I Have No Kids. Why Do I Have to Pay More For My Coverage Than People With Children? This Seems Really Unfair!

A THCB Reader from California writes:

“I finally decided to go to the “Covered California” website to see how much a potential premium for my partner and myself would be given several different income scenarios.

First of all, the plan differences are so vast it appears to be a further seperation of classes through healthcare.  I wonder who decided that a $40 doctor co-payments is affordable!  Then you take a look at how the tax credits work and the antiquated undertones that others should pay for children.
It is amazing to me that people with kids are going to pay LESS than the coverage my partner and I will.  This isn’t just for one child, it is up to 3 or more! I do not have children but I understand that in a universal healthcare system the larger the pool, the cheaper the cost.  Those savings should also go to those whom have decided not to add additional risk to the system by adding children.  Why is a single persons insurance more than that of a family?  Why are the subsadies so large that it makes it cheaper?

At least charge as much as a single person, not less. Healthcare for all is something that everyone should pay into and the largest economy in the world should offer, but the distribution of costs need to equal the risk.  Kids are expensive choices that people make, why should people who have chosen to not bear the costs pay for others that have?”

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20 replies »

  1. Charging me for pediatric and maternity care I don’t need or want is in effect making me lie. The government has me check a box that I have a dependent that I don’t have when buying my healthcare. So the government is telling me to lie? I am not saying that we do nothing for the needy, but this is an unfair place to pull the funds. The money should be taken from taxes or some other way that is more fair and across the board. It should be paid by a program like Medicaid, not subsidized via my health plan. It shouldn’t cost me $370 for the cheapest plan because I make over $45,000. Obamacare is not a fair system. Besides that, a ri ght to affordable Healthcare should mean it is *available* to everyone, not mandated. It’s absurd that we are forced to purchase it or are essentially now breaking the law.

  2. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! Its always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Im sure you had fun writing this article.

  3. I have one child and I resent that our insurance went up that I pay $60 a visit to take my daughter to her pediatrician when I only paid $25 before and I see the rest of the mothers paying nothing because they are on Medicaid. This is not right I pay more for us and more for others. It’s not fair. STOP having so many children that you expect society to pay for.

  4. You have actually hit upon something with the comment.

    We had a well-intentioned law (EMTALA) that then spawned a host of unintended consequences, such as massive numbers of illegal aliens crossing the borders to have anchor babies at border hospitals or to be treated for their various ailments. Hospital ERs (especially on the border) started losing money due to a flood of “emergencies” they couldn’t turn away from people who would never pay the bill. Taxpayers were put on the hook to cover a portion of the unintended consequences.

    Faced with the unintended consequences, was the response to look at repealing or modifying EMTALA? Nope. The answer was to pass yet another round or two (or more) of government interventions into the health care marketplace to deal with the damage done by EMTALA.

    Each intervention then creates the need for another as the unintended consequences of well-meaning legislation pile up. No area of law has a greater potential for unintended consequences than health care. One needs to be humble when working on it, as hubris is punished severely.

  5. This is only an issue because of meddling in the insurance market. Let people be able to buy what they want that covers their needs. Police fraud and actuarial requirements and contracts, but let the buyer decide what specific risks they wish to insure. Stop making coverage mandates based upon political fiat and which interest group (whether its the chiropractors or contraceptives) hires the best lobbyist.

    Maybe one can make a small number of exceptions, such as coverage of certain genetic tests at birth, though in this case, I think market forces would lead the plans to do it anyway. The tests are cheap, generally mandated by law to be performed, and the avoided costs can be staggering.

    What we have now is exactly like making people buy full comprehensive coverage for their car when all they want is basic liability.

  6. So is the secret that the poster and his/her partner are each buying individual plans which together add up to being more than the policy of a family with 2 parents and 2 kids?

    Kids are practically free to insure. If you get group coverage through your employer, you typically have to pay for your kids out of pocket and it’s typically under $100 a month to insure multiple kids. Because kids generally don’t need more healthcare than what a PCP can provide and a few generic drugs through the year.

    So it sounds like your question is really “Why is it more expensive for two single people to get insurance than one married couple?” I don’t know the answer but there’s probably some formula behind it, plus extra administrative costs for 2 policies instead of just one.

  7. It is a matter of value and logical thinking. People buy things based upon their belief that the thing they are buying is worth more to them than the money. If one believes in universal health insurance then one should be careful about raising the premiums to a level higher than the value since that will mean less insured.

    For those whose simplistic answer is ” Its not all about you, its about the society.” or “Otherwise it’s not a “society.”, It’s every man for himself.”, “are you that self absorbed and clueless?”, etc. Do you go to Walmart (or other places) where Chinese and other non American products are produced? Yes you do , or at least most of you do. Are you uncaring about the American worker? Be consistent and stop trying to force your pet ideas of society upon others. Be charitable and help your neighbor.

