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President Barack Obama smiling and holding
Do Republican "experts" on these things ever tire of being wrong? No, Obamacare has not led to massive premium spikes.
Nearly 20 states have released preliminary information about premiums for insurance policies sold on their insurance exchanges, and the nightmare scenarios have not come to pass. In most of those states, the average increase across all exchange plans is in the single digits. [...]

Larry Levitt, vice president for special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said he's surprised by the variation in proposed changes but that on average, premiums are working out to about what he expected: hikes of 7 percent to 8 percent in most places.

Rises of 7 or 8 percent per year are still nothing to sneeze at, but in the years before Obamacare took effect, I would have been giddy to have our family's yearly premium increases rise by only 7 or 8 percent instead of the more typical double or triple that.

In any event, all the people claiming that premiums are skyrocketing have been proven wrong, so they ought to stop claiming that now. They won't, of course, but if they were decent human beings they would.

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When does that $2500 per year reduction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass, nextstep, Bluesee, dinotrac

    kick in?  Remember we were promised that?

    We're supposed to be happy with 8% increases every year now?  Is this what they mean by "reduced expectations"?

    •  that's how they sold the law-- (4+ / 0-)

      not that premiums will decrease, but that they'll increase less quickly.

      That's like saying of a rapidly accelerating car that's careening around and threatening to go off the road completely, that things are under control because even though it's still moving faster and faster, it's accelerating more slowly.

      It is all about moving the goalposts and conditioning people to lower their standards. Lower them enough, and anything can be a "victory".

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:54:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're talking fine print -- lawyerese. (0+ / 0-)

        The $2,500 "savings" was a simple talking point that was used to sell the bill, often misleadingly  After passage it was clarified that "savings" didn't mean "you'll pay less than you do now."   But that was the implication back in 2009 when the $2,500 figure was bandied about without any qualifiers or fine print attached.  Those of who did a little research  knew that what was really meant was that the cost curve would still be quite steep, just slightly less so.

        •  No. Obama specifically said "per family". (0+ / 0-)

          He said it hundreds of times..

          "If you already have insurance, we'll lower your family's premium by $2500 per year."

          •  Health Insurance Company Can Still Poison You (0+ / 0-)

            Health Insurance Company Can Still Poison You with the other firms they own, and then find an expensive way to deal with the resulting sickness.

            Synchronicity!

            Same goes for killing the earth...

            Health insurance companies, even those that are not-for-profit, have to collect more money in premiums than they shell out in claims for medical care. That means they have a financial incentive not to pay for things.

            And since health insurance companies can no longer shun the sick to maximize profits -- either by denying coverage to people based on their medical histories or by rescinding the policies of paying customers who fall ill and rack up bills -- insurers are employing other tactics to shift costs to sick people and make it harder to get health care, consumer advocates say.

            "One of the things that occurred to me, even as the bill was working its way through Congress, was that once it was passed, insurers would do all they could to try to preserve profit margins," said Wendell Potter, a former Cigna executive turned industry critic.

            from

            huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/health-insurance-obamacare_n_5599544.html

            More Fear, More Profit. Its Math.

            by Pattern Math on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:28:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Googled (4+ / 0-)

            Your search - "If you already have insurance, we'll lower your family's premium by $2500 per year." - did not match any documents.

            Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

            by 88kathy on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:30:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not arguing that Obama didn't mislead (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JJ In Illinois, limpidglass

            people.  He did, and it was intentional.   He has a habit of throwing out sweet-sounding talking points and then adding fine print later which waters down or outright nullifies the clearly implied meaning of his words.  it's classic sleazy lawyer behavior and it's routine for him.

    •  no idea what $2500 you're talking about (4+ / 0-)

      I never saw any promises that premiums would go down -- spending on health care, yes, especially in Medicare and Medicaid; rate of increase, yes; but total premiums (before subsidies are applied)? I don't think so.

      •  lol.. you're kidding, right? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, limpidglass

        That was Obama's stock campaign promise.. "If you already have insurance, we'll lower your family's premium by $2500 per year."

        He must have said it hundreds of times.. search youtube for "obama $2500 per year".

        While I realize the final form of ACA may not be what Obama had in mind while campaigning, ACA was sold to the American people through BS and distortions and unkeepable promises.

