There’s a good post on A Healthy Blog that includes a discussion on Guaranteed Issue in Massachusetts. That’s the rule that means insurers have to accept all applicants, regardless of health status. Massachusetts also has community rating, which means premiums don’t vary based on health status –only age and zip code.
Guaranteed issue and community rating are attacked by critics as left-wing ideas, which drive up costs and interfere with the market. But in my own experience, these rules actually promote entrepreneurial activity (a capitalistic pursuit, last I checked.) As I commented on A Healthy Blog:
When I left my job at a big firm 5 years ago to strike out on my own, I was worried about getting and keeping health insurance. Turns out that’s not a problem in Massachusetts due to guaranteed issue.
In the years since I left, I’ve counseled numerous would-be entrepreneurs. They are all worried about whether they’ll be able to get health insurance once they are on their own, and they are all relieved when they hear about how we do things in Massachusetts.
How many potential entrepreneurs in non-guaranteed issue states are deterred by worries about health insurance availability?
Guaranteed issue doesn’t address affordability of premiums, but having a successful entrepreneurial venture does.