Tue Jul 17, 2012, 10:19 AM
ProSense (108,092 posts)
The check's in the mail (health insurance rebates)
The check's in the mail
By Steve Benen
Quite a few Americans are going to go to their mailbox this week and next, open it, and find something unexpected: a check from their insurance company. It's another side benefit from the Affordable Care Act that most Americans mistakenly thinks they don't like.
When Laird Le found a check for $70.02 in the mail, he wasn't quite sure why. Turns out, he's one of the estimated 13 million Americans that will receive a rebate on their health insurance premiums as a result of the health care reform law recently upheld by the Supreme Court.
Look inside your mailbox: By the end of the month, you could be one getting one of these refunds, which are expected to total $1.1 billion this year. Health insurance companies have begun sending letters to customers informing them of a new rule requiring them to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they receive on actual medical care, not on overhead, advertising, profits or other costs. Health insurers must cite the health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, in the letter.
The technical name for this is the medical loss ratio (or MLR), but it's much simpler than it sounds. "Obamacare" has an 80/20 rule, which requires insurance companies to spend roughly 80% of all premiums on actual health benefits, rather than company overhead (marketing, lobbying, executive salaries, etc.). When an insurer spends less than 80% on health care for its customers, the company is required to send the customer a check for the difference.
How many checks are we talking about? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 16 million Americans will get rebates before the legal due date, which is Aug. 1. As a result, many of the checks -- some of which will be small, some may be worth over $500 -- will hit mailboxes this week.
The point of this policy in the law, of course, is to benefit American consumers, while at the same time, encouraging efficiency and lower premiums among insurers.
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...the American story is one of perfectibility and striving for ever-greater fidelity to our ideals -- it is a journey from colony to republic, from slavery to freedom, from sexism to suffrage, from stark poverty to shared prosperity.
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Response to ProSense (Original post)
Tue Jul 17, 2012, 10:37 AM
ananda (13,362 posts)
1. Who actually will get a check?
I don't think I'm one of them because I only pay a percentage
of the premium. I'm not sure who will actually get the rebate
if there is one.