        •  BreitBart says 19 times but I don't link to him. (5+ / 0-)

          Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

          by 88kathy on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:33:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps you should search other than (8+ / 0-)

          youtube for your information.  The facts are that you are right about the president's optimism when in 2008, before the Act was even passed (it passed in 2010) he said:

          " Obama, June 5, 2008: In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. And we’ll do it by investing in disease prevention, not just disease management; by investing in a paperless health care system to reduce administrative costs; and by covering every single American and making sure that they can take their health care with them if they lose their job. … And we won’t do all this twenty years from now, or ten years from now. We’ll do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States."

          These were projections with everything falling into place.

          In 2009 he said:  "Obama, May 13, 2009: On Monday I met with representatives of the insurance and the drug companies, doctors and hospitals, and labor unions, groups that included some of the strongest critics of past comprehensive reform proposals. We discussed how they’re pledging to do their part to reduce our nation’s health care spending by 1.5 percent per year. Coupled with comprehensive reform, this could result in our nation saving over $2 trillion over the next 10 years, and that could save families $2,500 in the coming years — $2,500 per family."

          Factcheck.org said:  "The promise was “still optimistic.” But, he didn’t promise this would be done by the end of his first term and Obama didn’t promise that premiums “would drop,” as Cruz put it. The Obama administration told us that future spending could be $2,500 per family lower compared with what it was otherwise projected to be.

          A year later, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle told ABC News that the law needs to play out before savings materialize. She said “by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”

          You are one of those who will fault the president no matter what. However, this monumental achievement, something never done before in our over 200 years as a country was huge.  We have seen flaws, glitches, court decisions against and for, and governors of red states not getting on board.

          What the President said in 2008 and 2009 were projections, and they were optimistic, but remember:

          Without Obamacare, your insurance rates would continue to rise each and every year way beyond what they are now.  We would still be in the stupid and inhumane clutches of the Insurance Industry with 60% of our bankruptcies due to medical bills.  

          Let it go.  You are harboring quotes that have no meaning now.  Obamacare was going to pass regardless.  It is a good thing.

          •  And no offense... (0+ / 0-)

            but you are one of the one's who will pick every nit to defend the president. Pour some
            Quell on it and run the comb through, you can parse some more excuses. I'm on your side, but admit it, if a Republican had said the same things, there would be no end of the diaries on here calling him or her a liar.

            •  Here's my answer to you, and BTW (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NevadaDem048

              thanks for being civil.  I am retired from the health field after 25 years working in hospital settings.  I have watched the insurance industry game the system of unpaid hospital bills by raising premiums making it so those who had insurance paid the brunt of the losses incurred.  I have seen the pain and suffering of those without insurance who are treated in the ER for serious medical problems only to know that followup care and long-term treatment would never happen for these folks; many times never fully recovering as those with ongoing care would.

              I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to Europe many times, and have talked to locals comparing their health access and costs to ours.

              We could never sustain our system before Obamacare.  President Obama saw this need, knew it would not be easy, nor that it would bring the results needed on day one.  The ACA is a work in progress and will take on many changes.

              I think I know enough about our medical access situation  and health care shortcomings to have been able to read between the lines if it were a Republican president who took the challenge, as I have with this president.  It was a hard sell and he is still having to sell it.

          •  I admitted such in my comment: (0+ / 0-)
            While I realize the final form of ACA may not be what Obama had in mind while campaigning
            So sue me.
        •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limpidglass, NevadaDem048

          Well... Obama also said that if you like your current insurance you would be able to keep it.

          don't drone me, bro

          by BradMajors on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:05:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I did the research, and here's what I found (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, middleagedhousewife, askew

          What Obama repeatedly promised in 2008 (before he was elected, and before the Republicans fought his version of Obamacare) was:

          1. Offer both controlling health care costs AND Expanding healthcare coverage for millions who had no coverage.

          2.  Lower health care costs and pass that savings on to you.

          3.  The average FAMILY (not just you lil o you, JJ in Illinois, sorry) of 4 would seen a reduction in "up to" or "on average" $2500 in premiums.

