcare system:
1.  Most retirees have employer-based healthcare plans that provide good coverage and low deductible/co-pays = Good.
2.  The new HCR law requires health plans to cover dependent children up to age 26  = Good, also.

[Wait, you many retirees have under-26 children?  Don't people stop having children long before they retire?   foster children, adoptees, late-bearing...]

So, put the two together:  retiree with a health plan and dependent child under 26...covered?  NO.

There's a provision in the law that exempts retiree plans from the 26-year old requirement.  Sorry, Charlie.

From the Wall Street Journal, "Health Overhaul Overlooks Retirees" (Oct 9)
"Glenn Franco, a retired community-college instructor in Michigan, tried to get his 24-year-old daughter on his health plan—and was turned away. ... Many large employers are telling retirees the same thing. They include Alcatel-Lucent and Verizon Communications Inc., as well as state and federal government plans and those for military families and unions. Thanks to a little-noticed clause in a 1996 law, retiree-only health plans are exempt from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that went into effect last month."  A retiree health plan is one that provides coverage until age 65, after which it either phases out or acts as a supplement to Medicare. ... Employers say they might drop retiree coverage altogether if Congress were to force them to extend dependent coverage and comply with other provisions under HIPAA and the ACA.
Poison Pill. 

The consequences of passing un-read legislation.  And I don't care whether this exemption was a Dem or a Rep idea, it's incompetent.

Here's another question:  what about dependent grand-children under the age of 26 who are living with their covered, retiree grandparents and whose parents are not available or capable?  (drugs, prison, etc).  Are they covered?

Doc D

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