Sunday, March 21, 2010

Anatomy of a regulatory healthcare smothering

A doctor in NYC has come up with a barebones pseudo-insurance package to reduce health costs:

Hi, America, is it too late to propose a new health care plan? Because Dr. John Muney has an idea. The AMG Medical Group, which he founded last year, offers a $79-a-month buffet of unlimited office visits. [...] For $79 a person, it’s almost unheard of in New York, though AMG’s plan should not be confused with insurance, and it does not cover hospitalization or specialists.

But of course the whole arrangement was a little too convenient for the government:

Such service is unusual enough to have attracted the attention of the New York State Insurance Department, which last year informed AMG that it could not continue to offer the $79 plan. It amounted to unlicensed insurance, the department said, but AMG’s profit margin was too narrow to prepare for unexpected situations (like 500 people showing up at once with the flu). As a compromise, Dr. Muney agreed to charge $33 extra for sick visits.

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