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How High Will Your Health Insurance Premiums Go In 2015?

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high-will-health-insurance-premiums-go-2015Hugh Hewitt Blog:

Hugh Hewitt

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 

Nobody knows because Team Obama has conveniently arranged for you to be kept in the dark on your health insurance costs until after everyone votes next week.

 

Most are expecting 5% to 10% hikes, but there are rumblings of far nastier surprises.

 

Read this Denver Post report of a Colorado study of expected rates for individuals on the state’s massively screwed-up exchange. (Not a failed exchange, like Oregon’s or Maryland’s, just a screwed-up exchange.) It begins:

 

(Snip)

 

 

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Obamacare sends health premiums skyrocketing by as much as 78 percent

 

The eye-popping increases among younger insurance buyers could be a problem for Obamacare’s long-term solvency given that young people are needed to offset the higher costs associated with older policyholders.

 

“Obviously they’re very important, and as much as they’re healthier, they tend to use health care less, so you want to try and have as many of those people enrolled as possible. And the cost for them went up very [steeply],” Mr. Coleman said.

 

The price increases for 63-year-olds were less dramatic: a 37.5 percent increase on average for women and 22.7 percent for men.

 

The study doesn’t include the federal premium subsidies offered to those earningbetween 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit, but Mr. Coleman points out that not everyone in that bracket qualifies because their premiums must exceed a certain percentage of their income.

 

“So you still have this issue of health insurance rising for that very young group and, depending on where they are with respect to income and premium, they may not qualify for a subsidy,” Mr. Coleman said. “That’s what we like to refer to as a subsidy gap.”

 

The report also notes that somebody pays for the subsidy, even if it’s not the policyholder.Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/28/obamacare-sends-health-premiums-skyrocketing-by-as/

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The report also notes that somebody pays for the subsidy, even if it’s not the policyholder.Scissors-32x32.png

 

Who could that be? Oh yeah, Obama takes care of it.

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Nearly 1/4 of doctors may opt out of Obamacare exchanges in 2015
Jazz Shaw
October 29, 2014

Do you suppose any of the 2014 candidates will find time in the closing week to talk about Obamacare again, in the midst of all the other slow rolling disasters? (Aside from the occasional Root and Branch repeal call, that is.) If they do, they might want to mention a new study from the Medical Group Management Association which has some rather depressing figures in terms of medical services availability next year for participants. Barbara Boland has the story.



Over 214,000 doctors won’t participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs. It’s also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In January, an estimated 70% of California’s physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.

Once you read the list of reasons for why doctors might not care to participate, these numbers don’t seem surprising at all. (And frankly had been predicted years in advance.) Reimbursement rates under Obamacare average 60 cents on the dollar as compared to private or employer provided coverage plans. The lower rates were supposed to be made up for by the doctors taking in more patients, but many of them are already at max capacity, and some of the new patients are sicker, requiring more time and attention from the physician.

 

(Snip)

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Health-Care Hell

 

In the first circle of Dante’s Hell, things aren’t so bad: The unbaptized and the virtuous pagans get to kick back, forever, with Homer and Ovid, watch Julius Caesar and Saladin do the limbo, etc. But things take a pretty sharp turn for the worse thereafter: Paris, Tristan, and Cleopatra get buffeted about by the winds of lust in the second circle, Cavalcante de’ Cavalcanti suffers a ghastly punishment for his heresy in the sixth, and soon enough you’ve got Satan himself gnawing on Brutus, Cassius, and Judas. But even with Virgil to guide him, Dante never looked into the little-known tenth circle of Hell, the joint headquarters of the federal health-care bureaucracies, i.e., Satan’s outhouse.

 

And if you think spending eternity submerged in a river of excrement sounds bad, try getting an appointment with a dermatologist. Dante had “Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here,” but we have “Please hold and your call will be answered in the order it was received.”

