ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.
“The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.”
“A large number of people who’ve signed up for private health insurers through the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange have not paid their first month’s premiums, meaning they are at risk of going without coverage through November.”
“Of course, no services are ever actually free since consumers pay indirectly for them through their premiums.”
“Many insurers only dipped a toe into the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces for their first year.
Cigna, one of the country’s largest insurers, offered 2014 plans to individuals in fewer than half a dozen states. Humana is only in a little more than a dozen states. The biggest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, didn’t offer any policies through the federally run online portal and only a few elsewhere.”
“The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors, according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation.”
“Surgery patients covered by Medicaid arrive at the hospital in worse health, experience more complications, stay longer and cost more than patients with private insurance, a new study has found.”
“A top insurer in the North Carolina Obamacare exchange reported that its customers are both older and less healthy than it expected and warned that premiums are likely to rise next year.
“Not as many of the state’s young and healthy enrolled as expected,” Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced in a press release. The company expected 50 percent of its Obamacare exchange customers to be younger than 35, but just 32 percent of customers are below age 35 and just 25 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34.”
“In his Monday Think Tank post previewing political and policy battles over insurance premium increases, Drew Altman wrote that “85% of those who purchase insurance in the new marketplaces will get a government subsidy in the form of a tax credit to help defray the cost of the premium. That means that most people buying in the exchanges won’t pay much even if their premium cost goes up significantly” in 2015.”
“Of all the various Republican health care reform ideas, the most popular by far is letting people buy health insurance across state lines. It polls off the charts, provokes spontaneous applause in town hall meetings, is the talk of conservative policy wonks and state lawmakers, and features in virtually every serious Obamacare-replacement plan.”
‘In a line that says a lot about where health care is heading under Obamacare, an insurance executive offering plans through the law was quoted in the New York Times on Tuesday as saying, “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has.”’