Daily Archives: August 16, 2013

Obamacare targets “Young Invincibles” demographic

Obamacare targets “Young Invincibles” demographic – CBS News.

Jordan Zavaleta’s insurance through the exchange will cost him less than $200 a month.

“I just paid off my student loans and that was $200 a month,” he said. “Now that will be health insurance.”

Jordan Zavaleta is 26. Less than $200 a month and that’s a good thing!??? Wonder what his rates would have been a year ago. I guarantee you the coverage this young invincible could have purchased a year ago would have been a lot less expensive than what he’ll buy through the exchange.

Jordan Zavaleta, you’ve been suckered. In the meantime, I suggest your purchase an accident plan for $20 to $30 per month since that appears to be your biggest concern. At least you’ll have something.


There IS a Republican plan to replace Obamacare

Tom Price’s Plan to Replace Obamacare | National Review Online.

Either way, the notion that Republicans have no plan to replace Obamacare is news to Representative Tom Price (R., Ga.), who in June introduced a comprehensive alternative health-care plan — for the third time since 2009. It was originally introduced as the Obamacare alternative from the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), which Price chaired at the time.

The 250-page legislation, known as the Empowering Patients First Act, has yet to receive a vote in the House, but currently has 32 co-sponsors, including Representatives Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.), Tim Huelskamp (R., Kans.), Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), and Tom Cotton (R., Ark.).

The bill is a comprehensive alternative, notes Price, who has more than 20 years of experience as a practicing orthopedic surgeon. His policy proposals, which conservative experts have praised, will probably be familiar to those who have closely followed the ongoing health-care debate.

The bill aims to provide affordable coverage for all through a series of tax credits and deductions designed to entice individuals into the insurance market with positive incentives, as opposed to Obamacare’s solution of fining those who refuse to purchase health insurance. “It’s a carrot instead of a two-by-four,” Price says. “Regardless of where one fits in the economic spectrum, there is a financial incentive to purchase health coverage that the individual wants, not that the government forces them to buy.”

The law would allow individuals to opt out of Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health-care-benefit programs in favor of receiving a tax credit; an individual’s health coverage would be “portable” — no longer tied to an employer — so losing a job wouldn’t also mean losing insurance; individuals and small businessed would be able to access insurance pools that reduce risk for those with pre-existing conditions, and they could purchase plans across state lines. Tort reforms would cut down on physicians’ practicing “defensive medicine” and driving up costs by ordering unnecessary procedures in an effort to avoid lawsuits.

The plan is based on six principles: affordability, accessibility, quality, responsiveness, innovation, and choice. “All of those principles are violated by the Affordable Care Act,” Price says. “When you step back and look at those principles, it guides you to a system that allows patients and families and doctors to be in charge.” (emphasis added)

And yet when Republicans talk about health care, few actually point to Price’s bill as an alternative plan, which only reinforces the perception that the GOP has no plan beyond repealing Obamacare. “No,” Price laughs when asked if his plan has gotten the attention it deserves. Why not?


A Risk to High: Why One Insurer Quit Covered California

Why One Insurer Quit Covered California – California Healthline.

In subsequent months, VCHCP (Ventura County Health Care Plan) staffed up to prepare for the exchange; had its proposed rates checked and approved; and returned to the board of supervisors to ask for additional resources to help with its exchange participation.

But behind the scenes, the plan’s leaders kept coming back to their concerns about the number of potential enrollees next year, and whether VCHCP could truly handle the influx — especially if it turned out to be more than the original predictions.

“When you’re looking at having to invest $3.8 million in various new systems,” Ventura County’s Fisher said ruefully, “the option of delaying entry into [Covered California]” to further prepare for the expansion and exchange became increasingly appealing.

And unlike some of the other participants in Covered California, VCHCP has significantly smaller operations and margins — which translates to less margin for error.

“The big plans don’t have some of the things that we have to worry about,” said Fisher. For example, the larger health care insurers already have agreements in place with brokers and can easily afford the new technology systems they’ll need for next year.

“We feel that we can compete with them,” Fisher added. “Looking at the rates we were right in there with them.”

But when going through the final calculus, “we [had] to look hard at where we stand in the marketplace.”

Venture simply didn’t have the systems and financial strength in place to make the leap. Don’t forget, this is a big experiment. No company really knows that they can accurately predict the claims history of the many new enrollees into the health insurance system. For a small company like Ventura, it appeared to be the better part of valor to stand back, at least until next  year.

Colorado has a number of small insurance companies as well. One wonders if they will have problems with “A Risk to High”?


Health insurers to limit medical choices under ObamaCare?

Health insurers to limit medical choices under ObamaCare? | Fox News Video.


We’re living this in Colorado. Take a look at the analysis of the Silver plans filed in Colorado done by CCHI. Six of the ten plans have the word HMO in them and another plan is a “cooperative”. Three plans have the words PPO in them and I fairly certain the Cigna plan is a PPO as well. Not surprisingly, the PPO plans, which are the typical large network plans that most insureds expect, are a minority of the plans and substantially more expensive.

Can you keep your doctor? A distinct “maybe” if you go with an HMO style plan. “Most likely” if you select a more expensive PPO style plan.

Just another surprise courtesy of Obamacare.