Over the past two weeks I saw news reports quoting “experts” saying that people would be charged more for health insurance if they were not vaccinated.
This blew my brain injured mind – under the ACA, insurers can only vary premiums based on age, location and smoking status. Similarly, they cannot deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition (i.e. vaccination status).
Health insurers are a different story. A slew of state and federal regulations in the last three decades have heavily restricted their ability to use health factors in issuing or pricing polices. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act began prohibiting the use of health status in any group health insurance policy. And the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2014, prevents insurers from pricing plans according to health – with one exception: smoking status.
Employers might be able to provide a “wellness incentive” deduction to those who are vaccinated. “Wellness incentives”, however, exist only in the group market and are not available to individuals (one of many ways that the ACA keeps costs higher for individuals).