The Cost Of Keeping ObamaCare

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about what is happening to the cost of health insurance in Florida.

The article reports:

Obamacare plan premiums may increase an average of 45 percent in Florida next year due to health care insurers rate hike requests, according to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation.

There are six insurers in Florida selling plans on and off the exchanges in 2018 including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company, Florida Health Care Plan, Health First Commercial Plans, Health Options, and Molina Healthcare of Florida.

Molina Healthcare requested the highest rate increase of 71.2 percent. Individuals with this coverage can expect their monthly premium to increase from $402 to $688.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested a 38.1 percent increase, Celtic Insurance Company requested a 46.1 percent increase, Florida Health Care Plan requested a 26.5 percent increase, Health First Commercial Plans requested a 39.3 percent increase, and Health Options requested a 36 percent increase.

On average, consumers in Florida can expect their monthly premium to increase from $463 to $671.

Part of the problem is the lack of competition. The article explains:

The Florida office notes declining insurer participation since 2015. In that year there were 21 participating insurers. In 2016 there were 19, in 2017 there were 14, and in 2018 there are 9, which includes the companies that participate off exchange. They also report there will be 42 counties in their state that will only have one health insurer participating on the exchange.

ObamaCare needs to be totally gone. Meanwhile, President Trump is dismantling the parts of it that he can legally dismantle. Since so much of ObamaCare was written as it went along, much of it can easily be eliminated by the Executive Branch. However, the ideal situation would be to get rid of ObamaCare totally and let the free market take over. That would probably result in lower healthcare premiums for everyone.

When Former The Newspaper Of Record Chooses To Leave Common Sense Behind

On July 3rd, The New York Times (formerly known as the newspaper of record) reported that health insurance companies around the nation are asking for rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more. What is that about? It’s about human nature and economics. Healthy people have not signed up for ObamaCare, sick people have.

The New York Times reports:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.

The Oregon insurance commissioner, Laura N. Cali, has just approved 2016 rate increases for companies that cover more than 220,000 people. Moda Health Plan, which has the largest enrollment in the state, received a 25 percent increase, and the second-largest plan, LifeWise, received a 33 percent increase.

This has to do with something called an actuary table. Actuary tables are generally used to determine life insurance premiums. They determine expected life spans based on information including health habits, family health history, and other variables. They then establish an insurance rate that will provide life insurance and still make a profit for the company. It is important to remember that companies are in business to make a  profit. Similar charts are used in health insurance to make sure that both healthy and sick people will have the insurance they want. The problem with ObamaCare is that young, healhty people are paying higher rates to cover the cost of older, less healthy people.

The article further explains:

In their submissions to federal and state regulators, insurers cite several reasons for big rate increases. These include the needs of consumers, some of whom were previously uninsured; the high cost of specialty drugs; and a policy adopted by the Obama administration in late 2013 that allowed some people to keep insurance that did not meet new federal standards.

Healthier people chose to keep their plans,” said Amy L. Bowen, a spokeswoman for the Geisinger Health Plan in Pennsylvania, and people buying insurance on the exchange were therefore sicker than expected. Geisinger, often praised as a national model of coordinated care, has requested an increase of 40 percent in rates for its health maintenance organization.

Insurers with decades of experience and brand-new plans underestimated claims costs.

What ObamaCare has done is to disrupt health insurance for 80 percent of Americans who were happy with their health insurance in order to insure the other 20 percent. What has actually happened is that the 80 percent have been disrupted and the 20 percent have not signed up. It really would be a good idea to simply scrap ObamaCare and replace it with something that was free market based. I am sure something could be worked out to help low-income Americans afford the insurance they need.

The Government Does Not Know How To Run The Healthcare Insurance Business

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the steep rise in ObamaCare premiums.

The article reports:

Last week, IBD reported that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants to jack up its ObamaCare premiums by more than 36%; CareFirst in Maryland by close to 30%; and Moda Health in Oregon by almost 50%.

Since then, North Dakota has reported rate hike requests of 43%, Kansas 38% and Iowa 18%.

Insurance companies (and all other companies–even health insurance companies) stay in business because they are profitable. When they stop making a profit, they go out of business. Insurance companies use something called actuary tables to assess risk, set premiums, and maintain profitability. Unfortunately, the people in the government responsible for ObamaCare do not seem to have any idea what an actuary table is–they can’t understand why the premiums keep rising. Meanwhile, the infirm are signing up for ObamaCare and the healthy people who would balance the load are not signing up.

The article concludes:

First, ObamaCare imposes a pile of costly rules and regulations on the insurance industry — mandating generous coverage, outlawing risk rating, and so on.

Then, to cope with these costs, insurance companies employ large deductibles and co-pays to keep premiums within the realm of reasonable.

Now, the same Democrats who created this problem want to force insurers to lower deductibles and co-pays so health care will be more “affordable.”

Never mind that this would, if enacted, produce yet another round of massive premium hikes.

Someone needs to instruct these Democrats on a fundamental truth of economics: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Someone might also tell the Democrats that the government has never successfully run anything–much less an industry that is a major part of the American economy.


More Unintended Consequences Of ObamaCare

I really wish Congress was required to read all the laws it passes before it passes them. That might have avoided some problems, although most of ObamaCare was not yet written when it was passed.

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about the impact ObamaCare will have on competition in the healthcare insurance industry in North Carolina. As it is currently being implemented, ObamaCare will create a healthcare insurance monopoly in North Carolina.

The article reports:

“Although seven insurance companies currently operate in North Carolina, under the new Obamacare exchanges, those options will dwindle down to one in the majority of counties,” Ellmers (Congresswomen Renee Ellmers from North Carolina’s Second District) said Thursday following the disclosure of figures by federal health officials showing that more than 60 percent of North Carolina counties will have only one insurance provider option under Obamacare: Blue Cross Blue Shield.

We know from past experience that monopolies are not a good idea. This is another example of why ObamaCare needs to be stopped in its tracks before it does any more damage.

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