Security of Expectations and Freedom of Choice in the Health Insurance Market
The third-party payment system protects security of expectations of providers and patients for payment for medical care. When health insurance coverage is lost through unemployment, security of expectations is threatened. The continuation coverage provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 ("COBRA") and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") were adopted to preserve access to medical care through the health insurance market. The author examines COBRA and HIPAA and concludes that these programs are ineffective because they fail to address the economic power of private interests.
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