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HEALTH CARE: Look up word 'option'

| April 23, 2010 10:00 PM

While I understand the “knee jerk” reaction to the media regarding the Healthcare Reform Initiative, I have a difficult time understanding the lack of education on this matter. The government is not taking over our health plans. The “Public Option” is exactly that; AN OPTION! The governnment is not creating a huge HMO; they are ALLOWING US ACCESS to plans already in existence, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal Plan and GEHA .

Any employer with less than 50 employees is exempt from offering anything more than they do now! Does that help you? Maybe not, but if you want to cover your family privately on a government type plan, your premiums are based on YOUR ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME.The government subsidizes the balance of the premiums.

If you work for an employer with over 50 employees, your employer will give you an OPTION to chose their traditional coverage or the “public option”, and you sign a waiver. (We have all seen these.) This protects the employer from any fines or sanctions. So, instead of your paycheck being reduced by ( fill in the blank) dollars, and your employer paying eight times that amount, the amount of your premium is based again on your ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME. Your employer pays nothing for your health insurance and you save the company $12,000 to $14,000 a year. Not a bad number when it comes to negotiating a raise!  No more “Phantom Coverage"!  FYI. A plan with a $2,500 equals about 50 to 70 doctor visits.

B. LUPOLD

Coeur d’Alene

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