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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Obamacare ‘Crashing Down All Around Us’

‘President Obama’s Health Care Law Is Struggling’

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Obamacare is a direct attack on the Middle Class. It hurts the very people it was supposedly designed to help. It raises costs, crushes choice, and is now crashing down all around us. It simply isn’t working.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 9/8/16)

Next Year Under Under Obamacare ‘Premiums Are Expected To Go Up Sharply’

“With the hourglass running out for his administration, President Obama’s health care law is struggling in many parts of the country. Double-digit premium increases and exits by big-name insurers have caused some to wonder whether ‘Obamacare’ will go down as a failed experiment.” (“As Obama’s Term Wanes, Obamacare Needs Checkup,” The Associated Press, 8/28/2016)
CONNECTICUT: “Most Connecticut health insurance plans sold through individual and small group markets will undergo steep rate hikes next year… The state Insurance Department approved 13 health policy rate hikes Friday that far outstripped increases in recent years, averaging nearly 25 percent for individuals and 13 percent for small groups.” (“Connecticut Insurances Rates To Climb Despite State Cuts,” AP, 9/2/16)
  • “Anthem was seeking an average 26.8 percent increase for individual plans serving 56,700 people offered on the state exchange and an average 11.6 percent increase for small group plans serving 42,200 people offered on the exchange. Meanwhile, ConnectiCare was denied its request for a 24.3 percent increase for individual plans offered off the exchange and covering 37,142 people.” (“Connecticut Insurances Rates To Climb Despite State Cuts,” AP, 9/2/16)
NEW YORK: “New York regulators have approved health insurance rates for 2017, hiking premiums about 8 percent for small group plans and almost 17 percent for individual plans. The Department of Financial Services said rising health care costs and the federal reinsurance program's termination are pushing up rates.” (“NY Approves Health Insurance Rate Hikes For 2017,” The Associated Press, 8/05/2016)

CALIFORNIA: “Premiums for Californians’ Obamacare health coverage will rise by an average of 13.2% next year — more than three times the increase of the last two years ... The big hikes come after two years in which California officials had boasted that the program helped insure hundreds of thousands people in the state while keeping costs moderately in check.” (“California Obamacare Rates To Rise 13% In 2017, More Than Three Times The Increase Of Last Two Years,” Los Angeles Times, 7/19/2016)
FLORIDA: “Floridians who buy their own health insurance in 2017 are likely to see their premiums rise by an average of 19 percent over the current year, according to an analysis released Friday by the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation.” (“Florida’s Obamacare Premiums To Rise Average 19 Percent In 2017, State Says,” Miami Herald, 9/2/16)

NEBRASKA: “A sampling of individual health insurance rates for Nebraskans next year shows increases that will average about 35 percent on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, with some increases near 50 percent.” (“Health Insurance Rate Increases May Have Some Nebraskans In Sticker Shock,” Omaha World-Herald, 9/4/16)

TENNESSEE: “Cigna asked for and received an average 46.3 percent increase. Humana asked for and received an average 44.3 percent increase. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which did not refile its request, asked for and received a 62 percent increase.” (“Tennessee Insurance Commissioner: Obamacare Exchange 'Very Near Collapse,'” The Tennessean, 8/25/16)

Many Obamacare Plans Come With A ‘Ridiculously High Deductible’

Michigan Woman: ‘She would have to spend more than $12,000… and a $6,850 deductible’ “Susan Reardon, 61, of Kalamazoo, Mich., said she was leaning toward going uninsured this year. She calculated that she would have to spend more than $12,000, including premiums of nearly $500 a month and a $6,850 deductible, to get anything beyond preventive benefits from the cheapest exchange plan available to her.” (“Many See I.R.S. Penalties as More Affordable Than Insurance,” The New York Times, 1/03/2016)

New Jersey Mail Clerk: ‘a yearly deductible of $2,500… Also, the plan’s co-insurance … is $4,500’ “Paul Vondra is just the sort of person the architects of Obamacare had in mind. The 59-year-old Bellevue resident is a temporary worker contracted through a New Jersey agency to work as a mail clerk for a major local bank. He doesn’t own a car, so he bikes each day to his job in the Strip District. His agency has offered him a choice of two Affordable Care Act-approved marketplace plans. But Mr. Vondra, who makes less than $25,000 annually and has no dependents, said the cheapest plan carries a monthly premium of $165, or $800 a year, and a yearly deductible of $2,500. Also, the plan’s co-insurance — the amount he would be responsible for after he has met his deductible — is $4,500, while out-of-pocket hospital costs are capped at $10,000. ‘It might as well be $10 million,’ he said. He’s not alone.” (“Access To Insurance Is No Guarantee A Person Will Have Access To Care,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/5/16)

