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Thread: Study: Insurance costs to soar under Obamacare

  1. #1

    Study: Insurance costs to soar under Obamacare

    Wondering what's going to happen to your health insurance premiums under Obamacare?
    New research from the Manhattan Institute estimates that insurance rates for young men will rise by 99 percent. Rates for younger women will rise between 55 percent to 62 percent, according to the right-leaning New York think tank.

    The precise impact of the new health law is likely to vary markedly from state-to-state, however. That's largely because different states have had different requirements for what had to be included in health insurance policies in the past. The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, overrides these rules and sets a federal overlay that demands a wide array of mandatory coverages. The Manhattan Institute has drawn up an interactive map that may help forecast the rise in cost for individuals.
    These differences mean men will get hammered in North Carolina with an average 305 percent rate hike, while women will suffer in Nebraska, paying an average of 237 percent more. For most people, subsidies in the law will not counteract the rate shock, says co-author of the study Avik Roy, a health care expert and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.


    "You hear all these excuses from the [Obama] administration -- that people are exaggerating the effect of the law," he says. "But real people are getting notices from their insurers now. My blog is flooded with comments from people saying that they just got a huge premium hike."
    The Department of Health and Human Services put out a press release this week forecasting that Obamacare premiums would be 16 percent less than projected. However, the projected costs were estimates that attempted to project the cost of a policy in 2016. Consumers are receiving the real costs in notices from their insurers now only a few weeks before the law is set to go into effect. For healthy consumers who have existing policies, many of the premium hikes are proving massive.


    Additionally, the promise that you could keep your old policy, if you liked it, has proved illusory. My insurer, Kaiser Permanente, informed me in a glossy booklet that "At midnight on December 31, we will discontinue your current plan because it will not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act." My premium, the letter added, would go from $209 a month to $348, a 66.5 percent increase that will cost $1,668 annually.
    What made my plan too substandard to survive under Obamacare? It did not provide maternity benefits. I'm 53 years old. I figure pregnancy would require an act of God. (Incidentally, maternity benefits will be covered on men's policies too. Let's hope medical science comes a long way so you guys can use those benefits.) My policy also did not cover substance abuse treatments or psychiatric care.


    "Every one of those provisions sound nice -- they sound like you're protecting the sick and making sure that everyone is covered," Roy said. "But they drive up the cost structure."
    Meanwhile, the things that mattered to me -- that I would be able to limit my out-of-pocket costs if I had a catastrophic ailment -- got worse under my new Obamacare policy. My policy, which has always paid 100 percent of the cost of annual check-ups, had a $5,000 annual deductible for sick visits and hospital stays. Once I paid that $5,000, the plan would pay 100 percent of any additional cost. That protected me from economic devastation in the event of a catastrophic illness, such as cancer.
    Kaiser's Obamacare policy has a $4,500 deductible, but then covers only 40 percent of medical costs for office visits, hospital stays and drugs. Out-of-pocket expenses aren't capped until the policyholder pays $6,350 annually.
    Sure, that's only another $1,350. But it adds to the additional $1,663 that I'm paying in premiums, making my personal cost for Obama care add to $3,018 annually. This, by the way, is the bare-bones policy under Obamacare -- the Bronze plan. Premiums for plans that offer lower deductibles and premiums would cost almost twice as much, according to the Kaiser booklet.
    "This is a redistribution of wealth from the healthy to the sick, from the young to the old, from the people who have always had insurance to the uninsured," Roy said.
    A standard policy for wellness and catastrophic coverage for an unexpected, unavoidable ailment or accident could have been provided for a fraction of what Obamacare coverage costs, Roy added. "Obama care forces insurers to offer products that carry all sorts of bells and whistles that most people don't want but everyone will now need to pay for."
    Study: Insurance costs to soar under Obamacare - CBS News

    We've got a dilemma, because if premium insurance soar and for most people, subsidies in the law will not counteract the rate shock, employers need to raise wages, or we will head up to an economic disaster.

    Also, how come that maternity benefits will be covered on men's policies???????? LOL
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  2. #2
    How can this be? Our brilliant, most magnificent Dear Leader claimed it would save American families an average of $2500 per year.
    Last edited by TopDogger; 20 October, 2013 at 14:57 PM.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  3. #3
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    But it's not all bad -- At least 70-year-olds will now have coverage for birth control and well-baby checkups that they never had before.

