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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:04 PM

Study: Health Reform Saved Consumers $1.5 Billion in 2011

Source: Raw Story / Commonwealth Fund

President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved American consumers $1.5 billion on out-of-pocket health insurance premium costs in 2011, a study published Wednesday (PDF) claimed. Despite this, benefits of the law were not applied equally across all health insurance markets, leading the study’s authors to propose that stronger rules are needed.

Most of the savings cited by the report comes from the ACA’s requirement that medical loss ratios (MLR) stay at 80 percent, meaning 80 percent of all premium payments must be spent on actual health care. The goal of the requirement was to get premium costs down, but many of the law’s critics warned that it may not have that effect.

As 2011 was the first full year with the MLR rule in effect, health care advocacy group Commonwealth Fund looked at the annual financial reports of more than 2,000 insurance companies across the country, including a large proportion of organizations selling to policies to individual consumers. The study discovered that the MLR regulation forced insurers to pay $1.1 billion in rebates to their customers in 2011, while reducing their administrative costs by about $350 million to get profits within the approved range.

The biggest consumer benefits were seen in the individual market, where companies cut their overhead costs by about $66 per member, for a total of about $560 million in savings. An additional $394 million was sent back to customers who the law says overpaid on their premiums. Only one state, Rhode Island, saw an increase in administrative costs, while 39 states saw insurance companies slimming down and becoming more efficient in order to retain as much of their profits as possible.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/05/study-health-reform-saved-consumers-1-5-billion-in-2011

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Reply Study: Health Reform Saved Consumers $1.5 Billion in 2011 (Original post)
Hissyspit Dec 2012 OP
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #1
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #4
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #5
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #6
MickeyFinne Dec 2012 #7
AllyCat Dec 2012 #2
underpants Dec 2012 #3
SpartanDem Dec 2012 #8

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:11 PM

1. But this CAN'T be true ...

I read on my daily rag's on-line comment segment where Joe Anonymous' insurance premiums have skyrocketed and the insurer called them personally and secretly told them that it was because of ObamaCare!

Am I to believe that Joe is being ... dishonest?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:36 AM

4. Its not true

 

Until per capita health care costs go down, the reform isn't saving Americans anything

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:46 AM

5. Let's see ...

a well-funded non-partisan academic study, that is supported by other academic data ... ... the word of some random, anonymous guy/gal on an internet bulletin Board ... ...

I'll take the study for a thousand, Alex.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:28 PM

6. Or you can use your own brain to think through an informed conclusion

 

In mid-year of 2012 the Office of the Actuary (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) projected an increase of per capita health costs by at least $300 in 2011.

So, now you must solve the fundamental problem:

Premise 1: Health care bill saved Americans $1.5 billion

Premise 2: The nation spent more on health care than the previous year, as determined by rising per capita health care costs (numbers are not final yet)

These two premises really do present a contradiction, because if the average costs per person are rising from one year to the next, how can we conclude in that same year that Americans saved anything? Therefore, at least one of the above premises are false. I tend to err on the side of the Office of the Actuary.

Furthermore, I am not denying that Americans were rebated $1.5 billion. The discrepancy probably comes from the fact more money is being injected into the system in the form of additional policies and subsides, money which was redistributed back through rebates. But the overall trend, despite the MLR, is a progressively increasing cost to health care for the average American.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:59 PM

7. Higher C

I wasn't called by my insurer to be informed that it was because of Obamacare, but I can certainly attest that our insurance costs went up 22% this year (just got the new rates a month ago) and we didn't use our insurance once. Not once. We have seen this increase yearly and haven't been to the doctor in years. So, believe what you will. Every year we get quotes from other providers and the costs are always similar. Until we have single payer, I rather suspect that the consumers will continue to come out with less money in their pockets.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:17 PM

2. But it cost money for the job creators!

They lost out on some profits and had to fire people to keep up their OCD for money collecting! Whaaaaaaa!!!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:44 PM

3. The MLR is clearly already having an enormously positive impact

I read this at work just before our briefing on "The ACA" -- my employers don't want to call it "Obamacare"

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:20 PM

8. "consumers in Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, West Virginia and South Carolina saw the biggest benefits

Minus NM all of them are red state where the majority voted against their own interest.

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