Tag Archives: health insurance

New wave of Obamacare cancellations hitting with a twist

Via Insurance Broker C. Steven Tucker:

So this is what I’ve been dealing with today. Fielding angry calls from my HumanaOne clients who ALL received a policy termination notice because of Obamacare. Not only my HumanaOne clients, but my Aetna clients and even Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. All of their policies will be cancelled as of December 31, 2014.

This is the second year I’ve had to deal with this but this year it’s much different. For the first time in 20 years I cannot even quote a replacement product because Barack Obama has issued a GAG ORDER to the health insurance industry instructing them not to disclose their January 2015 health insurance rates until after the mid term elections. This is absolutely unprecedented. Normally health insurance premiums are released for public viewing 60 days before the January 1st effective date.

Where are the reports on these cancellations and Barack Obama’s gag order from NBC News ABC News, CBS News and CNN.News? The only news organization that I am aware of that has reported on any of this is the Fox News Channel.

I can guarantee you one thing not ONE of my clients is voting Democrat on Tuesday. Republicans have outstanding alternatives to this disastrous health care law. The two most recent are the American Health Care Reform Act and the Universal Exchange Plan. Please read them. For it will be up to us to forge a path forward for the American people and time is of the essence. The insurance company bail outs are temporary and they will expire in 2016. Without a bailout the health insurance industry will pull out of the individual and family health insurance market. Before that happens we need to be able to articulate intelligent, market based alternatives. It’s up to us.

Continue reading HERE.

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NYT: $6,000 Obamacare deductibles makes seeing a doctor unaffordable

The we told you so’s just keep coming. Obama won a second term so now the NYT prints what we told you years ago. If it weren’t for term limits we doubt this article would have been in the New York Times.

Via the New York Times:

 Patricia Wanderlich, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, had to forgo a brain scan this year because of the Obamacare high deductible.
Patricia Wanderlich, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, had to forgo a brain scan this year because of the Obamacare high deductible. (Credit Rob Hart NYT)

Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year, and with good reason: She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller aneurysm that needs monitoring.

But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical services up to that amount. She is skipping this year’s brain scan and hoping for the best.

“To spend thousands of dollars just making sure it hasn’t grown?” said Ms. Wanderlich, 61. “I don’t have that money.”

About 7.3 million Americans are enrolled in private coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than 80 percent qualified for federal subsidies to help with the cost of their monthly premiums. But many are still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families — the trade-off, insurers say, for keeping premiums for the marketplace plans relatively low. The result is that some people — no firm data exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the high out-of-pocket costs.

Insurers must cover certain preventive services, like immunizations, cholesterol checks and screening for breast and colon cancer, at no cost to the consumer if the provider is in their network. But for other services and items, like prescription drugs, marketplace customers often have to meet their deductible before insurance starts to help.

While high-deductible plans cover most of the costs of severe illnesses and lengthy hospital stays, protecting against catastrophic debt, those plans may compel people to forgo routine care that could prevent bigger, longer-term health issues, according to experts and research.

“They will cause some people to not get care they should get,” Katherine Hempstead, who directs research on health insurance coverage at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said of high-deductible marketplace plans. “Unfortunately, the people who are attracted to the lower premiums tend to be the ones who are going to have the most trouble coming up with all the cost-sharing if in fact they want to use their health insurance.”

Deductibles for the most popular health plans sold through the new marketplaces are higher than those commonly found in employer-sponsored health plans, according to Margaret A. Nowak, the research director of Breakaway Policy Strategies, a health care consulting company. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average deductible for individual coverage in employer-sponsored plans was $1,217 this year.

In comparison, the average deductible for a bronze plan on the exchange — the least expensive coverage — was $5,081 for an individual and $10,386 for a family, according to HealthPocket, a consulting firm. Silver plans, which were the most popular option this year, had average deductibles of $2,907 for an individual and $6,078 for a family.

Barney Frank: President Obama Lied About Obamacare

Daily Signal:

It’s one thing for President Obama to win an award for “Lie of the Year” for promising Americans “if you like your [health insurance] plan, you can keep it.” It must sting a bit more when a political ally like Barney Frank, the former congressman, flat out says the president “just lied to people.”

In an interview with Huffington Post, the veteran Massachusetts Democrat said he was “appalled” at the “bad” rollout of Obamacare last October.

“I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said, then added:

But, frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.

Before passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the president repeatedly promised Americans that they would be able to keep their current insurance plans and doctors if they so chose.

