Tonik Blog

How Will Health Care Reform Affect Tonik

March 17, 2010

By Marcus Wilip

It is too early to say exactly what the final health care reform will look like but we get lots of questions asking how will reform efforts affect Tonik Health Insurance.  Here is what we know so far…

There is currently no public health plan on the table that will cover everyone for “no cost.”  We occasionally get the person that says, “why buy Tonik if I’m just going to get covered under health care reform.”  Any results from health reform will be a few years off and they won’t offer blanket coverage for young people like Medicare does for the over 65 set.

Congress is, however, scheduled to vote shortly on a reformed plan designed to get the bulk of young people to buy health insurance.  The plan is supposed to use a combination of subsidies to help young people pay for the their monthly premium and fee penalties for those who chose not to purchase health insurance.  If this passes there will be a health insurance coverage mandate. This is designed in part to get the additional 13 million young Americans who are currently not paying for health insurance into the system. 

The proposed penalty is not that big.  It looks like $95 dollars for the first year and it will start increasing to $750. 

So how does this all affect Tonik. We don’t know exactly.  The proposal talks of requiring all plans to approve everyone. That would be a change for Tonik as currently all applications must go through underwriting and everyone is subject to approval. If this were implemented on Tonik it would also raise the price as we have seen with the small group market when everyone is approved regardless of their health history, the monthly price is almost always higher.  But it is unclear how a legacy plan like Tonik will work. They say that if you already have a plan you can keep it so maybe Tonik’s benefits will not change. 

We will keep you posted with any new news of how health care reform will affect Tonik.

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