  8. Yes, actually, it is. Otherwise it’s not a “society.” It’s every man for himself.

  9. The people who say “get over it, it’s about society” more than likely have work-based insurance — and kids.

    People without kids already pay huge taxes for other people’s kids via property tax, via income taxes, and now we get to pay for your kids via our insurance premiums. Thanks a lot, guys. At some point take responsibility for your own children. It’s not up to society to raise them.

  10. So let me get this straight…many of you see no problem that individuals who simply want to be responsible for themselves, who chose NOT to have children because they either a) didn’t want to or b) knew they financially couldn’t afford to…we should all help pay for the care of the children other individuals chose to have whether they could afford to care for them or not. Sure…I’ve got no problem with that as long as you have no problem with me having a say in how you raise them. After all, it’s about “society” right?

    Funny how those who want “society” to pay for their children’s school and now healthcare are usually the first ones to tell me that it’s none of my business how they chose to raise them. Can’t have it both ways!

    Before you accuse me of being heartless and not caring about children…I believe that children should be raised by parents that are willing to put their needs first and sacrifice for them and that when those parents need help it should come from family and friends who voluntarily contribute to the upbringing of that child. That’s how I was raised and that’s how I have helped raise my nieces when family members needed a little help in tough times. Nobody asked for government handouts or expected “society” to contribute.

    Freedom to make choices comes with responsibility….well, it used to. It’s a choice to have a child, it’s time people we willing to take responsibility for their choices.

  11. If you are seeing that adding children lowers the cost, this is because at some point your “family” would qualify for subsidies. Without subsidies, people with children pay for each child.

    Subsidies increase with family size, because costs increase. A fmily with three children will have a lot of other expenses that exceed the subsidy.

  12. Dude, are you that self absorbed and clueless? You sound bright enough to get it. The subsidies are designed to protect those that society needs to care. It’s not single payer – not by a long shot – but it’s a step in the right direction ,??

  13. “The system seems filled with this type of inequity (for example, why should we, as a couple in their 50’s be forced to carry insurance that covers maternity benefits?).”

    Suppose the only people who signed up for maternity coverage, if it were optional, were young women of childbearing age who thought they were likely to become pregnant or were already pregnant. The premium would be astronomical. Give me a break.

    There has to be some minimum standard that passes for creditable coverage. Otherwise, in a totally unregulated market, people could buy a policy for nominal cost that covered everything after a deductible of, say, $1 billion. Technically it’s insurance but, of course, it isn’t.

    Personally, I think the minimum standard as defined by the ACA is too comprehensive. Deductibles up to at least $10K and an out-of-pocket maximum up to $25,000 or so would be reasonable. What people need most is protection against a catastrophic illness or accident which, fortunately, very few actually experience in a given year.

    If we took the first $5,000 of medical claims per year for everyone in the commercially insured market below age 65, including the very high cost cases, it probably wouldn’t amount to more than 25%-30% of medical claims. Most of the cost of medical care is attributable to a relatively small number of very high cost cases. The sickest 1% account for about 20% of costs while the sickest 5% account for 50% of costs. By contrast, the healthiest 50% use almost no healthcare. Even within Medicare, the healthiest 50% of seniors account for only 4% of the program’s costs in any given year.

  14. Did your Mother give birth to you on the steps of the hospital?If not you benefited from maternity care,you were just to young to remember.Everyone wants the best medical care available when they need it but screw everyone else,doesn’t work that way,there won’t be any hospitals left if everyone doesn’t support them.

  15. Yes, I agree that the system should hit hard the seflish folks who didn’t have children. It’s always wise to make the system seem unfair so it will toughen up folks and make them able to grasp the hardness and unfairness of life.

    Come on. The writer was not saying they should not subsidize any pediatric care; they said that it seems terribly unfair that the more favorable of a person you are in the system (a single or a married couple without children), the MORE you pay. It would be like giving a property tax hike to people without children.

    The system seems filled with this type of inequity (for example, why should we, as a couple in their 50’s be forced to carry insurance that covers maternity benefits?). The whole thing’s gotten a black eye from the launch failure and the “white lie” the president told about people being able to keep their insurance if they are happy with it. This is another area of bad PR. I expect they will continue to mount.

  16. My children will be paying for your social security benefits,as well as taking care of you in your nursing home,you should be paying me to raise them.

  17. Do you pay property taxes that have an assessment for schools?

    Same concept.

    Get over it. Its not all about you, its about the society.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh but I think you have failed to do adequate research. Unless you have not given us all of the details.