UnitedHealth (UNH) Offers Insurance Against Losing Your Health Insurance


With all the job anxiety out there, you might be worrying not just about paying your rent, but about how you’re going to obtain health insurance benefits. After all, you might have enough savings to live for a while, but health insurance can be a real bear on the private market. Depending on how paranoid you are, you might be interested in lost health insurance insurance. Yep, insurance against losing your health insurance:

NYT: Called UnitedHealth Continuity, the product is not actual medical insurance, but is aimed at people who may have insurance now but are worried they may lose it — and may not be able to obtain replacement insurance on their own. They may expect to retire early, for example, before they qualify for Medicare. Or they are worried about the possibility of losing their job and their health coverage.

People who are already sick will generally not be eligible for the new product. Those who do pass a medical review, will pay 20 per cent each month of the current premium on an individual policy to reserve the right to be insured under the plan at some point in the future.

“What this product is designed to do, for a very modest premium, is to essentially protect your insurability for the future,” said Richard A. Collins, the president of UnitedHealth’s individual insurance unit, who says he is the first policy holder. His monthly fee is $50.

As the article notes, buying this insurance is, in part, a bet that there won’t be some major healthcare reform coming out of Washington DC, either in the form of universal health insurance, or laws against
denying the sick. That’d render the whole thing useless. But beyond that, if you could judge the risk, it’s not fundamentally a bad idea. Now if only there were an Intrade event derivative on major healthcare overhaul, you could hedge your hedging of your hegding of your health.

(HT: Tyler Cowen)