President Obama's health-insurance fix not such a fix


President Barack Obama might have said that consumers will be allowed to keep canceled health-insurance policies for one more year, but at least five states - including New York and Washington - won't let such plans be reinstated, as they believe it would harm their exchanges.

Many carriers are also not allowing their customers to extend their old policies, due to time constraints and other obstacles. And those firms that may reverse the cancellations have said that premiums could rise.

Of the major players, Cigna (CI) could reinstate policies, while WellPoint (WLP) is analyzing the situation.

More on Obamacare.

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Comments (5)
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (11221) | Send Message
     
    ACA is Obama's "Invasion of Iraq" and "Monica Lewinsky" rolled up into one.

     

    What a mess!
    21 Nov 2013, 05:53 AM Reply Like
  • GizmoA51
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Our founders didn't have this much trouble writing the Constitution though it did take a lot of hard work and compromise. Something not done today.
    21 Nov 2013, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • tnkrbell28
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    The fifteen percent limit on the allowed "Medical Cost Ratios" in the ACA is a major factor in driving medical costs. Large insurance companies have to spend eighty-five percent of their fees on actual medical costs like doctors fees and hospital costs. To maintain profits, insurers have to spend more. They have to encourage doctors and hospitals to charge more for services to justify the higher fees they need to maintain profits. Also, they can justify higher fees with ACA's expanded coverage requirements. The more they spend AND CHARGE the more they make. Eventually, they will get their customers back!
    21 Nov 2013, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • citracyde
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    You really have no idea how health insurance works do you? You are correct about mandated medical cost ratios of 80% and 85% for large group and small group coverage. But your idea that carriers encourage medical providers to increase their fees is completely wrong. In fact, insurers are the only sizable market pressure holding medical providers at bay when it comes to raising rates. Make no mistake, healthcare providers (doctors, hospitals, labs, etc.) don't care if you have sticker shock or even if you can' pay - when push comes to shove you will end up at their door step in time and either you will pay or your bad debt will become socialized in the form of rate increases to commerical policy holders. Can you personally do anything about this? Sure you could shop around for cheap care, maybe seek care in a foreign country, but you will still end up seeking care in the end and that care is in limited supply and is perishable. Every year insurers attempt to fend off 30+% increases from hospital systems - no one knows why they need a 30% increase YoY but the ask for it anyway because they can. The overall medical cost goes up because they are generally forced to settle negotiations with the hospitals because plan sponsors and members force the insurer to settle with the hospital before they can negotiate down to an inflationary increase. So instead you wind up with 10-15% increases every year. If you think your one voice and decison to not seek care at a hospital will matter - it will not. Keel over at a mall while shopping, guess who will be calling for a $10K ambulance ride for you. So short of taking up a "Grizzly Adams" lifestyle, whether you make the decision or not, someone will ultimately seek care for you and that will drive medical cost which will ultimately find its way into premiums.
    21 Nov 2013, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • tnkrbell28
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    The fifteen percent limit on the allowed "Medical Cost Raitos" in the ACA is a major factor in driving medical costs. Large insurance companies have to spend eighty-five percent of their fees on actual medical costs like doctors fees and hospital costs. To maintain profits, insurers have to spend more. They have to encourage doctors and hospitals to charge more for services to justify the higher fees they need to maintain profits. Also, they can justify higher fees with ACA's expanded coverage requirements. Insurance companies like ACA. Eventually, they'll get their customers back!
    21 Nov 2013, 08:20 AM Reply Like
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