Illinois Woman: ‘The cheapest health plan she examined … came with a $7,000 deductible’ “Chicago resident Eva Saur, 32, is exactly the kind of healthy person insurers would like to have on their rolls. Saur hasn’t had coverage in nearly a decade, but she takes good care of her health. . . Saur’s tax penalty for being uninsured was a bit more than $600 last year, while the cheapest health plan she examined cost about as much for three months in premiums — and came with a $7,000 deductible.” (“Health-Care Exchange Sign-Ups Fall Far Short Of Forecasts,” The Washington Post, 8/27/2016)

North Carolina Pet Sitter: ‘She's paying the tax penalty and out-of-pocket for doctor visits rather than the ‘unaffordable premium and ridiculously high deductible’ she faced in 2015 of $900 a month with a $5,000 annual deductible’ “Margaret Brawner of Charlotte, a pet sitter who does some contract work, says the rates were already too high. She's paying the tax penalty and out-of-pocket for doctor visits rather than the ‘unaffordable premium and ridiculously high deductible’ she faced in 2015 of $900 a month with a $5,000 annual deductible for a Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plan.” (“As Obamacare Choices Dwindle, Feds Face Consumer, Political Backlash,” USA Today, 8/29/2016)

Oklahoma Mom: ‘Was forced to buy the more expensive policy with a deductible of $3,000 for each person in her family’ “When the health insurance premiums got to the point that they were higher than her mortgage, Renee Powell started to become cynical. ‘There was something in me that just kind of switched,’ said the mother of two from Bartlesville, Okla. ‘I was okay with paying $750, but when it became about $100 more than my housing costs, it upset me.’ … She shopped for insurance through the Obamacare exchange and … was forced to buy the more expensive policy with a deductible of $3,000 for each person in her family. The insurance pays for check-ups and prescriptions, but if anyone gets sick, Powell has to pay the full doctor bill until the deductibles are met.” (“Politics In Real Life: Rising Health Care Costs Weigh On Voters,” NPR, 5/3/16)

15 Million To Medicaid Where ‘You Have A Card Saying You Have Health Insurance, But If No Doctors Take It, It's Almost Like Having One Of Those Fake Ids’

“HealthPocket found that in 2015 only 34% of the healthcare providers examined were listed as accepting Medicaid insurance. This represents a 21% decrease from the listings of Medicaid acceptance found in the 2013 data for the same categories of healthcare providers.” (“Medicaid Acceptance By Healthcare Providers Drops To 1-Out-Of-3,” Healthpocket.Com, 2/26/15)
  • “If you want to understand Medicaid's problems in New Jersey, just ask the Holstein men. Justin Holstein, 39, of Ocean Township, spent a year on the government health insurance program when he was starting his own business. Long under treatment for chronic migraines, he lost all his doctors the moment he enrolled. His new doctor said only a neurologist could renew his medication, but the insurance network's neurologist couldn't see him for four months, he said. That meant four months of sleepless nights battered by pain, and four months of getting through the days courtesy of the caffeine in Excedrin. ‘You have a card saying you have health insurance, but if no doctors take it, it's almost like having one of those fake IDs,’ he said. ‘Your medication is all paid for, but if you can't get the pills, it's worthless.’” (“Who Will Treat The Flood Of Obamacare Medicaid Patients?” NJ.Com, 12/9/15)
CMS: “Additional enrollment since October 2013 when the initial Marketplace open enrollment period began, among the 49 states reporting both June 2016 enrollment data and data from July-September of 2013: 15,239,169.” (“Medicaid & CHIP: June 2016 Monthly Applications, Eligibility Determinations And Enrollment Report,” Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, 8/25/16)

‘Next Year Will Bring … The Biggest Decrease’ In Insurer Participation Since Obamacare Began

“Next year will bring ‘a major shift in insurer participation,’ the biggest decrease since the start of the exchanges in 2014, said Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the Kaiser foundation.” (“Health Insurers’ Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2016)

“...states around the country are grappling with dwindling numbers of insurers willing to sell on the exchange.” (“Tennessee Insurance Commissioner: Obamacare Exchange 'Very Near Collapse,'” The Tennessean, 8/25/16)

“Nearly a third of the nation’s counties look likely to have just a single insurer offering health plans on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges next year … The new study, by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, suggests there could be just one option for coverage in 31% of counties in 2017, and there might be only two in another 31%. That would give exchange customers in large swaths of the U.S. far less choice than they had this year, when 7% of counties had one insurer and 29% had two.” (“Health Insurers’ Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2016)
“Up to 2.1 million people will likely have to change plans for 2017 due to insurers leaving states' Affordable Care Act marketplaces, up from more than 1.2 million who had to find new insurers last year.” (“As Obamacare Choices Dwindle, Feds Face Consumer, Political Backlash,” USA Today, 8/29/2016)

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Posted by Bill Smith at 12:31 PM - Post Link


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