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Direct-buy Health Insurance: Another Health Insurance Alternative


The battle for supremacy in the heated health insurance debate seems to be halting progress. Lawmakers are perpetually clashing proposing bigger, better plans, while carefully pointing out the flaws of the current bill. One such new plan is called Direct-buy health insurance, which provides patients with a refundable tax credit to buy health insurance directly.

The direct-buy health insurance plan is one that is currently being touted as the pet plan of Rep. Paul Ryan , R-Wis. Ryan sees the plan as an extension of the capitalist mentality that has driven the American economy to success for the past 200 years. Under the plan, health insurance companies and health care providers would be forced to compete for customers. This would not only drive down costs, but also up quality.

Furthermore, the plan would give customers a choice to purchase health insurance through an employer or a provider of their choice. Currently, only businesses are able to purchase plans with pre-tax dollars. Under Ryan’s plan individuals would be able to as well.

For the lower income bracket, funds would be given for individuals to purchase health insurance with flexible out-of-pocket costs. The plan would also address the issue of pre-existing conditions and force insurance providers to offer insurance to everyone including those with prior medical conditions.

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The direct-buy health insurance would not be limited by state borders either: customers from Washington would have the opportunity to purchase a plan they like in, say, North Carolina, or Texas. Moreover, like car insurance plans, customers would be able to choose a high-deductible plan or a low-deductible plan depending on their preference.

Health Insurance Reform: Will it Happen?

Meanwhile, Washington remains up to its neck in health insurance reform rhetoric. Bitter bickering from both sides over seemingly every minutia of the bill has the President all the more fired up to get the health insurance reform legislation passed. Thus far, President Obama has delayed his Asia trip and instead gone on a small state-by-state campaign style jaunt to try and rally Americans to get some “courage” and be more supportive of the controversial bill.

Democrats have been toiling away on the house floor trying to create new ways to get the bill passed without having to deal with Republican outcry and waivering Democrats. Senate Democrats want to push the bill in an all-or-nothing package that can be revised once passed. House Democrats, however, want the wording changed before not after the fact.

Republicans are also making their voice heard with proposals of other plans such as direct buy health insurance. They remain extremely critical of Democrat maneuvering and have been very effective at swaying public opinion.



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