  4. #4
    I do not understand the high deductibles with the Obamacare plans. That adds to the cost of health care and jacks the price up even higher.

    Even the liberal news media is starting to see that this is a fiasco.

    Obamacare: Is a $2,000 deductible 'affordable?' - Jun. 13, 2013

    I wonder how they are making this affordable for poor people. Somewhere in all of this mess taxpayers will be paying more of the bill for the poor so that they can continue to get free health care coverage.
    Last edited by TopDogger; 23 October, 2013 at 12:02 PM.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    I so not understand the high deductibles with the Obamacare plans. That adds to the cost of health care and jacks the price up even higher.

    Even the liberal news media is starting to see that this is a fiasco.

    Obamacare: Is a $2,000 deductible 'affordable?' - Jun. 13, 2013

    I wonder how they are making this affordable for poor people. Somewhere in all of this mess taxpayers will be paying more of the bill for the poor so that they can continue to get free health care coverage.
    There is something I don't understand, the new affordable health care system is supposed to reduce the cost, not jack up the cost. So we are forced to sign up and there are no restraint on private insurances cost? I don't know about you, but it looks like a Pandora open door for abuses.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  6. #6
    For thousands, keeping your old health insurance policy isn’t an option

    Health insurance companies are sending notices of cancellation to hundreds of thousands of people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more expensive policies.Insurers say the cancellations are necessary because the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are canceling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
    By all accounts, new policies to replace the canceled ones offer consumers better coverage, in some cases for comparable cost – especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify. They cover 10 “essential” benefits the law now requires, including prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care, and they generally have lower thresholds for what consumers will have to spend before the plan picks up the full cost of treatment.
    But the cancellation notices, which began arriving in August, have shocked many consumers in light of President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their plans if they liked them.
    “I don’t feel like I need to change, but I have to,” said Jeff Learned, a television editor in Los Angeles who must find a new plan for his teenage daughter, who has a health condition that has required multiple surgeries.
    An estimated 14 million people purchase their own coverage because they don’t get it through their jobs. The impact of the cancellations has been felt across the country.
    Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual business in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh has canceled about 20 percent of its individual market policies, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is canceling about 45 percent.
    Both Independence and Highmark are canceling so-called “guaranteed issue” policies, which were sold to customers who had pre-existing medical conditions when they signed up. Policyholders with regular policies because they did not have health problems will be given an option to extend their coverage through next year.
    Consumer advocates say such cancellations raise concerns that companies may be targeting their most costly enrollees.
    They may be “doing this as an opportunity to push their populations into the exchange and purge their systems” of policyholders they no longer want, said Jerry Flanagan, an attorney with the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog in California.
    Insurers deny that, saying they are encouraging existing customers to re-enroll in their new plans.
    “We continue to cover people with all types of health conditions,” said Highmark spokeswoman Kristin Ash.
    She said some policyholders who may have faced limited coverage for their medical conditions will get new plans with “richer benefits,” and the policies, “in most cases, will be at a lower rate.”
    Paula Sunshine, vice president of marketing with Independence Blue Cross, said the insurer hopes the canceled policyholders will “choose Blue when they decide on a new plan.”
    Some receiving cancellations say it looks like their costs will go up, despite studies projecting that about half of all enrollees will get income-based subsidies.
    Kris Malean, 56, lives outside Seattle and has a health insurance policy that costs $390 a month with a $2,500 deductible and a $10,000 annual limit on her share of costs for doctor visits, drug costs or hospital care.
    As a replacement, Regence BlueShield is offering her a plan for $79 a month more with a $5,000 deductible but that limits her potential out-of-pocket costs to $6,250 a year, including the deductible.
    “My impression was . . . there would be a lot more choice, driving some of the rates down,” said Malean, who does not believe she is eligible for a subsidy.
    Regence spokeswoman Rachelle Cunningham said the new plans offer consumers broader benefits, which “in many cases translate into higher costs.”
    “The arithmetic is inescapable,” said Patrick Johnston, CEO of the California Association of Health Plans. Costs must be spread, so while some consumers will see their premiums drop, others will pay more – “no matter what people in Washington say.”
    Health insurance experts say new prices will vary, and much depends on where a person lives, their age and the type of policy they decide to buy. Some, including young people and those with skimpy or high-deductible plans, may see an increase. Others, including those with health problems or who buy coverage with higher deductibles than they have now, may see lower premiums.
    Blue Shield of California sent roughly 119,000 cancellation notices out in mid-September, about 60 percent of its individual business. About two-thirds of those policyholders will see rate increases in their new policies, said spokesman Steve Shivinsky.
    Like other insurers, Blue Shield let customers know they have to make a decision by Dec. 31 or they will automatically be enrolled in a recommended plan.
    “There is going to be a certain amount of churn in the marketplace as people have to make their decisions,” Shivinsky said.
    WASHINGTON: For thousands, keeping your old health insurance policy isn't an option | Health Care | McClatchy DC

    Here is the new tactic from the insurances companies, cancellation notices to terminate policies so they can jack up their premiums.

