By James Kwak
The scene: Two well-dressed, fully employed people sitting at a table in the chic café at their workplace.
Martha: Do you like your health plan?
George: I love it.
Martha: How much do you pay for your plan?
George: About $550 per month.*
Martha: Do you have a deductible?
George: I have a $1,000 deductible for my whole family.
Martha: What about co-payments?
George: I have to pay 20% of the cost for hospital stays and outpatient surgery.
Martha: What if you just want to see the doctor?
George: I pay $25 to see my primary care physician, and $40 to see a specialist.
Martha: Can you see anyone you want?
George: I pay more if I see people out of network, but the insurer still pays something.
Martha: I’m thinking about switching to the new plan they’re offering. Have you heard about it?
George: No. What is it?
Martha: Well, it covers everything, including vision and dental. And you can see anyone you want.
George: How much does it cost?
Martha: Nothing. There are no premiums and no deductibles or co-payments. Well, you may have co-payments for prescription drugs, but there’s an annual maximum of $200.
George: I think I’ll keep my health plan. I just like it.