          4.  Create insurance pools

          5. Forbid discrimination based on preexisting conditions

          6. Not change the employer-employee health insurance relationship

          7. Put more money into preventative care

          8. Invest in information technology to eliminate bureaucracy and make the system more efficient

          This will cost some money on the front end, but over the long term this is the only way that not only are we going to make families healthy, but it's also how we're going to save the federal budget, because we can't afford these escalating costs.
          John McCain's solution to the healthcare crisis was to promise each family a $5000 tax refundable credit to partially pay for your family premium.  Something he never fought for while ACA was actually up for negotiation.

          2008 Third Presidential Debate

          The truth is that folks who take their marching orders from reading Breitbart will misread the President and ignore "up to" "on average" to claim "You Lie" because the truth is that even with the bill that passed that wasn't everything Obama wanted, unlike most American politicians, he actually delivered on most of his promises and we now have a healthier nation of citizens who can exercise their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without worrying about having no health care and bankruptcy as their only options in catastrophic circumstances.  

          And from Kaiser:

          Until today’s report, little information was available about insurance rates in most of the 36 states whose online marketplaces will be overseen entirely or partially by the federal government because state leaders opted out of running their own.

          The analysis showed huge variations among states:  A family of four making $50,000 in Wyoming, for instance, would pay $1,237 a month on average for a midlevel plan before subsidies, compared to $584 a month on average in Tennessee. After subsidies are added in, however, the cost to both families would be $282 because the amount they pay is linked to their income, not to the cost of coverage.

          Kaiser Health News

          You tell me how that's not "up to" or "on average" a reduction of up to $2500 per family for those families in Wyoming and Tennessee?  Oh, you're right, it's more.

          If all the RW has is a hissy fit made by misquoting Obama and then getting self-righteous about it, it's no wonder their party is in disrepair.  If all you have is fake carping then your party is nothing but an empty powerless cipher full of bombast and hot air.  If the Republicans actually cared about families they way they say they care about families, then they'd have an alternative plan, and after 6 years, they still got Nothing. After 6 years of George Bush, we had a war of choice based on a lie, and he & the Republican Party had bankrupted the nation.  The choice is simple.

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:37:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh,forgot to add "lol...you're kidding, right?" nt (0+ / 0-)

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:39:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  well.. first off it was meant to be snarky.. (0+ / 0-)

            I could not believe anyone wouldn't have remembered the droning of the $2500 savings promise during his campaign.

            Second.. I admitted in my comment that a campaign promise is not the same reality as legislation from Dems in Congress fighting a uncooperative opposition party.

            However.. the basic sentiment I was trying to present is solid - the American people were sold a bill of goods.  There is no way in hell an insurance system based on private insurance providers - who are forced to provide better minimum coverage and unable to cancel or refuse sick people - could ever lower total costs.  I knew it then as I know it now.  There could be some efficiencies squeezed out of the system, sure.  But overall, this was going to cost people more.

    •  The 2008 Promise against the 2014 Reality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bufffan20

      Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

      by 88kathy on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:49:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Naive to think such a thing could be "promised" (0+ / 0-)

      With all the puts and takes, public and private entities, variables in the healthcare system, I never thought this was anything but an estimate of the potential.

      It was/is a goal, and it was and is premised on features of the law aimed at reducing overall costs.

      I think this is childish nitpicking (just as "you like your plan, you can keep it" was).  

      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:20:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  $2500 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, askew

      Obama never promised that in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act.    His $2500 guestimate was based on the healthcare proposal which he made during his 2008 Presidential campaign which included a public option and many other things not in the Affordable Care Act.

      It's pure apples to oranges and ridiculous to hold Obama's campaign rhetoric to the final law which was a compromise between many many interests that bore little resemblence to Obama's campaign healthcare plan (which had no mandate either).  

  •  18.6% increase in NY State, here, for an... (4+ / 0-)

    ...for an off-exchange, "premium" plan via BCBS. Just received the notice letter a few weeks ago. Kicks in June/July 2015.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:43:14 AM PDT

  •  My Health Care Experience is Mine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass, Zumrum13

    My Health Care in 2008 had no deductible, with a $20 co-pay. A knee surgery might have cost oh, $500 out-of-pocket then. I paid about $5-6000/yr to cover my family.