But the Obamacare rollout brought cancellation notices from insurance companies to more than 10 million Americans, who learned their plans didn’t meet minimal requirements outlined in the new law.

According to several reports, the Obama administration was aware millions would lose their plans. The president’s broken “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise earned him the dubious honor of “Lie of the Year” from the fact-checking journalism project PolitiFact.

Although Frank supports the law and voted to pass Obamacare in 2010, he said Obama should have told Americans that the plans required under the health care law would be better than their old ones:

He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them.’ But that’s not what he said.

Obamacare results so far: Less competition, increased costs…

Via The Daily Signal:

On November 15, open enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges begins again. Before the second act of our national healthcare drama commences, let’s review what we’ve learned in Act I.

1. Health costs jumped—big time. Huge increases in deductibles in policies sold through the exchanges were a big story in Florida, Illinois and elsewhere. While the average annual deductible for employer-based coverage was a little over $1,000, the exchange deductibles nationwide normally topped $2,000.

Notwithstanding President Obama’s specific promise to lower the typical family premium cost by $2,500 annually, premium costs actually increased. D2014 data for the “individual market” shows that the average annual premiums for single and family coverage rose in the overwhelming majority of state and federal health-insurance exchanges all around the country. In eleven states, premiums for twenty-seven-year-olds have more than doubled since 2013; in thirteen states, premiums for fifty-year-olds have increased more than 50 percent. For the “group market,” the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated on February 21, 2014, that 65 percent of small firms would experience premium-rate increases, while only 35 percent were expected to have reductions. In terms of people affected, CMS estimated 11 million Americans employed by these firms would experience premium-rate increases, while about 6 million would see reductions. So much for “bending the cost curve down.”

2. The law reduced competition in most health-insurance markets. A limited analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2014, large states like California and New York were more competitive, but Connecticut and Washington were less competitive. The Heritage Foundation conducted a national analysis and found that between 2013 and 2014, the number of insurers offering coverage on the individual markets in all fifty states declined nationwide by 29 percent. On a county level, 52 percent of U.S. counties had just one or two health-insurance carriers. In 2014, at least, the law did not deliver on its promise of more personal choice and broader competition.

3. We still don’t know for sure how many people are actually insured. Following the disastrous October 2013 Obamacare “roll-out,” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that about 6 million (rather than 7 million) would enroll in the exchanges. Last April, administration officials reported that they reached and surpassed their goal, enrolling over 8 million people in the health-insurance exchanges. They then declared the health-care debate, like the Iraq War, “over.”

That declaration appears to be premature. The administration now concedes that there are 700,000 fewer persons in the exchanges. Of course, we can expect some attrition. But exchange enrollment is not the same as insurance coverage. CBO said it best: “The number of people who will have coverage through the exchanges in 2014 will not be known precisely until after the year has ended.” Exactly.

Beyond the seemingly endless surveys, estimates and guesstimates, we do have some raw data. Between October 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, there was a net increase in individual coverage of 2,236,942, but there was a net decrease in group (employment-based) enrollment: it fell by 1,716,540. Enrollment in Medicaid and the Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (CHIP) increased by about 5 million over that same period. We’ll know more later, as CBO said, especially how many Americans are losing their employment-based coverage.

Who enrolls is also crucial. In 2013, Obama administration officials said that their goal was for young adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four to account for 40 percent of exchange enrollments. On April 17, 2014, the White House announced that only 28 percent of those enrolled through the federally administered exchanges were between eighteen and thirty-four years of age—the crucial age bracket for a robust and stable insurance pool—but that 35 percent of the total enrollees were under the age of thirty-five. That made it sound as though the program was fairly close to reaching its target. But thanks to excellent reporting by Politico, we learned that the bigger number included children enrolled in the exchanges. Nice try.

Editor: Obamacare has caused my insurance premium to go up by 12 times

Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton:

I was just notified that if I want to keep my current health insurance with Blue Cross/Blue Shield my premiums will go up by a factor of 12.27. So much for being able to keep my current insurance.

I have a special needs child. If any readers have wondered why this web site has been so outspoken about Obamacare it is because everything that we have warned about it has the virtue of being true.

Repeal ObamaCare.

ObamaCare already increasing insurance premiums and eliminating insurance carriers.

We have been covering the ObamaCare law in detail here at Political Arena. If you want to get down to the details and the nitty-gritty of how ObamaCare is designed to price both insurance and care out of the hands of most private individuals a good place to start is at the Health Insurance Tips Blog. Please see their post HERE.

“If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X