Everybody Getting Sick of Obamacare

MedizinTo keep a comedy plot moving, things have to go terribly wrong, somebody has to hide the truth, and it all has to come crashing down at the end in something like a spectacular pie fight.

The whipped cream is about to hit the Affordable Care Act.

Covered California just announced that the average cost of premiums for policies sold on the state health insurance exchange will be 13.2 percent higher next year. In 14 other states, premiums for widely sold silver plans will rise an average of 11 percent.

The worse news is why: Health care costs are higher, two temporary programs to reduce risk for insurers are ending, and people signing up have been sicker than expected.

That’s the opposite of what was intended. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to reduce health care costs, outgrow its need for insurer subsidies, and get young and healthy people into the risk pool with its mandate to buy health insurance.

The individual market may have reached the dreaded death spiral — the point where insurance is so costly that only people who are sick will buy it, driving rates even higher.

There’s evidence of this in the latest numbers from the law’s “risk corridor” program, which is supposed to collect money from insurers with healthier customers (lower costs), and give that money to insurers with sicker customers (higher costs). For 2014, the program collected $362 million but owes $2.87 billion. For now, insurers will receive only 12.6 percent of the money they expected.

This has added to financial problems at the nonprofit member-run health plans known as co-ops. In 2014 there were 23 co-ops around the country. Today there are 11 — seven that lost money in 2015 and four that just announced they’re going out of business.

Five health plans have filed lawsuits over underpayments from the risk corridor program, which is set to end this year along with a second program that provides reinsurance. A third program for risk adjustment is permanent, although a Maryland health plan is challenging it in the courts.

Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled in May that the Obama administration is illegally giving money to insurance companies to pay for a cost-sharing reduction program that subsidizes the deductibles and co-payments of low-income people who buy silver policies on the exchanges.

In mid-2013, the administration removed the cost-sharing reduction program from its 2014 budget request and decided to pay for it with money that Congress appropriated for another purpose.

Congress has been trying for over a year to …

Click here to read the full story at the L.A. Daily News

Comments

  1. As is with most pie in the sky schemes pretty soon it clouds up and poops.

  2. Rottweiler says

    Stupid, vacuous voters and if they vote for Hillary they will get a single payor system which will never never never work for 357 million not counting the illegals they want to invite on in. We will have the most sub-optimal, third world medicine the world has seen and all thanks to those lovely Democrats. See “HIllary’s America” and if they vote for her after the DNC exposure then they deserve everything they won’t get! I am in medicine I see what is happening and it is nothing short of tragic. I can navigate my way through and my family but can you?

  3. Obamacare was never supposed to work. It was designed to fail taking private insurers down with it. The crisis would be solved by the federal government taking over all health care

Trackbacks

  1. […] Everybody Getting Sick of Obamacare – California Political Review […]

Speak Your Mind

*