Researchers at JAMA Dermatology decided to do a little investigative journalism and cracked open the physicians’ directories for Medicare Advantage in twelve metropolitan areas. They invented a father with a suspicious itch, and started trying to make appointments. (Reuters provides an excellent summary of their findings here.) With 4,754 dermatologists to choose from, you’d think that would be pretty easy — and it’s lucky for you that there’s not a level of Hell for the naïve.

That population of 4,754 dermatologists turns out to have been decimated — about a tenth of them had moved on to one of the three sections of The Divine Comedy, or, short of that, had retired or were no longer practicing medicine. But the headcount has to be reduced further, and drastically: About half of the physicians were double-listed; unsurprisingly, the federal government is a much more attentive bookkeeper when it comes to your tax liabilities than it is when it comes to your health care. Another 18 percent were simply unreachable, and 9 percent were not taking new patients. Of those 4,754 theoretical dermatologists, there turned out to be 1,266 actual dermatologists still among the living, practicing medicine, and willing to make an appointment. But not for everybody: In some cases, there was not one dermatologist willing to see patients with certain Medicare Advantage plans. That’s what happens when you put politicians in charge of health care: You get a great deal on an insurance policy that no one accepts.Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/391532/health-care-hell-kevin-d-williamson

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Will There Be Obamacare Rate Shock in 2015?

 

Hanging around actuaries as long as I have one of the old sayings I picked up was, "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."

 

I have read one story after another this summer and fall about the modest Obamacare rates increases––or decreases––for 2015.

 

In the past I’ve written about the complex way the 2015 Obamacare rates will hit people, particularly because of the impact of changes in the so-called second lowest cost Silver plan will have on so many people's final subsidy. I’ve also written about the fact that we really won't know what Obamacare costs people until the now unlimited Obamacare reinsurance program stops subsidizing insurance rates in 2017.

 

Recently, the Kaiser Family Foundation provided a report pointing out that the cost of the benchmark Silver Plan would fall 0.8% in sixteen cities they researched.

 

Kaiser also reported that the lowest cost Bronze plan after tax credits in these markets would rise an average of 5.9%.

 

But now, Investor's Business Daily is out with another look at those sixteen cities and they found that the cost of the cheapest Bronze Plan for a 40-year-old non-smoker earning 225% of the poverty level ($26,260) will jump an average of 13.9%.Scissors-32x32.png

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/10/31/will-there-be-obamacare-rate-shock-2015

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Scott Rasmussen: Why Obamacare Is the Defining Issue of 2014 Elections

 

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Lyle Denniston Reporter

Posted Mon, November 3rd, 2014 2:35 pm

Silence, and speculation, on health care (UPDATED)

UPDATED 6:02 p.m. The legality of tax credits for individuals who shop for health insurance on federally run marketplaces is also under review now by the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On Monday, the Obama administration filed its brief for that appeal, arguing that the challengers’ view of the issue would lead to the operation of exchanges “on which no individual could lawfully shop and no insurance plan could lawfully be sold.” The challengers’ reply brief is due on November 17, and oral argument will be held on December 17. The government’s brief can be read here; thanks to Howard Bashman of the How Appealing blog for a link to the document.

——————–

The Supreme Court on Monday set off a new round of questions and speculation about its view on a significant new threat to the federal health care law, taking no immediate action on an urgent plea to decide the issue swiftly. The Court did schedule another look at the case of King v. Burwell at the Justices’ private Conference this Friday, raising the prospect that something may emerge a week from today.

 

At issue in the case is the availability to more than four million individuals of a federal subsidy to help them afford a health insurance policy in one of the thirty-four states where the insurance marketplace (or “exchange”) is run by the federal government rather than by a state. The challengers insist that the language of the Affordable Care Act limits such credits to those who shop on a state-run exchange.