    Now my health care has a $3300 deductible, with a $10000 cap, and I pay about $5000/yr for that privilege.

    I don't know about anyone else, but MY health care costs have just gone through the roof. Literally! er, Figuratively...

    I just shelled out $3800 to pay for knee surgery for my wife. The receptionist / billing clerk kept re-checking the numbers, looking back and forth between documents. We finally asked her what was wrong and she said "I've never seen anyone pay this much out-of-pocket for this procedure."

    If my experience is in the least typical of others', yeah, I can see why there is squawking about Obamacare.

    "Come on, single payer!" is my mantra.

    You can tell me why my costs have skyrocketed, but you can't tell me that I am wrong. MY costs have gone way, way, way up!

    •  obviously, you need to look past the minutiae-- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluesee, USA Driver, OuijaForestCat

      i.e., your actual medical bills and other details of your actual situation--and look at the bigger picture, i.e. the beauty of the decades-old free-market-based health insurance scheme that the Democrats pilfered from Bob Dole and sold as an awesome new idea.

      Isn't it awesome that Obama outsmarted the Republicans by taking Romney's own health care plan, implementing it, and daring him to run against it? And isn't it great that he made sure the Democrats received all the credit for it (admittedly, the Republicans did their part by refusing to vote for it no matter what concessions Obama made to conservatives).

      Let's keep our eye on the ball, huh? Obama and the Democrats' political situation--that's what matters here. Whether you actually are better off is a triviality that might theoretically, at some later date, be addressed by the hypothetical future fixes that the law's defenders talk about whenever someone says that things aren't getting better for them under the ACA.

      Things could have been worse, and they might get better--so there's no reason for you to complain!

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:22:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  HAHAHAHAH! (0+ / 0-)

        ..thanks for the laugh!

      •  Overton windows have shifted so far to the right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limpidglass, Bluesee

        that Romneycare is now a triumph of progressive legislating.  It's kinda funny really.   Imagine Obama in 2008 saying

        "Okay, liberals, I'm going to give you nationalized Romneycare, and I'll teach you to love it!   I will transform you and your liberal friends into enthusiastic cheerleaders for Romneycare and the for-profit insurance industry.  You don't believe me?  Just wait, you'll see."
        Here we are in 2014, and the default liberal Democratic position on heathcare is  "Romneycare is fuckin' awesome!"
        •  I think a big reason (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bluesee

          the Democrats are so insistent on making the ACA a campaign issue is simply to provide free advertising for the insurance companies.

          The ACA turned every government official from Obama on down into a pitchman/woman for the insurance industry. It's true that politics has always been a way of advertising for various products, but now it's been taken to another level.

          Because every time Obama pounds the pulpit on the ACA, under the guise of campaigning and "raising awareness" of the new law, he's really flacking for Wellpoint and BCBS. What better pitchman can you have than the president of the United States--a man whom nearly 66 million Americans voted their confidence in?

          It's brilliant--the insurers outsource their advertising operations to politicians and save oodles of money. Every time CNN shows Obama speaking on the ACA, it's a free PR spot for insurers which reaches millions through the media megaphone. Every press release the WH makes on the ACA is a free publicity flyer for the insurers.

          The brilliance is that people don't know they're watching advertising--they think they're watching a popular president discuss important issues! And there are many fewer restrictions on campaign promises than there are on ads (where you are legally constrained by truth-in-advertising laws).

          Given its remarkable success, this model will no doubt be further refined and expanded in the coming years. Other things (like private retirement insurance to replace Social Security) will be sold the same way. There's likely to be a battle as various economic constituencies rush to be the first in line to have their products sold this way.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:11:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Curious, what insurance did you have in 2008 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluesee, middleagedhousewife, askew

      that had no deductible and a $20 co-pay.  Was the co-pay applied to all Rx, regular doctors visits, specialists, ER care with or without admittance?  Seems high for a flat Rx co-pay in 2008, low for an ER visit without admittance.  

      Your family costs of $5-6K is slightly lower than average in 2008 for premiums for non-Cadillac coverage (Cadillac coverage for families could cost upward of $24,000 per year), so I wonder which plan you had, through which insurance company.  

