You probably won’t read about Humana’s latest dirty trick in the Kentucky media because it happened in Dayton, Ohio:
“Dropping this little bombshell at the end of the year makes it nearly impossible to move Humana insureds to other carriers by the first of January, leaving them vulnerable to out-of-network charges at the height of cold, flu and accident season.”
“This is unconscionable.”
You can read the whole story by clicking here.
The usual suspects will respond to this with some variation of “See, government should be in charge of healthcare decisions and this wouldn’t happen!”
But government has more than it can handle nationalizing banks and car makers and cities and states to pay much attention to the healthcare system — fortunately. So a market solution may have a chance.
Kentucky could protect its citizens from Humana by blasting the company to bits. But that would just empower Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield to do something similar.
Actively encouraging more insurers to come into the state and giving them more freedom to meet customer needs is the only way.
Something like 2007’s SB 135, which went nowhere back then, could help bring in more competition.
Kentucky’s painful experience has shown us the damage a power-mad government can do to healthcare consumers. Empowering firms to self-regulate by maintaining vigorous competition is the best way to go.