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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:25 AM

Don’t Believe The Media Hype: Obamacare Is Not Responsible For Double Digit Premium Hikes

Small businesses and individual health policy holders could face dramatic premium spikes this year, as some insurers file double digit increases and attribute the changes to the Affordable Care Act. The sticker shock is mostly the result of rising health care costs — and the prevalence of sicker beneficiaries in health insurance risk pools. The media, however, is blaming health care reform.
For instance, Friday’s Politico reported that premiums are increasing across the country as “All those new consumer benefits packed into the health reform law — birth control without a co-pay, free preventive care and limits on when insurers can turn down a customer — had to be paid for somehow.” Policy holders may experience 10 to 20 percent rate hikes, it warns, as insurers are “working the health reform law’s 2014 fees into their 2013 bills.”
So how much is Obamacare responsible for? Five, maybe eight percent? The answer is less than two.

Insurers are arguing that the costs of Obamacare’s annual fee on the industry, its requirement that companies contribute to a reinsurance program, and new benefits and regulations have to be passed down to consumers. “There’s a massive new health insurance tax that starts in 2014,” Robert Zirkelbach, the spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans told Politico. “For policies that are sold in 2013 and extend into next year, there’s going to be taxes imposed. … As a result, like all taxes, they will be reflected in premiums charged.”
There are new costs in 2014, but they have little to do with reform. Consider the insurers’ own rate justification filings, in which companies have to substantiate the raises. Aetna in Pennsylvania, for instance, seeks to increase rates by an average of 16.49 percent, but as it explains in its filing, 63.18 percent of the increase is attributed to the “cost of providing healthcare services to policyholders.” The Affordable Care Act is responsible for a tiny portion of the increase:
Impact of New Taxes and Fees
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes several new taxes and fees payable in 2014, including two that specifically apply to insured products — the health insurer fee and the reinsurance contribution. These new fees result in additional costs and are reflected in our updated rates for policies that extend into 2014. The overall impact of these costs on this filing is as follows:
* Health Insurer Fee: 1.0%
* Reinsurance Contribution: 0.5%

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/01/11/1435591/dont-believe-the-media-hype-obamacare-is-not-responsible-for-double-digit-premium-hikes/

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Don’t Believe The Media Hype: Obamacare Is Not Responsible For Double Digit Premium Hikes (Original post)
octoberlib Jan 2013 OP
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #1
djean111 Jan 2013 #2
nc4bo Jan 2013 #3
plethoro Jan 2013 #10
Dragonfli Jan 2013 #12
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #13
Dragonfli Jan 2013 #15
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #16
Loudly Jan 2013 #4
onlyadream Jan 2013 #5
underpants Jan 2013 #8
NCTraveler Jan 2013 #9
librabear Jan 2013 #18
onlyadream Jan 2013 #19
NCTraveler Jan 2013 #20
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #6
ramapo Jan 2013 #7
Mister Ed Jan 2013 #17
Dragonfli Jan 2013 #11
CBHagman Jan 2013 #14

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 07:49 AM

1. Obama chose to not address health care costs

So here we are.

Enjoy!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:24 AM

2. +1

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:34 AM

3. +2 nm

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:25 AM

10. You got it!...nft

 

dddd

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:23 AM

12. He chose to do something far better Manny, he chose to address

the needs of the corporations that are our health PARTNERS, as our partners, they deserve at least half our money to allow us to visit a doctor.

The richer they become, the more the health care will trickle down to us.

Where is your twin? HE understands this stuff.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:25 AM

13. Not just mere partners, the corporations are *stakeholders*, that's like a partner but more equal

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:04 PM

15. People forget that they own a piece of each of us and have a share of our health

Fair and square!

If we were wealthy enough to purchase a share of the health of our peons we would earn profit from allowing them to see their doctors and nurses as well.

It's all about WHO and how many people you own and who gets to set the bets!
As it should be;
remember owning a share of people isn't slavery, one must own the whole person for that, thank gawd if one has the money one can still purchase parts, even if those damn progressives made the proper purchase of the whole package illegal.

stake·hold·er (stkhldr)
n.
1. One who holds the bets in a game or contest.
2. One who has a share or an interest, as in an enterprise.


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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:05 PM

16. He got his monthly stipend from the Predator Class

And is off on a bender. I'm left to fend for myself until l get a call to post bail.

Thanks for setting me straight.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:36 AM

4. Is the reaction going to be repeal? Or outright nationalization?

 

I know which one I'd prefer.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:00 AM

5. While we're on the topic

We just bought private health insurance, rather than go on COBRA. This new insurance requires us to provide proof of uninterrupted coverage, or they'd have to start inquiring avout preexisting conditions. I thought this was a thing of the past, but then I searched and saw that the preexisting thing hasn't started yet. Is this something that happens next year?

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Response to onlyadream (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:16 AM

9. I believe they can ask about preexisting conditions, but cannot reject because of them.

I am looking at health insurance for my employees. we are a very small company. They asked for the gender, age, and if family would be on the policy. That is all they asked for in order to provide us with a quote. If we decide we want to use them, we will then fill out the full forms, including preexisting conditions. The quoted price can go up or down 15% from the quote. So, if an employee has a preexisting condition, the quoted price can go up no more than 15%, and the person cannot be rejected.

What got me was the difference in cost between women and men. It was quite shocking.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:57 PM

18. There is a big difference

 

Between men and women in health care cost, and age too.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:41 AM

19. How so?

The difference between men and women?

About my new private insurance, it's actually so much better than our old company insurance and so much cheaper. I was surprised, thought I was being scammed.

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Response to onlyadream (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:48 AM

20. The cost for the women we received are...

almost twice as much. We are also older than the male. I am sure that has something to do with it. Although I am not that much older.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:02 AM

6. "There are new costs in 2014, but they have little to do with reform."

That indicates that the reform was inadequate and failed to address cost controls. The whole point was to create access, not to increase financial barriers to health care.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:04 AM

7. How could it be?

Double digit premium hikes have been normal for well over a decade. It is almost a yearly event at our company. Near 20% is not abnormal. The only way we've kept insurance affordable (for employees and the company) is to reduce benefits, hike deductibles and copays. Unfortunately, Obamacare does little to nothing for small businesses that currently provide insurance in regards to either choice or cost relief.

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Response to ramapo (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:55 PM

17. Exactly. Double digit premium hikes have been normal for well over a decade.

To those who claim Obamacare is driving recent double-digit premium hikes, I must ask: What was driving my annual double-digit premuium hikes before Obamacare?

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:16 AM

11. But, but, I thought being forced to be customers would lead to

altruism on the part of our corporate insurance overlords?

No way would they ever constantly raise rates on a client forced to buy their product!

Corporations are nice people that deserve (in our uniquely American system) to profit off our need for doctors and medicines, the Heritage Foundation and third way promised they were altruists!

Who would take my blood pressure, stitch my cuts, clean my wounds if not my insurance guy? What, you think it is doctors and nurses that do that?
No! The care givers are actuaries not those medical school vampires!

I refuse to believe the insurance companies are or would ever do this, those double digit increases are due to firebaggers and not the altruistic corporations!!!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:27 AM

14. Well, there were already high premium increases in the early 2000s...

...and on top of that the entire PPACA doesn't take full effect until 2014, so the cause-and-effect sequence hasn't been established here.

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