 

The Court usually does not explain its failures to act, but there are at least four possible scenarios that could explain the absence of an order Monday on this dispute:

 

First, Scissors-32x32.png http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/11/silence-and-speculation-on-health-care/

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shutterstock_137110268.jpgOn December 24, 2009, sixty US Senators — all Democrats or independents caucusing with them – voted for the Affordable Care & Patient Protection Act. A scant five years later, only 33 (55%) of them are still in office. That’s an attrition rate of 45%, 15% per election, among members of body famously designed to be insulated from popular whim.

 

To be fair, there are a number of reasons for this that have nothing to do with ObamaCare: some senators have died; some have taken appointmentsin the Obama administration and been replaced by ideological clones; others elected during the last major wave reached their natural age of retirement. Still, it’s a historically high number.Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://ricochet.com/a-bad-night-for-obamacare/

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OBAMACARE AS PERMANENT WELFARE

 

President Reagan gauged the success of a welfare program by how quickly people were able to move off government assistance and into remunerative work. Yet President Obama, the White House, and their allies are measuring the success of Obamacare by how many people can be enrolled in their new government entitlement programs.

 

The president celebrated the law’s “success” in getting seven million people enrolled in Medicaid and eight million (or so) people enrolled in exchange coverage, 87 percent of whom are receiving government subsidies for their insurance. And he hopes to lure another five million people onto Obamacare programs starting with the November 15 enrollment period. There is no expectation that participation in these government programs will be a temporary boost but rather that they will become a permanent fixture in people’s lives.

 

This is a fundamental, structural shift in the role of government in our lives. Under Obamacare, public assistance programs are no longer seen as a safety net but as a way of life — and not just for lower-income people but for middle income families as well.

 

Political leaders such as Nancy Pelosi brag that people no longer have to work at jobs they dislike just to get health insurance, and they can instead quit their jobs and become artists and poets. She celebrates this “freedom” as the president’s campaign depicted his vision of permanent dependency in the Life of Julia.

 

Private companies are also getting in on the game, responding predictably to the incentives the health overhaul law creates. Walmart is the latest corporation to announce that it is dropping health insurance for its part-time workers, taking advantage of the law’s built-in incentives for companies employing lower-wage workers to drop private health coverage and dump their workers into taxpayer-subsidized insurance. They are simply responding to the clear incentives the law sets out.Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://spectator.org/articles/60898/obamacare-permanent-welfare

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SCOTUS and ObamaCare: Round Two

John Steele Gordon

11.07.2014

 

The Supreme Court today granted certiorari in the case of King v. Burwell, in which several senators and congressmen and an assortment of non-governmental organizations such as the Cato Institute and several states sued, claiming that the IRS interpretation of the Affordable Care Act was contrary to the plain text of the law.

 

 

The ACA grants subsidies to people with lower incomes who buy insurance through the exchanges “established by the states.” Since only 16 states set up such exchanges, the federal government stepped in and set up exchanges in the other 34 states. But the IRS has ruled that the subsidies are available through these exchanges as well.

 

The plaintiffs lost in both the district court and in the 4th Circuit, which sits in Richmond. Both courts argued that the act as a whole shows that Congress’s intent was not to limit subsidies only to state exchanges. The fact that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case does not necessarily mean that it disagrees with the lower court, only that at least four justices want the Supreme Court to finally decide the case.

But it is very interesting indeed that the Court did not wait for the en banc hearing in the D.C. Circuit Court in the Halbig v. Sebelius case.....(Snip)

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Fifth Reason Obama Adm. Should Lose Burwell
Wesley J. Smith
November 8, 2014

 

John’s “Four Reasons the Supreme Court is Likely to Rule Against the Obama Administration in Burwell,” should be correct.

 

I would like to add an ironic fifth reason: Burwell involves statutory interpretation as applied to a regulation, rather than constitutional jurisprudence–just like Hobby Lobby did. There are pretty specific rules that have to be followed in doing that, leaving less wiggle room for judicial legislating via “living contitutionalism” or updating the charter to meet the modern era.

