Jim from Bree | Non-vaccination and insurance costs

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Many states are engaged in promotional activities to encourage people to get vaccinated. Obviously, we will not give up on COVID-19 until we achieve collective immunity, but a significant part of the anti-vaccine sentiment of the population may prevent the achievement of collective immunity.

These promotional activities may seem trivial, but in addition to health concerns, there are financial reasons behind these efforts. As you will see when renewing your health insurance next fall, the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in medical costs, which could lead to higher premiums. Treatment for COVID-19 is costly for those who need hospitalization and for long-haul carriers who experience long-term health issues after being infected with COVID-19.

These costs will certainly be included in the cost of obtaining health insurance in the years to come.

People vaccinated are less likely to need hospitalization or other expensive treatment with COVID-19. Instead, when the next wave arrives, unvaccinated people will bear the brunt of COVID-19 cases and bear most of the COVID-19 treatment costs. Recent studies show that the incidence of the new COVID-19 is currently mainly in unvaccinated people. It can almost be avoided with a simple vaccination.

Therefore, those who are not vaccinated will increase the cost of medical care for everyone. Perhaps a better incentive for vaccination would be to place the unvaccinated person in a separate insurance risk group or to place an additional burden on health insurance premiums.

I believe that the best way to reduce the costs of health care and benefit insurers is generally to have a large, comprehensive insurance pool that spreads the risk over the entire population and allows for discounts on purchases in large. But if a part of the population is deliberately ignoring social attempts to ameliorate infectious diseases, why shouldn’t they bear the economic consequences of their actions?

Historically, some have argued that people with poor health, such as smoking and overeating, should charge higher premiums or be placed in a separate insurance risk group to avoid unhealthy behavior. I have always believed that this is a slippery slope that can be manipulated to maximize the profits of insurers at the expense of consumers. I was therefore reluctant to embark on this path.

However, COVID-19 is different. Unlike obesity, the disease can spread without vaccination. Obesity and smoking are not infectious diseases. Additionally, if COVID-19 continues to appear in the majority of the unvaccinated population, it is more likely to mutate into vaccine-resistant mutants, putting those vaccinated at risk. Will be done.

The segment of unvaccinated people who are not insured or covered by Medicaid and do not pay their premiums will likely be offered another financial incentive to get vaccinated. There is a possibility that

What I have written here contradicts my historical view on health care funding, but the need to gain herd immunity against COVID-19 is so great that so far the existing medical funding. ideas that are incompatible with the delivery mechanism.

Jim de Bree is a semi-retired CPA living in Valencia.

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