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Health insurance buyback

One time payout.
  [vote for,

This idea would not work in countries like most of the 1st world, where the government provides health insurance to everyone.

In the US you have to buy insurance. The health insurance buyback occurs when an insurer realizes that one of its insured is about to become hugely expensive: for example he is diagnosed with an incurable disease for which there exist many expensive and approved treatments.

The insurer would offer the insured a lump sum in exchange for ending the policy. This lump sum will be less than they expect to have to pay for the person's care. The person winds up uninsured but richer. One might imagine a person facing a terminal disease would choose this option to provide for his heirs. Remaining required health care for the person bought out would be purchased on a self-pay basis as is done by persons with no insurance.

With US law as it used to be, no-one with a pre-existing condition to get health insurance and so the above described person would not be able to purchase a new policy. I think somehow now that has changed but am not entirely sure.

bungston, Jul 22 2015


       //no-one with a pre-existing condition to get health insurance // So how did such people get treated (other than "badly")?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 22 2015

       This already happens with life insurance policies
theircompetitor, Jul 22 2015

       Is this not a cash handout if you have managed to get to the end of the year without interacting with the health service?
pocmloc, Jul 22 2015

       /pomloc/ the people who get to the end of the year without interacting are the last people who would be offered such a buyback. They pay the premium but incur no costs: perfect customers.   

       /theircompetitor/ exactly so. That gave me the idea. The thing about life insurers is they know exactly what they will pay out and no more. Health insurance companies can find themselves looking into a bottomless hole for a given person.   

       /Max/ Various safety net clinics, charity care and other ad hoc improvisations. It keeps the citizenry sharp, this desperate scrambling.
bungston, Jul 22 2015

       [+] but the trick is: Some insurance has caps. So, they won't have a bottomless pit for you. They have a limited cap. If you essentially say, "I'll expire instead", you can/should claim some of that reward, and that's what I love about your idea.   

       We love our parents / granparents /selves /spouses, and we want to cling on, at ANY expense, or the guilt will haunt us.   

       But, if the loved one chooses their (shorter) path, we are relieved of that guilt.   

       And, if, in the process, the chooser saves our system money, we should share that savings with them, to incentivize & reward that behavior.   

       It's not a death panel when it's the patient themself making the decision. I'd GLADLY make such a decision for my kids when the time comes.
sophocles, Jul 23 2015

       // looking into a bottomless hole for a given person//   

       Is that like a colostomy, then?
8th of 7, Jul 23 2015

       I wonder how many thought provoking discussions end or are ended with a comment by 8th of that sort. Kind of the prose equivalent of dragging the needle sideways off the record. It took me several minutes to regain the ability to type.
bungston, Jul 23 2015

       Unfortunately, this idea is just too relevant lately for me.   

       I have 3 people in my family/friend circles who are facing death this year, and they are all in the "slow 3-12 months to live" category, and all >70 years old.   

       They should have a choice. They should make that choice in full awareness of the options, & with consultation / discussion with family & doctors. Most will not have those conversations because they are fearful/awkward.   

       But, those that do choose to go, on their own accord, faster, than slower, will save our collective programs thousands, or even millions of dollars. They should share in the savings somehow, to keep it both fair, and to keep a small incentive to keep our costs low.   

       It shouldn't be a huge incentive though, or else we're essentially saying, "Hey, if you're poor, just kill yourself & we'll pay your children!" It's a thin line / slippery slope. But, given that it's a HB idea, I find it very viable.
sophocles, Jul 24 2015


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