1. REFLECT A RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT BY TRUMP
2. MORE THOROUGHLY DESCRIBE THE HISTORY AND POTENTIAL IMPACT OF USING HIGH RISK POOLS TO COVER PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
Trump definitely wants insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. Someone is going to have to pay for it, and it might be you.
Despite the fact that Donald Trump has said that he wants to continue to cover people with pre-existing conditions, his policy makers, according to his website, have decided to make it extremely difficult for people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance coverage if they've had a gap in coverage. Here's what's on Trump's website as of November 11, 2016:
The Administration also will work with both Congress and the States to re-establish high-risk pools – a proven approach to ensuring access to health insurance coverage for individuals who have significant medical expenses and who have not maintained continuous coverage.
Now, the way this is written, to the untrained eye, it sounds kind of good, right? Sounds like Trumpcare is going to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
But, to the well-trained eye, this statement is a half-assed squirt of Febreze on a rug saturated with cat piss.
To be clear, as a policy, BootCamp for Betics doesn’t argue ideology or have political opinions except as it directly relates to people and communities affected by diabetes.
And boy, does this ever.
The imminent repeal and replacement of the ACA could affect your diabetes care and coverage in a very undesirable way. So listen up, folks.
The first thing I'm going to do is translate Trump's website's policy statement for you to make sure you understand what it really says:
The Administration also will work with both Congress and the States to re-establish high-risk pools. A high risk pool is a group of sick people who need more medical care than other, regular, healthy people, and these sick people cost insurance companies a lot of money. So, with the new Trumpcare plan, people with pre-existing conditions will be taken OUT of the regular group and put into a high risk group. This means that regular people who aren't sick can pay less for their insurance premiums, while people with pre-existing conditions will either have to pay for a private plan at a much higher rate than regular, healthy people OR that people with pre-existing conditions can apply for insurance through their state risk pool. - a proven approach to ensuring access to health insurance coverage for individuals who have significant medical expenses Sounds great, right? If you can't afford the jacked up private insurance rate for your pre-existing condition, just sign up through the high risk pool! Wait. Wait. Let's talk more about that. Risk pools, back in the day (before Obamacare), were largely run by the states and they operated at a loss. Funding came from various sources, some state, some federal. Often, there wasn't enough money in the high risk fund to subsidize everyone, so people with pre-existing conditions had to go on a waiting list. So, your ability under Trumpcare to procure an insurance plan from a state high risk pool may be limited depending on what state you live in, what type of care you need, and whether or not the state pool even has the money to subsidize you. This creates risk and uncertainty. The truth is, we have no idea exactly how Trumpcare plans to cover people with pre-existing conditions. and who have not maintained continuous coverage There just isn't a way to actually pay for pre-existing conditions for people who've had a gap in insurance. That's what's missing from Trump's plan.
Ok, let's move on.
The next thing I'd like to do is provide encouragement to our president-elect, and to congressional leaders, to continue to find a way to provide affordable, and not prohibitively expensive, healthcare coverage for people with diabetes (and for other sick people) as they work through the imminent reversal and replacement of Obamacare (or whatever Trump & congressional republicans decide to do).
Do you want to write your senator or representative? Scroll down to download and print my letter templates.
Finally, I'd like to help those of us with Diabetes hedge against insurance loss so that you don't get totally fucked. Read on, my friends.
Do you have diabetes?
1. If you don't have it, get insurance NOW. If you and your spouse both have jobs, and if you can afford it, consider getting double-insured. This may seem excessive, but the truth is, we just don't know what's going to happen and I am very risk-averse when it comes to healthcare. I've been screwed too many times. If you have insurance through your employer, you are in the best possible position right now. Don't quit your job. If you don't have insurance through your employer, go to healthcare.gov and enroll. If you don't currently have health insurance, your opportunity will be lost when open enrollment closes unless you experience a qualifying event. Let me put this another way. If you don't have 2017 insurance coverage by January 31, 2017 you could be in trouble whenever Trumpcare takes effect (probably 2018). Listen. If you already have insurance coverage when the new healthcare law takes effect, it will be more difficult (though not impossible) for your insurance company to jack up your rates and/or deny your diabetes coverage. If you can't afford insurance, sell your clothes, ask your family members for money, or stop grocery shopping and start eating peanut butter sandwiches.
2. Call, email or write your senators and your representative (you can download a template below) to see if they'll reconsider their position on pre-existing conditions. Do it now, because they are already working on the ACA's replacement.
3. Start saving money.
4. Do what you can to get your blood sugars into target range as often as possible. The sooner you do this, the better. A lower A1C means fewer health problems, and if you're on your own next year without insurance, you'll need to do everything you possibly can to keep yourself healthy so that you can continue to stay alive.
Obamacare has its problems, but it also has some features that support the lives of people with diabetes.
I’d like to encourage congress, in its effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, to consider continuing to support healthcare coverage for people with diabetes.