Braun Employees: “It Was Not Real Insurance”

“Mike Braun’s own employees are disputing one of his key talking points on health care,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Hoosiers already knew Braun’s commitment to protecting pre-existing conditions and lowering health care costs was suspect — now they know it’s downright phony. Hoosiers can’t trust Braun to look out for their interests.”

Politico: ‘It was not real insurance’
By Alice Miranda Ollstein | October 5, 2018

  • “Republican businessman Mike Braun says he wants all Americans to have health insurance just like his own workers — a pillar of his campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana’s exceedingly tight Senate race.”
  • “But while he may have kept premiums stable for a decade for his roughly 900 workers, deductibles are sky-high — meaning big out-of-pocket costs for anyone who gets sick. Employees of his company, Meyer Distributing, must spend $5,000 a year on health care before their bills are covered, and families pay double that, or $10,000 a year, according to a copy of the plan obtained by POLITICO.”
  • “‘It was not real insurance,’ said Heath Kluemper, who worked as a copywriter for Meyer in Jasper, Ind. ‘If I did ever have to go to the hospital, I’d have been screwed.'”
  • “Braun has attempted to erase that advantage by pointing to his company health plan as a point of pride, cutting a recent TV ad about it and bringing it up in town halls,
    campaign stops and local news interviews. His campaign told POLITICO that he covered his workers’ pre-existing conditions ‘before it was cool’ — even though employer health plans have generally had to cover those conditions by law since the 1990s.”
  • “But Braun’s workers pay far more than most people who get their insurance through their jobs. Some former employees described the health benefits offered by their millionaire boss as ‘horrendous’ and ‘a joke.’ Kluemper, for instance, said his deductible is now half of what it was at his new marketing job in the same town, and some care is covered even before he’s paid that out.”
  • “‘It’s totally outside the norm,’ Alex Slabosky, the former president and CEO of Indiana University Health Plans, said of Meyer’s benefits package. ‘I cannot imagine offering that type of plan to the people I was in business with.'”
  • “‘The insurance plan pays nothing for illness, injury, treatment for a pre-existing condition, or pharmacy medicine until the employee has paid either $5,000 as a single person, or $10,000 as a family,’ Slabosky explained. ‘If you’re a low-income person, a $10,000 deductible could push you over the edge. I just can’t imagine how he can say this is a model for American health care.'”

Read the full story here.