Questions & Answers Clinton's Health Plan

September 23, 1993

Do you have questions about how President Clinton's health reform program will affect you? Call Sundial, the Baltimore Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County). After you hear the greeting, punch in the four-digit code 4425 on your touch-tone phone.

We'll answer the most interesting questions in this space. Because of the volume of calls, we regret that we cannot answer every question. Keep in mind that details of the Clinton plan are likely to change as Congress works on the proposal.

Q. I have a baby sitter whose husband supplies her with health insurance. I already pay taxes for her as required by law. Do I also have to start paying her insurance costs? If so, her salary will become prohibitive. -- N.F., Pikesville.

A. Yes, you would be considered an employer and have to pay part of her insurance. Your insurance payment for her would be based on how much you pay her in wages. If you pay her at an annualized rate of $10,000, you'd pay 3.5 percent, or $350.

Q. Will my chiropractor be covered under the basic health care plan? -- M.P., Baltimore.

A. The Clinton plan does not spell out which kinds of practitioners will have their services covered. But because chiropractors are licensed in Maryland, it's a good bet that you'd be able to choose a health plan that covers their services. One caveat: If your present chiropractor does not participate in a health plan you choose, you can still see him or her, but you will pay extra for going outside of the plan.

Q. What happens to government employees under the Clinton plan? -- S.S., Baltimore.

A. Local, state and federal civilian government workers would join the new system, receiving health insurance through regional "health alliances." The alliances would receive premiums from public and private employers and their workers, then negotiate coverage in the marketplace. Everyone would receive the guaranteed national benefits package determined by the federal government.

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