 

(Snip)

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Health law faces higher bar in 2nd sign-up season

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a bright look to its rebuilt website, version 2.0 of President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul represents another chance to win over a skeptical public.

 

But more than possible computer woes lurk as HealthCare.gov's second open enrollment season begins Nov. 15.

 

The risks include an unproven system for those renewing coverage and a tax hit that could sting millions of people. Those tax issues are the result of complications between the health care law and income taxes, and they will emerge during next year's filing season.

 

"Things will not be perfect," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, trying to set expectations. "We are aiming for a strong consumer experience, and it will be better."

 

The Obama administration cannot afford to repeat last year's online meltdown. Congress will be entirely in Republican hands in 2015, and GOP lawmakers will be itching to build the case for repeal. The Supreme Court's decision Friday to hear another challenge to the law is also casting a shadow.

 

http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2014/11/10/health-law-faces-higher-bar-in-2nd-signup-season-n1916510

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U.S. releases low 2015 Obamacare enrollment forecast

 

The U.S. administration on Monday dramatically cut expectations for 2015 Obamacare enrollment, saying between 9 million and 9.9 million people will enroll in private health plans, compared with a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast of 13 million.

 

An Obama administration report, released just before the start of 2015 open enrollment on Saturday, also reduced the official count of 2014 enrollment to 7.1 million people as of Oct. 15, from 7.3 million in August. The change resulted in part from 112,000 people losing coverage because of unresolved application issues involving their citizenship or immigration status.

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Obamacare may not have enough enrollees to stay solvent

 

The administration on Monday said fewer than 10 million Americans will enroll in Obamacare’s health exchanges this go-around, well short of the 13 million target congressional scorekeepers deemed critical to its economics, suggesting another rocky rollout in the law’s second year of full operation.

 

Policy advisers at the Health & Human Services Department estimated that 9 million to 9.9 million people would enroll through the exchanges — or only a slight increase over the 8 million that the administration says were active at the end of the first enrollment period this April. The Congressional Budget Office, which is the government’s official scorekeeper, had predicted the law would need 13 million customers on the exchanges.

 

Republicans, who are plotting ways to use their new control of both chambers of Congress next year to roll back or repeal the Affordable Care Act entirely, said the lower estimates are another sign of the law’s problems.

 

“Under the president’s health care law, Americans have experienced broken exchanges, canceled coverage, higher premiums and unaffordable deductibles,” said Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House oversight committee, which investigated last year’s botched rollout. “Despite the administration’s habit of moving the goal posts, the fact is Obamacare is simply not delivering the results Americans were originally promised by the president.”Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/10/obamacare-health-exchange-enrollees-to-fall-well-s/

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Five new obstacles for ObamaCare

 

The Obama administration is easing expectations ahead of ObamaCare’s critical second-year enrollment period.

 

More than a year after HealthCare.Gov’s problems plunged the administration into crisis, the administration faces a very different set of challenges in expanding the healthcare law’s rolls.

 

HealthCare.gov is much stronger, insurers are flocking to the exchanges, and federal health officials can claim 7.1 million current enrollees for the system.

But signing up new customers while retaining old ones still poses significant challenges in year two.

HHS lowered expectations for next year by projecting Monday that 9.1 million people would be enrolled in the exchanges, a significant drop from the 13 million estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.

Here are the top five obstacles facing administration officials in the second enrollment period.

Scissors-32x32.png

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/223585-five-obstacles-for-obamacare-20

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THE DEATH PANELS ARE COMING

 

With Obamacare open enrollment about to begin anew, rumors of trouble in Healthcare Paradise run rampant. Enrollment has dropped to 30% below Congressional Budget Office estimates; fully 1 million of the 8.1 million people who originally signed up for Obamacare dropped out.

But Obamacare’s shoddy implementation doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of its great evil. Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber quite correctly attributed the passage of Obamcare to “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” – because it turns out that Obamacare will ration care, and that the most well-respected bodies in terms of health rationing have already recommended cutting off services.