      No employer subsidies?  No government subsidies?

      Your experience is your experience and I have no wish to challenge your claims, but I am curious since what you describe is unusual.  We both support single payer, and my one hope with ACA is that it becomes the baseline from which we can move to either single payer or nationalized healthcare.  

      Best wishes.

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:55:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Employer Susbidies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uncle Moji

        Yes, that was part of my overall package; my employer paid a good chunk of it then, but now probably a lot less.

        I suppose it isn't just the evil insurers, its also the evil employers taking advantage of the changes.

        The actual plan (Aetna) had no ceiling, IIRC, but no deductible, zero dollars. Last year I was "hit" with a $1000 deductible, this year it is $3300; my employer promises to cover $800 of that (I'll believe it when I see it), leaving net $2500.

        I was willing to shoulder a little of the burden to help my fellow man, but now I'm left feeling a bit like a chump.

        My thoughts are that once insurers are a thing of the past, we can work on bringing down medical costs. We should pay no more than an Englishman for quality health care. Or a French person! Of either gender!

        *- All of this being said, there was that incident in which they failed to cover my daughters knee twist (we have weak knees, I guess?), for which the hospital tracked me down seven years later for the delinquent bill ~$3000. Many, many hours of discussion later, I was assured it was taken care of. It never was! My credit history shows me as being a bum that year, an eternal splotch on my pristine credit history!

        •  Oh, and One Other Thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji

          Of course ER visits and out-of-plan and specialists cost more, maybe $40-100 per. The $20 was for routine office visits.

          Now it's 20%, not $20, so I'm wondering how much more I'll be paying there. I doubt any office visit is less than $20 these days!

          •  What you describe is a rarity, a white whale (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bluesee, middleagedhousewife

            for most employer subsidized insurance, that is, zero deductible and no ceiling, and since you note a 20% cost, I assume that means your employer now offers an 80/20% plan, which is the gold standard for private employers.  The next option is usually 75/25% and I have seen one with a 90/10% and one with a 100/0% but those are relics or becoming relics of the past.  This is entirely due to the rise in healthcare costs and employers deciding to pass on more of the actual costs of healthcare to their employees, following a practice (I disagree with) that if you cause employees pain, they won't exploit the system.  

            All private insurance sucks.  I wish it were not so.

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:27:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I also had one come after me, for a deliquent bill (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bluesee

          and it took two months but I unraveled the problem because I have worked in benefits and understand how this mess works.  If I hadn't had the HR benefits experience, I doubt I would have been able to fix my credit.

          They all suck.

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:29:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Your search for "decent human beings" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit

    is doomed to fail, as long as it's directed at the lockstep, obstructionist, frat-house GOP.

    
    
    ... and always remember: "Ben — GAHH — Zee!"

  •  Considering inflation of 2% and 2% in higher (0+ / 0-)

    incomes an 8% increase is terrible, although a 15% increase would certainly be worse.

    I'm still waiting for ACA to meet its promise of lower premiums.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:03:38 AM PDT

  •  Wow. Bragging about 7-8% annual premium hikes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass

    Talk about lowered expectations. Five years ago I don't think anybody here would have predicted they'd be boasting about a "reform" that produced 7-8% annual premium hikes.   In a real reform premiums would have gone down or stayed flat.

    •  Real reform would have eliminated premiums (0+ / 0-)

      paid to corporate health care insurers.  We would have a nationalized system and eliminate private insurers, private pay, and private clinicians.  Our taxes would increase, but it means NO ONE would ever have to worry about producing papers with proof of insurance, or paying a cent out of pocket for any procedure or visit.  

      Having worked in HR negotiating employer health care costs, I can tell you, for those of us in the business, a 7-8% premium hike is low.  At one point, we were experiencing increases in the 18-28% range per year, and thinking about how we could cut benefits to pay for subsidized employee health care costs.  

      It's all context and experience, I guess.  

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:01:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Competition is going up, too (0+ / 0-)

    Last year, the exchange for NC saw only 2 companies - BCBSNC statewide and Coventry in about 40 counties.

