He is a contract lawyer working for staffing agencies on short-term projects in the Washington, D.C., area and sometimes the 90-day waiting period for coverage through a staffing agency proved longer than the duration of his project — if health coverage was offered at all. When Kinsey, now 57, learned he had cancer, he was able to sign up for a plan with a $629 monthly premium because the agency he was working for offered group coverage that became effective almost immediately. The plan covered the $62,000 surgery to cut out the diseased bone and tissue on the left side of his face, as well as chemotherapy and radiation. His share of the treatment cost was $1,800. If the GOP health plan recently approved by the House becomes law, people like Kinsey who have health problems might not fare so well trying to buy insurance after a lapse. GOP Health Plan Has Its Own Financial Stick To Prod People To Buy Insurance The Republican bill would still require insurers to offer coverage to everyone, including people who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or even cancer. But it would allow states to opt out of the federal health law's prohibition against charging sick people more than healthy ones. In those states, if people have a break in coverage of more than 63 days, insurers could charge them any price for approximately a year when the consumers next apply for coverage — effectively putting health insurance out of reach for many sick people, analysts say. After a year, they would be charged a regular rate again.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/05/16/528508443/gop-health-bill-penalizes-patients-who-let-insurance-lapse
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