Should a family of 5 have to pay more at a restaurant than a family of 3?

The answer is obvious, right?

They take up more seats, require more server time, and eat more food.

Why do I ask?

As the GOP moves to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare, a constant refrain is ‘everybody agrees that two popular parts of ObamaCare should be saved: insurability for pre-existing conditions and allowable coverage of ‘adult- children’ on their parents’ policies until they are 26”.

I agree that there needs to be a way to cover pre-existing conditions, but … except for special needs situations, I respectfully disagree re: adult-children.

First, the term “adult-children” gives me the creeps. But, that’s beside the point.

More on point, I don’t care if insurance companies have to carry 26 year olds on their parents’ policies, but I don’t understand why they should “fly free” and that you & I should have to pay for it … not the adult-children’s parents.


Let me explain …

Now, practically all employer-sponsored  health insurance plans charge premiums in tiers: employee only, employee plus spouse, employee plus children, and employee plus spouse and children. Note: it doesn’t matter if the employee has 1 child or a dozen children … same premium.

Say what?

For example, the United Healthcare plan through Georgetown — which is probably pretty typical — charges:


Let’s dive a little deeper into those numbers …

Note that it costs  $7,346 to tack a spouse (or equivalent) — presumably an adult — onto an employee’s policy.

Then it costs an additional $5,746 to tack one or more children onto the policy.

Said differently, it costs $5,746 to add one child to the policy and nothing to add more kids to the policy.

So, those kids are “free”, right?

Absolutely not !

True, the adult-children’s parents don’t pay additional premiums.

But, each additional kid still adds costs to the system — probably about the same as the first child– $5,746.

That unpaid cost simply gets spread across all policy holders in the form of higher premiums.

So, back to the 26 year old adult-children …. I’m ok if they get tacked onto their parents’ policies and pay $5,746 … but, I’m not ok being forced to pay for them.

All of which raises a broader issue: Why are children of any age riding free on health insurance policies?

Why not charge $5,746 for all kids, not just the first one?

Hmmm …

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