All insurance makes healthy pay

Mr. Greve’s letter in Friday’s paper, “Expensive ACA already failing,” shows that he does not understand how insurance works. He complains, “ACA forces younger people, especially males, to overpay for health insurance in order to keep premiums low for the old.” What Mr. Greve is referring to is not overpayment, it is simply how insurance — all insurance — works. Those who are healthy pay for those who are sick. The ACA works the same as private employer plans — all are charged the same (with some limited modifications for age and smoking status) and then only those who are in need take money out. It works because there is a large pool of healthy people paying in and a smaller pool of sick people taking out. It’s fair because those healthy young people who are paying in now will one day be old and sick themselves, and then someone else will be paying to cover them.

The problem in our insurance system is that the insurance companies have been picking and choosing who they will insure (by denying people with pre-existing conditions or concentrating on employer plans where the pool is by definition younger and healthier) and leaving the sicker populations (people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly) for our tax dollars to insure. Is that fair?

Rosemary Nguyen

Lake Stevens

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