Screwed by Obamacare, or by Your Private Insurer Again?
Right now and for the last two months, health insurers have been sending letters out their customers telling them that because of Obamacare they can no longer keep their insurance, so instead if those customers sign up before Dec 6th or in some cases before the health insurance exchange even opened they could take advantage of a "similar plan to what they have" for only a ridiculously high premium increase!
But you have to sign up now.
The letter the Private Insurers are sending out take advantage of three widely reported pieces of information from our insurers which have been delivered as news, by our news media.
The first piece of information and now widely held belief is that better coverage costs more. And it does, but it does not cost more than you are already paying for crappy coverage. The evidence of that is the better quality care and lower costs enjoyed by people whose Governments help their citizens defend themselves from but private insurers. According to PNHP your high costs are mostly driven by wasting yur premiums on investor dividends and executive pay.
The second piece of information and now widely held belief is that your canceled coverage is being canceled because of Obamacare mandated improvements in the coverage. It is true that Obamacare mandated improvements in coverage, but it is not necessarily true that is why your insurance policy was canceled. The most significant mandated change this year is the lifting of the $2,000,000 annual spending cap and replacing it with no annual limit.
The limit has been lifted every year since Obamacare was passed in 2010, and yet there are no news stories of people who were not impoverished because of the federally madated increased spending limit. And that is a good thing that fewer and fewer people found out they were paying exorbitant premiums for inadequate coverage.
Before Obamacare was passed in 2010 people could find out they had reached their annual coverage limit buying aspirin at the hospital. In 2011 the minimum annual limit was raised to $750,000, in 2012 it went up to $1,250,000 and in 2013 it was $2,000,000. In 2014 there will be no annual limit allowed. If you are disastrously sick, you will be covered. It is coverage that is exactly what private insurers promised you in the sales pitch, and screw you out of in the fine print.
It is also easy for private insurers to say, and for us to intuitively believe that having an unlimited spending liability will drive up costs. However, very few people actually exceed the 2010 minimum, much less last years $2,000,000 limit. According to NIHCM : "For instance, the average expenditure for each of the approximately 3 million people comprising the top 1 percent of spenders was more than $90,000 in 2009 (Figure 2). The top 5 percent of spenders were responsible for $623 billion in expenditures or nearly $41,000 per patient. In contrast, mean annual spending for the bottom half of distribution was just $236 per person, totaling only $36 billion for the entire group of more than 150 million people."
That is one idea that makes it easy for us to believe that better Obamacare coverage drove up prices, even though it is not a significant impact on insurance spending. The vast majority of the high spending segment is done by public insurance on people over aged 75 anyway, not the private insurers.
The third piece of information we all know and love is that we will now have to pay the costs of formerly uninsured sick people. I have heard that cost is already baked in to the system as these people have driving up our costs when they go to the hospital for free anyway and those costs het passed on to the rest of us through higher hospital costs when we have to go. True or not, it is not any different than it was last week or last year, except that through Obamacare these people have a means and a mandate to contribute to their own care.
When your insurance company sends you a letter that says they have ended your policy due to Obamacare, and they can put you in a similar policy for twice as much money, ask yourself what is going on.
Since they say the new policy is similar to last years, and it has to be because insurer liability and coverage requirements have not changed very significantly from last year to this year, the cost should be similar too, not double or triple or anything else but similar.
Maybe what is going on is simply Private Insurers are taking advantage of three widely held beliefs to gouge their customers one more time. Hurry up and take what we offer, but don't look at those insurance exchanges first.
Remember Private Insurance has a long history of overcharging and under providing. That is why we now have Obamacare. Had Private Insurers been doing a good job and treating customers well when Obama proposed changing health insurance, the whole country would have asked why change what is working so well. It was simply not working so well.
links : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/04/1252957/-How-ObamaCare-Cancelled-Your-Plan-is-really-an-Insurance-Co-Scam-to-Rip-You-Off