Using insurance to encourage vaccination
The most common proposals for pressuring people to vaccinate involve either vaccine mandates or vaccine passports.
As some of the comments on my previous post suggest, there is another option, viz., making the unvaccinated responsible for the cost of their covid treatment.
In theory, this can be done either by denying insurance coverage to people who are unvaccinated without medical justification, or by raising health insurance premiums for the unvaxxed. The first would be politically problematic and might not be very effective at inducing vaccination – a small number of people would be ruined financially, but many others might just continue to resist getting shots.
So why not charge people more for insurance if they are unvaccinated, or give a discount to the vaccinated? This would give people an incentive to get vaccinated, it would force the unvaccinated to bear the predictable financial costs of their decision rather than imposing those costs on others, and it would respect individual choice about vaccination. It is not a perfect solution; it would not make people bear the costs they create by remaining susceptible to infection and acting as vectors of transmission, and (unlike the mandate endorsed by Singer) it would not prevent people from making a mistake they will later deeply regret. Nonetheless, it seems worth considering.
One question is whether it is legal to charge unvaccinated people more for insurance under current law. I used to teach insurance regulation (fun, right?), but I’m not up to date and so can’t comment on this.
Putting aside the strictly legal question, there are good reasons to avoid making insurance premiums dependent on health behaviors. It is often difficult to know how costly it is for an individual to change their behavior – to lose weight, say – and allowing insurers to charge more for health behaviors that are difficult to change can undermine the risk-sharing function of insurance. Getting vaccinated, however, really is very easy, and so might be a good candidate for an exception to the general rule against tailoring premiums to individual behaviors that affect the likelihood of sickness.
Finally, employers may be able to mandate vaccination even if they are not are not legally allowed to pass costs on to unvaccinated employees in the form of higher premiums. And they clearly have an incentive to do this, both to contain health care costs and to avoid lost work time, sick leave and disability payments, etc. So explicitly charging the unvaxxed more for insurance may not really be needed (at least for people who get insurance through work). My guess is that we will see increasing adoption of mandates by employers, especially as the number of unvaccinated people shrinks.
By my recollection, they absolutely can as long as they stay within the 80/20 ratio for MLR. Given that hospital admissions would create an actuarially significant bump in MLR, the rates could be increased. They can also be targeted as the premiums are for tobacco users.
Well I think it might be better to simply carve out COVID as a coverage option instead of a surcharge. Pretty much the same dynamic should occur, but you would concentrate far more directly on the specific “harm” caused, which is getting a COVID infection that generates a lot of claims. You have a lot of confidence in your immune system, whether via vaccination or prior COVID or general risk factors? Pick option B.
If you choose Medicare Advantage and forgo Traditional Medicare + Medigap and come back to Traditional Medicare, you can be denied coverage under Medigap insurance for pre-existing conditions which you have incurred from the time you went to MA rather than traditional Medicare.
Or denied Medigap insurance all together.
Medicare Advantage also can charge you greater co-pays or deductibles as your health worsens. So yeah, you can be penalized or denied coverage purposely or just because you exist and have more issues.
Made this clearer. Just getting older and incurring more issues while covered by Medicare Advantage can result in increased costs in copays or deductibles. The worse you will see in Traditional Medicare Medigap is small premium increases.
Cannot raise insurance on the unvaccinnated group unless it is passed in legislation. The ACA specifically lists who can be surcharged (age, smoker, etc.), any addition would have to be done through changing the bill.
Best to actually see the data from the insurers first. The CDC recommended people who had been vaccinated not be tested. The big Pfizer data came out, and the probability was higher of dying with the vaccine, and Israel has more cases hospitalized now than last summer and they are something like 90% Pfizer. So the best would be to analyze the claims data of the people who got vaccinated and those who didn’t get vaccinated and charge prices based on actual medical costs instead of polemic based on public mythologies.
Asshole. You mean public (the mentally disturbed part anyway) mythologies like “Israel has more cases hospitalized now than last summer and they are something like 90% Pfizer.”?
When the actual facts are:
” Our analysis revealed that a little over 2 months after the initiation of the vaccination campaign, with 85% of individuals older than 60 years already vaccinated with two doses (24 February 2021), there was an approximately 77% drop in cases, a 45% drop in positive test percentage, a 68% drop in hospitalizations and a 67% drop in severe hospitalizations compared to peak values.”
You should be banned.
I do think his first sentence is wise, but also kind of redundant as there is no other way to create this than with insurance data. After that, I take your point that it is misleading.
If you prioritize the elderly in a vaccination drive, I would expect that for a pretty non-lethal disease like COVID, the vaccinated death rate might exceed the unvaxxed (which includes 100% of kids 11 and under). So a question that would need to be explored is what caused the deaths in the vaccine cohort. But I would say that the current understanding of COVID is that the COVID mortality itself is very non-random. Vaccinate the high-risk and those who are highly risk averse.
Hank Aaron died
very shortly after vaccination. He was also two weeks shy of 87 when he passed.
You are spreading innuendo, supposition, conjecture, and BS. The latter of which should be spread in the Wisconsin corn fields in Fall after the crop is harvested and the soil turned. Turn it again to work it into the soil.
Your opinion on Hank Aaron supposed cause of death either by vaccination or Covid has no place here.