Tuesday, September 24, 2013

HCR -- Lower Costs via the Exchanges

Maggie Mahar has compiled two comprehensive summaries headlined "Reverse Sticker Shock" which included the latest data available for what insurance will cost through the state exchanges. Insurance companies will be able to issue health insurance policies appropriate to selected age categories in the same way they issue life insurance.

Why? Think about it. It costs less to insure a young person than an older one. So the longer you live the more expensive your medical care can be expected to become. Just as some people will live a long time and others will die sooner, some old people will enjoy good health until they die while others will incur more medical expenses.

That's why it's called "insurance."  The company is betting you're gonna stay well and you are betting you will get sick or hurt. The game is tilted to protect the insurance company. Why? Because they have the data. In fact it's no secret. Anyone can get the data. But knowing that X-number of people will die or get sick doesn't mean it is possible to know which individuals will die or get sick. As I said, that's why it's called "insurance." It's probably the only money you ever spend hoping never to get your money back.

Go to these two links for a multitude of links and details.

Reverse “Sticker Shock”—Why are Insurance Rates in the State Marketplaces Lower Than Expected? — Part I - 
What is making health insurance more affordable? 
First, the majority of individuals shopping in the Exchanges will be eligible for government subsidies that will go a long way toward covering premiums.  
The second reason premiums are significantly lower than expected is that as I have explained on healthinsurance.org in the state marketplaces insurers are forced to compete on price.  
Third, in many cases, state regulators have been clamping down. In Portland Oregon, for example, regulators forced insurers to cut their proposed rates by an average of nearly 10%. Three of the 12 insurance companies in that market had to lower their rates by more than 20%

Finally, rates in many Exchanges are looking surprisingly affordable because many insurers are narrowing their networks to a group of hospitals and doctors who will offer higher-quality care for less. Meanwhile the fear-mongers argue that this means patients won’t receive the care they need.
In August the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) published an “Early Look at Premiums” in California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Indianapolis, Maryland, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont and the state of Washington.

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