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Letter: New health law makes some underwrite other people’s choices

Response to Ms. McDaniel’s Letter of Sept. 12 (“Alaska’s women benefit most from new health care measure”):

In the late ’70s my firm provided group health insurance that, because no employee wanted or needed it, initially did not include maternity benefits. The Alaska Legislature then enacted a law that required all group plans to include maternity benefits. Result: Our premiums increased. Most insurers offer a variety of optional coverages from which an insured may chose, including contraceptives. Insurers are not being forced to provide contraceptive coverage — to the contrary, insureds are being forced to buy it.

Because insurance spreads the risk among the insured, the cost of providing coverage for a risk is borne by all those insured against the risk. Under the guise of forcing insurers to provide coverage for contraceptives to all, those who neither want nor need, and in some cases cannot afford, must purchase it. Not only is people’s freedom of choice being taken away, but in some cases people are being forced to underwrite another person’s choice.

For the record, in the mid-’60s I was a licensed health and disability insurance agent.

— Thomas J. Yerbich

Anchorage