ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“If you’ve never heard of the law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, you’re certainly not alone. This simple calculation has had the effect of radically reducing what health insurance agents earn. That, in turn as greatly restricted their ability to help million of Americans navigate the maze of approvals needed for medical procedures and processing claims. It has also had a devastating effect on these agents’ businesses and is disrupting the insurance market.”

“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hopes you will believe her and not your own eyes, as she pens an op-ed in the Washington Post deceptively entitled, ‘The Affordable Care Act, helping Americans curb health-care costs.’
Health costs are rising, as we all can see, and independent analysts confirm they will accelerate under Obamacare.”

“You’ll notice, however, that there’s something missing from the op-ed: any mention of actual health insurance premium prices. That’s not particularly surprising, I suppose, given that the premise of the piece is that the law helps make health care cheaper, yet since the law passed, family health insurance premiums have risen substantially faster than in the years before the law went into effect, rising nine percent following several years of three to five percent rises.”

“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.”