As we hear and read every day, these are unprecedented economic times. There seems to be a constant stream of news stories reporting record high and lows, and tough decisions are constantly being made on a number of levels. Recently, major players in the health insurance industry made an unprecedented move of their own in response to these grim times.
America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association took what could turn out to be a significant step in the future of health care reform. In a letter to several U.S. Senators, the insurers said they would be willing to “phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual markets.” In other words, they are willing to end the long-controversial practice of charging people with a history of medical problems more than those with a clean bill of health.
Obviously, the decision comes with a bit of a catch. The move would reportedly only be made if all Americans are required to have health coverage. Still, this is the first time anything like this has even been offered.
Whether anything comes directly from this development or not has yet to be seen, but it’s looking more and more like a sea change is on its way in the industry.
Insurers desperately want to avoid the creation of a federal insurance plan, as they have proven by making many concessions already. This latest strategy shows just how important the issue has become. Now all we can do is wait and see what tomorrow’s headlines bring.