ObamaComp – The New 24-Hour Coverage
The ObamaComp health care program are we far from it? Before I start this blog, I wanted to say that no political views are being expressed here. I am posting only from an analytical viewpoint.
I decided to coin a new term to save space on blogging about the national healthcare debate and its impact on Workers Compensation insurance premiums. Obamacomp 24-hour health care program that covers an individual if they are hurt on or off the job Actually, ObamaComp is the Workers Comp portion of the 24-hour health care program.
Anyone who works in an insurance-based job might want to pay attention to the evolving healthcare situation. If one thinks about it, there would not be much of a leap from nationalized healthcare to 24-hour healthcare.
I have read many articles where the federal government wants to have a nationalized insurance office. There have been many bills introduced over the last 20 years that would initiate a federal insurance office. There was a benefit in most of the bills as agents would be able to write coverage in multiple states.
The formula works like this [National Insurance Office + Nationalized Healthcare + On The Job Injury Care = 24 Hour Healthcare}.
I had received many questions on this subject when I posted on it in the past. One of them was “Yes, I see your point on medical coverage, but how would the weekly benefits, and other non-medical compensation benefits be handled? That is a good question. The answer is that the federal government could plug in the AFLAC(R) model as they provide very similar benefits to Workers Compensation.
The bottom line is this may never happen. However, I always think that a company or governmental body that has to make a very small leap to initiate something will likely follow that path.
What would this scenario look like?
The ObamaComp Model Combines Workers Comp and Health Insurance
I thought it would be best to post after talking with a few of my peers and receiving questions when I coined ObamaComp. The scenario could resemble a monopolistic state fund on a much larger scale. As I have mentioned often, I have not and will not politicize this blog. I am only analyzing past, current, and future trends.
If we have a Federal Insurance Office, or for this post, a Federal Workers Compensation Office, the amount of reporting would skyrocket. The state jurisdiction would not just fade away. Much like the current tax system, the State and Federal systems would complement each other. Agents would have to file federal and state forms when they write coverage for an employer.
The positive outcome would be that an agent could place Workers Comp coverage nationally and write coverage in different states in addition to the agent’s home state. That would require federal licensing and still require licensing in the agent’s home state. Would this cause an enormous amount of red tape and jurisdictional confusion?
Policies would be written for 24-hour coverage. How would an agent or insurance company price this model? What would they require an agent and the employer to submit? Would it possibly be all the medical data on each of their employees? Would that violate HIPAA or would it have to be changed to encompass the new Federal Insurance and Workers Compensation office?
Would it feed data back and forth with the Nationalized Health Plan or would the Federal Workers Compensation plan be part of the Nationalized Healthcare Plan? This is already an office in place under the Department of Labor called the OWCP, so there is already a national Workers Comp office but without jurisdiction over the states (yet).
Where would the Workers Compensation carriers figure into the model? I will cover that next time. Once again, I am not for or against anything mentioned in this or other posts about ObamaComp. I just want our readers to recognize and be prepared for changes in the current system.
Workers Compensation Insurance Carriers – Can They Fit The Model?
The Obamacomp effect on the nationalization of Workers Compensation insurance carriers would have to revolve around 24-hour coverage.
As I have mentioned in a few prior posts, the ObamaComp Model would have three main characteristics:
- Center on 24-hour coverage – the leap from nationalized healthcare to 24-hour healthcare is a small one.
- Workers Comp insurance carriers would have to adopt an AFLAC(R) type of insurance coverage or companies such as AFLAC could team up with or start a Workers Compensation carrier
- There would be a Federal Insurance Office
Workers Compensation carriers would not look like or operate as they do now. Their actuaries would have to factor in many variables into a very complicated formula to be able to price the model, or would the Federal Insurance Office set the rates? How would the State Rating Bureaus or NCCI function within this type of arrangement? How would Self Insureds function and could companies opt out of the coverage?
I could write another 100 questions at least on how 24-hour coverage and the nationalization of Workers Comp would function. As I have posted in every one of these blogs on ObamaComp, this is an analysis only, not a political statement. I wanted companies and people to start thinking about how this would affect them.
2020 update – The political landscape changed with the election of Donald Trump. Workers’ Compensation insurance will likely be self-regulated as it has been in the past. In other words, no Obamacomp soon.
2021 update – The post-pandemic outlook remains the same for ObamaComp. Federalization of workers’ comp will not occur shortly.
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