Daily Archives: October 31, 2013

Policy cancellations

Obama accused of breaking promise to consumers as health plans cancel policies – The Washington Post.

This about sums it up…

“The real problem is that people weren’t told the truth,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.” “You can remember, they were told that they would be able to keep their policies if they liked them. Now you hear hundreds of thousands of people across the country being told they couldn’t.”

But perhaps the truth isn’t so important if you’re going to get a better policy…

Administration officials say the canceled insurance will be replaced by better policies.

Well, you get to be the judge.


Rate Shock seques into “Provider Shock”

New “glitch”: If you like your hospital, you might not be able to keep your hospital « Hot Air.

Turns out you can’t expand coverage, cap patient costs, and expect providers to work for less, just like you can’t create the conditions for a major adverse selection problem and expect insurers to flood into the new market. “Some hospitals and doctors don’t even know if they are in the network,” says one expert, a point also made in the WSJ story I flagged this morning about consumers often having no idea who’ the providers are in each plan offered on the state exchanges.

I spoke with a client today and her daughter is in the process of being diagnosed for a blood disorder under the care of Children’s Hospital in Aurora, CO. Shopping on the Colorado Marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, the number of available plans shrinks from 78 to 13 if Children’s Hospital is required to be in-network.

An additional complication is the client is planning to move in July to another State. If she takes ANY Marketplace plan, she will have to get a new plan with a new deductible in the middle of the year.

Fortunately, there’s a solution with an off the marketplace insurer that will allow her to “keep her plan” when she moves. Well, that’s a helluva lot better then Obama can do.



Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare

Surprise! – Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare – US News and World Report.

“This doesn’t surprise me,” said Gail Wilensky, Medicare advisor for the second Bush Administration and senior fellow for Project HOPE. “There has been an incredible amount of focus on the premium cost and subsidy, and precious little focus on what you get for your money.”

Regulations driven by the Obama White House have indeed made insurance more affordable – if, like Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, you’re looking only at price. But responding to Obamacare caps on premiums, many insurers will, in turn, simply offer top-tier doctors and hospitals far less cash for services rendered.

Not to mention that insurance is in many cases NOT more affordable.

Chances are the individual plan you purchased outside Obamacare would allow you to go to these facilities. For example, fourth-ranked Cleveland Clinic accepts dozens of insurance plans if you buy one on your own. But go through Obamacare and you have just one choice: Medical Mutual of Ohio.

And that’s not because their exchanges don’t offer options. Both Ohio and California have a dozen insurance companies on their exchanges, yet two of the states’ premier hospitals – Cleveland Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – have only one company in their respective networks.

A good local example here is Colorado is Children’s Hospital is not in he Anthem BCBS network.

When looking at ACA/Obamacare plans, you must be concerned about the network. Also, if you are near a state border, travel a lot or have two residences, keep in mind that with a vast majority of the plans you are out of network for non-emergency care performed out of state.




Obamacare Tech Surge

You have 30 days… Google, Oracle Workers Enlisted for Obamacare ‘Tech Surge’ – Businessweek.

Google Inc. (GOOG:US), Red Hat Inc. (RHT:US), Oracle Corp. (ORCL:US) and other technology companies are contributing dozens of computer engineers and programmers to help the Obama administration fix the U.S. health-insurance exchange website.

The help is arriving as the government’s main site for medical coverage remains plagued by repeated outages a month after its Oct. 1 debut. Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer on leave from Google, and Greg Gershman, innovation director for smartphone application maker Mobomo, are among those helping, the Obama administration said today.