    Wow, what a great ethic to make more money!
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  7. #7
    Obamacare’s Unintended Consequences: It’s Not Just A Technology Problem

    Ron Suskind’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account of Barack Obama’s first two years in office, Confidence Men, tells the inside story of the wheeling and dealing that culminated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to Suskind:
    By the time it passed, almost no one could feel great about it. The process had been so ugly – and the end product so convoluted – that even its fiercest apologists would acknowledge that it was a bill that was only a start.
    We’re now getting a good look at exactly what Suskind’s “start means, most recently with the launch of the insurance exchanges. Based on the latest reports, it appears to mean:

    • Crony capitalism – see this report from the Sunlight Foundation (h/t Arnold Kling).
    • Government secrecy – see this Wall Street Journal editorial.
    • Prioritization of election politics over policies – see this report in the National Review.
    • Inefficiencies and incompetence – see this article by Megan McArdle.
    • Alternative realities – see Jon Stewart’s interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on The Daily Show (more on this below).

    Unfortunately, these aren’t the worst of our problems. The HHS’s amateur hour created quite a stir, but it will eventually pass. Whether in three months or three years, programmers will iron out the new system’s “glitches.” We’ll then be left with more threatening and far-reaching challenges, such as hiring disincentives and fiscal risks.
    If you agree with this perspective, you may also agree that two of last week’s most relevant blog posts weren’t related to break-downs in the insurance exchanges. These are:

    • Tyler Durden parsed the Fed’s October 16th Beige Book release and found no less than eight references to the ACA’s effects on business activity. Here’s a typical observation reported by the Fed: “Many contacts also commented on reluctance to expand due to uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act; some employers cut hours or employees.”
    • Durden also shared a table reported by J.P. Morgan’s Michael Cembalest comparing estimated and actual costs for five Medicare programs, one Medicaid program and the Massachusetts state health reform of 2006. The data shows actual costs exceeding estimates by 107%, 129%, 150%, 644%, 817%, 1600% and 20%, respectively. And yet, we’re expected to believe the administration’s highly politicized projections that the ACA will be deficit neutral.

    We recommend checking out both posts. They suggest the most important question we should be asking is not the one that Stewart repeated several times while grilling Sebelius: “Businesses were given a delay of a year, but individuals were not given that option, why is that?”
    The bigger question is: “If the administration messed up so badly on the seemingly mundane task of building a website, how much will Obamacare damage the broader economy and the nation’s long-term fiscal health?”
    The Stewart-Sebelius interview drew attention to the second question only briefly, when Stewart mentioned that employers were converting full-time workers to part-time due to the ACA. But he failed to challenge Sebelius’ weak response that “economists – not the anecdotal folks – but economists say there’s absolutely no evidence that part-time work is going up.”
    This is exactly where an informed and unbiased interviewer would have dug further to expose the truth.
    Contrary to the administration narrative that Sebelius was parroting, we showed in “’Anecdote This,’ Dr. Furman” that the evidence of an ACA part-time worker effect is conclusive. Not only are reports from so-called “anecdotal folks” too pervasive to be credibly dismissed, but the claim that part-time work hasn’t “gone up” is just plain wrong. Even though most employers are unlikely to finalize policy changes this far ahead of the ACA’s postponed employer mandate, government data shows that part-time jobs jumped sharply in the quarter before the postponement, while full-time jobs stagnated.
    Getting back to Suskind’s observation that the ACA was only a “start,” it appears to be a rocky start based on the exchanges fiasco. We should be even more concerned about the part-time worker effect, broader effects shown in the Beige Book, and the history of health program costs. These are a few of the many reasons to expect an even rockier road ahead.
    Obamacare’s Unintended Consequences: It’s Not Just A Technology Problem | Zero Hedge

    On this article, I recommend you to follow the links mentioned, because there are a lot of behind the scenes information.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


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