Finally, the government has simplified the purchase of health insurance. The SBC (Summary of Benefits and Coverage) are being released and now everyone will be able to understand exactly how their claims will be paid! Oh, wait, that is only if they have a maternity claim or they are diabetic, and they only have that one claim each year, and they don’t take into account the cost of insurance and you are the only one on the plan and your doctor doesn’t take into account your individuality and……….
OK, originally I stated that the MLR portion of the bill was the stupidest point I could find in Obamacare but now I am torn. These SBCs are right up there with the MLRs as the worst idea some bureaucrat came up with. Talk about misleading advertising. If I made these up and distributed as a sales brochure, the department of insurance would terminate my license, fine me, and maybe throw me in jail. Wait you say, they are for comparison purposes only. Really, comparison only means let’s allow only one small insignificant detail influence the purchase of a major item. This is like using the radio in a car as the way to compare one vehicle to another. These comparisons have no use to the average consumer in the real world. They don’t take into account how the real world works nor do they assist in the purchase of the most confusing, yet most essential of insurance protection. A professional insurance producer is still the most valuable method of determining the appropriate product for most consumers. A professional producer will look at the big picture of their clients’ needs and situation rather than the narrow scope of the SBC. They won’t just compare “radios” but all aspects of the insurance plan. The true professional will look at other products that can be tied in to protect the individual in the event that they end up actually using the plan. An example might be in providing a means to pay premiums. Adding a small disability policy to pay premiums or maybe a critical illness plan to defray the deductible or even a hospital indemnity plan are all ways to strengthen coverage. Is that information coming from the SBC? No, but it shows me how much I might pay if I have diabetes. Why not show shat I would pay if I have high blood pressure, or how about chronic back pain? What if I drive a car and am involved in an accident? Maybe they could show my costs if I drop a wrench into my eye while working under a sink while repairing a leak in my kitchen?
These SBCs will cause only additional confusion in the marketplace and ultimately additional costs to the end consumer. After careful consideration, I can only shake my head and vote that SBCs are definitely the second stupidest thing to come out of Obamacare.