ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“The final medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations will likely create a vacuum for affordable coverage that cannot be filled by Bronze plans under the state insurance exchanges. If the ‘essential benefits’ and ‘actuarial value’ requirements are equally as discriminatory, there will be no affordable options available and the cost of subsidies will skyrocket. As a result, millions of Americans that have policies today that could have qualified as Bronze plans will be forced to change their coverage or drop coverage because they can no longer afford it.”

“If you want to get an understanding of how the health reform law works, both in theory and practice, it would be a good idea to take a look at the process called ‘rate review.’ The idea is that health insurance premiums can be restrained by forcing health insurance companies to explain ‘unreasonable’ premium increases to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the state authorities, and on their web sites.”

“Beginning September 1, 2011, health insurers must
submit requests to state or federal reviewers if they
wish to increase insurance rates by 10 percent or more.
This “rate review” process is required by Section 2794
of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), which was
added to Section 1003 of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Pub. L. 111-148…
The goal of this mandate is to reduce health care costs
by addressing the asymmetry of information in the
health insurance market between consumers, providers
and industry actors. However, despite the stated goals
of the mandate, it fails to ultimately address the
underlying issues accelerating health care costs.”

“However, the bottom line is that Obamacare’s MLR regulations won’t deliver us a utopia of government-run single-payer health care. Instead, they will usher in a new era of private insurance monopolies and significantly drive up the cost of health insurance, things that neither liberals nor conservatives should cheer.”

“A new Obama administration rule could drive out of the market the low-cost, high deductible plans that are supposed to be available under ObamaCare. That would likely mean a sharp jump in taxpayer subsidies. The problem stems in large part from contradictions in the hastily written health care overhaul.”

“Many people who are patients of Huntsville Hospital’s doctors or facilities have contacted WHNT News 19 about a new, $25 annual fee. Those who’ve emailed us say they do not understand why they are being asked to pay this fee on top of their co-pays… Ingram says President Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill has buried doctors under mountains of new forms. He says that means increased costs to the doctors to hire people to do all that paperwork.”

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the new health reform law — contains financial incentives for the states to establish health insurance exchanges where qualifying individuals and small businesses can purchase subsidized, individual health insurance, starting in 2014.
The structure of the exchange subsidies will encourage low-income workers to congregate in companies that do not provide insurance and high-income employees to work for firms that do provide it.”

“The federal insurance subsidies and tax credits are among the few popular features of the law. But they won’t remain that way as Americans learn more about them. ObamaCare provides subsidies to those whose incomes fall between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and who do not have access to federally defined “affordable” coverage through their employer. All other Americans — including those in the exact same income bracket — will not be eligible to receive subsidies.”

“The 2010 healthcare law contains a tax on the health insurance policies that most small businesses purchase… Estimates predict the tax will raise the cost of employer-sponsored insurance by 2% – 3%, imposing a cumulative cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020. The NFIB Research Foundation’s BSIM model suggests that such price increases will reduce private sector employment by 125,000 to 249,000 jobs in 2021, with 59 percent of those losses falling on small business.”

“We’re economists, not political consultants, so we offer no unique insight on whether the administration’s proposed rule will hold in the face of political pressure. But we do know that this unpopular definition and its possible revision hold significant implications for everyone impacted by this law’s provisions. Either millions of dependent families of employees will be stuck without an offer of affordable coverage-or taxpayers will be stuck with significantly more subsidy costs than originally projected.”