Community Health Alliance is Tennessee’s Obamacare health insurance co-op. They got a $73 million federal loan to help roll out Obamacare exchanges to Tennesseans. And they’ve figured out just what to spend some of that money on.
As part of an incentive to get people to sign up, they’re offering a “free” Obamacare phone to those that are eligible. In order to be eligible for the free phone, you have to pay the health insurance’s first month’s premium, select a primary care physician within 90 days of the policy’s effective date, and then sign and submit the Community Health Connection agreement within 90 days, in which you “pledge to stay connected for better health.” You do those things, and you get a pre-loaded smartphone:
“As part of its Community Health Connection Program, CHA [Community Health Alliance] is offering qualified individuals an LG Lucid 2 4G smart phone (or equivalent model), a phone plan and tech support, included as a cost of their health plan benefits. The phone plan includes unlimited talk, unlimited texting and 1.2GB of data. The idea is to make it easier for providers and patients to stay connected, but it will also help CHA keep track of its member population, many of whom are expected to be new to the health insurance market. “Members will have the phone number for their CHA representative pre-loaded in their phones and can quickly get answers to questions about their policies,” said CHA Chief Operating Officer Judy Slagle in a news release. “At the same time, we will be able to connect with our members by phone, by email or by text almost instantly with health tips and reminders.”
In order to stay in the program, members have to schedule their first doctor visit within 180 days of their policy’s effective date. Jerry Burgess, the president and CEO of Community Health Alliance stated, “Members must act on their pledge. They have 180 days to see their doctor. For people who haven’t had health insurance, this is a critical step. They will be able to work with their doctor to make a plan to improve their health.”
You see where this is headed? They want you in the system immediately, and they’ll give you a phone so they can track you more easily. Your doctor will be asking all sorts of personal questions on your first visit and entering your personal information in some giant government database. Then once they diagnose you with some disease or condition, they’ll prescribe all sorts of drugs for you to take, and they’ll make sure you take them. They’ll end up knowing far more about you than you do and keeping track of you.
Is there anyone who still thinks Obamacare was all about getting Americans cheaper health insurance?