ObamaCare Clusterfuck: First narrow networks, now narrow formularies
Insurers using high drug cost sharing to scare away patients with expensive chronic disorders
The nation’s new health-care law says insurers can’t turn anyone away, even people who are sick. But some companies, patient advocates say, have found a way to discourage the chronically ill from enrolling in their plans: offer drug coverage too skimpy for those with expensive conditions.
Some plans sold on the online insurance exchanges, for instance, don’t cover key medications for HIV, or they require patients to pay as much as 50 percent of the cost per prescription in co-insurance — sometimes more than $1,000 a month.
“The fear is that they are putting discriminatory plan designs into place to try to deter certain people from enrolling by not covering the medications they need, or putting policies in place that make them jump through hoops to get care,” said John Peller, vice president of policy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
As the details of the benefits offered by the new health-care plans become clear, patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases also are raising concerns, said Marc Boutin, executive vice president of the National Health Council, a coalition of advocacy groups for the chronically ill.
All of which goes to show that ObamaCare really is about health insurance, and not health care. From an actuarial -- and profit making -- standpoint, the insurance companies are acting perfectly rationally. It's foolish to complain about it; the idea is not to improve the tapeworm, but to kill it.
NOTE Hat tip Hipparchia.