The US Preventive Services Task Force is an independent body authorized by Congress to make “evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications.” And since the onset of Obamacare discussions, the Task Force recommendations for treatment and screening have become less and less generous. In November 2009, the Task Force recommended that mammography for women every other year between the ages of 50 and 74. They admit that they have insufficient information to suggest that it would be fruitless to screen after 74, and they say that case-by-case screenings should take place before 50.Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/11/11/Death-panels-coming

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Obamacare’s Decimation of Rural Hospitals

 

Much has been written about the impact that Obamacare has on the healthcare consumer, focusing specifically on the effects of lost coverage, lost doctors, premium hikes, mandate penalties, and reduction in choice. These effects have already been felt and are predicted to get worse in 2015. But Obamacare is having other, more systemic effects on the economy that are just now being felt. One of these, covered here in the USA Today, is the decimation of America’s rural hospital network, which acts as a life saving first response network for heart attacks, strokes, and other medical conditions that require immediate intervention for long term survival.

 

One of the ways that Obamacare has negatively impacted these hospitals is in imposing additional and costly record keeping requirements that have placed a financial strain on these hospitals, which typically hang on to financial solvency by a shoestring to begin with. Another and more significant way, however, is through the act’s “readmission penalties,” under which hospitals are penalized for readmitting too many Medicare patients within a 30 day window. These penalties disproportionately hit rural hospitals, which serve poorer and less well educated healthcare consumers, and consumers who are less likely to have a regular primary care physician. As a result, through no fault of their own, they are more likely to see repeat patients, especially those who are noncompliant with discharge instructions for outpatient followup care. The readmission penalties were intended to improve quality of care, but instead they end up systematically financially crippling rural hospitals.

http://www.redstate.com/2014/11/13/obamacares-decimation-rural-hospitals/

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Obamacare’s Decimation of Rural Hospitals

 

Much has been written about the impact that Obamacare has on the healthcare consumer, focusing specifically on the effects of lost coverage, lost doctors, premium hikes, mandate penalties, and reduction in choice. These effects have already been felt and are predicted to get worse in 2015. But Obamacare is having other, more systemic effects on the economy that are just now being felt. One of these, covered here in the USA Today, is the decimation of America’s rural hospital network, which acts as a life saving first response network for heart attacks, strokes, and other medical conditions that require immediate intervention for long term survival.

 

 

 

You have to remember rural areas generally vote Republican as opposed to big cities...so they don't matter.

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This is in the "Act":

 

U.S. Code › Title 42 › Chapter 157 › Subchapter VI › § 18115

 

42 U.S. Code § 18115 -

 

Freedom not to participate in Federal health insurance programs

 

No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendments), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs.

 

Found here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/18115

 

Via iOTWReports

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Open Enrollment Starts Today
David Hudson
November 15, 2014

In this week’s address, the President reminded Americans that Affordable Care Act open enrollment begins this weekend. In the past year, more than 10 million people have gained health insurance, including more than 7 million who enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage. They are proof that the Affordable Care Act is working, making health care more affordable, accessible, and of higher quality for millions of people.


(Snip)

____________________________________________________________________________


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So Come On Down! You'll Love It! Trust Me.

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If you like your health insurance plan, you must pay more to keep your health insurance plan
Paul Mirengoff
November 15, 2014

 

The New York Times reports that many Americans with health insurance purchased under Obamacare will face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans. The Times report is based on data released by the Obama administration on Friday, just hours before the health insurance marketplace opened to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.

 

According to the Times, “the new data means that many of the seven million people who have bought insurance through federal and state exchanges will have to change to different health plans if they want to avoid paying more — an inconvenience for consumers just becoming accustomed to their coverage.” Beyond the matter of inconvenience, there is also the fact that the new plan, available at about the price of the old one, typically will be less desirable than the old plan, which now costs more.

 

The Times provides an example from Nashville:

 

(Snip)

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