Dylan Roby, left, and Dr. Partha Nandi
Dylan Roby, director of the Center’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, recently appeared on Ask Dr. Nandi, the Detroit-based medical talk show, for a segment called “Truth in Medical Care.” The show focused on two women who said their new insurance plans were more costly and less comprehensive after enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Roby said that, in general, people will find that they’re better off over time because of the ACA. Today’s workers no longer have the “protection” of being provided employer-based health coverage – the share of workers covered by an employer-based health plan declined from 80 percent in the 1980s to about 50 percent today. Insurers had raised premiums, switched to high-deductible plans, and stopped offering coverage to employees well before health reform was enacted, he said.
Wtih the ACA, he said people another option. Also, because of the ACA, more people – such as low-income people without children – are covered by Medicaid, and insurers can no longer refuse coverage to someone with a preexisting condition, such as diabetes. “Now, at least, everybody has … a safety net,” Roby said.
When one guest said the annual penalty for not having insurance was more affordable than a monthly insurance premium, Roby said a healthy person could just “make the easy call” and pay the penalty, but the risk is not having health coverage when it is needed.
Watch the video, using the password, nandi.