Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random chart

Graph showing average insurance premiums and their increases over the years (source).

Most of the health insurance reform proposals include a requirement that everyone carry health insurance (to maximize participation in the risk pool), with fines and penalties for those who attempt to evade this requirement. At present legislation proposed by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) proposes a $750 penalty for individuals and a $1,900 penalty for families, when incomes are over 300% of the federal poverty level. These represent a reduction from his original proposals, reduced in light of criticism from other Democrats that his proposed penalties were too high.

This blogger hasn't found any further explanation of how these penalties are to be administered or assessed. Are they a one-time assessment, an annual assessment, or a penalty that is levied in addition to the individual or family being required to buy a policy? One hopes that it is the latter and not the former, otherwise these penalties are set too low... and someone in good health who was willing to take the risk would find it cheaper to pay the penalty than to sign up!

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