    This year, United Health Care has jumped into the mix, forcing BCBS and Coventry to be very careful with their offerings and pricing.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:07:53 AM PDT

  •  BCBS was overwhelmed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit

    took 6 weeks to get insurance cards which were due on June 1. Paid full price for 3 doctors visits and prescriptions. Mass confusion on prescription prices. Not blaming this on Obama, but the insurers are clearly giving their C game keeping up.

    First year can't use my own doctor for biometric discount. Gee, what will it be next year?

    Tryst me, we have plenty to worry about. Premium spikes is but one.

  •  Prior to ACA, my premiums went up 1/3 per yr (4+ / 0-)

    It was getting so expensive I had to cut back on services and increase my co-pays to afford the payments.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:22:58 AM PDT

    •  Premium hikes (5+ / 0-)

      I had a hike as much as $100 one year.  This year, my hike is only $25.  My insurance company has also had to refund me money for two years in a row, for failing to spend the requirement (I think 80%) of their profits on actual health care.

    •  I used to work in HR, and the year we reduced (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, middleagedhousewife

      our average premium to 18%, we were ecstatic, because we had been battling increases of 21% and 25% and we were about to have to cut benefits to continue to offer something affordable.  

      Obamacare has done something significant, and that is that access to healthcare is now considered a right, and no matter what the Republicans do, that has changed the threshold by which we discuss improvements to ACA (like single payer or a nationalized system), something Mitch McConnell is having to finesses with KYnectCare.  

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:44:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our premium doubled, but there are some asterisks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    middleagedhousewife

    First, we replaced a high deductible ($5,000) plan with a not-so-high ($1,500) Silver plan.  There are  some trade-offs: 70% coverage vs 80% coverage once the deductible is met vs. no cap on total payoffs, and assorted other things that are common to ACA plans -- including no dropping the coverage if we get sick or injured. We also moved to Texas, and coverage here is not cheap.

    There is also the cost of buying a separate plan for our college sophomore where we could have her on our plan before.  Law says we should be able to do that now, but the exchange (and all the exchange helpers) couldn't find a way to make it happen.

    The subsidy keeps our costs comparable to what we were paying before -- so long as the courts don't knock it down and so long as we don't have a good year income-wise.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:36:34 AM PDT

    •  Why can't you just go out and buy a policy (0+ / 0-)

      for your college sophomore from an off-exchange insurer? I guarantee that there were insurance companies willing to sell your kid a policy if you paid money for it. And college sophomores don't cost a lot to insure.

      •  We did buy her a policy. (0+ / 0-)

        And she cost more than you might think.

        It would have been cheaper to put her on our policy, but we couldn't make that happen.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 02:09:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My premiums DROPPED! (4+ / 0-)

    My insurance (BCBS of Kansas; under their small business pool) dropped by around $70 per month for my joint spousal policy share.
    Since the spousal share addition is within $15 of the same price as a single policy for our plan, I was pretty impressed!

    To the left, to the left....

    by CWinebrinner on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:39:12 AM PDT

    •  if yours dropped, someone else's had to go up (0+ / 0-)

      Otherwise the insurance companies would've lost money.

      This is a simple rule that the law's proponents overlook. Because the law didn't eliminate the for-profit nature of health insurance (and indeed entrenched it!), for every winner the ACA created, someone else had to be a loser. This is why the ACA will end up dividing the Democratic base--some will be screwed by the law, some will (temporarily, anyway) benefit, and because the law is so damned complicated, people won't understand why.

      The way out of this was to declare the entire private insurance industry to be the losers, so that the rest of us could be winners (i.e., single payer). But this was not what Obama was hired to do.

      His job was to get the camel's nose under the tent in the scheme to privatize Medicare. Now with Roberts' verdict that it's constitutional for the government to require its citizens to purchase products from corporations, that crucial first step has been taken. Now they're going to go full steam ahead at the first opportunity they have (the first economic downturn they get).

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:48:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bufffan20

        I think we should have stuck with single payer, and the insurance companies be damned.  Too many people are still not qualifying, especially in states that refused to set up exchanges.

        But the ACA would have never come close to passing with single payer included, no matter how much we wish otherwise.

        The compromise is a step in the right direction, even if it's not the full mile we wanted.

        To the left, to the left....

        by CWinebrinner on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:02:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is not necessarily true (2+ / 0-)

        IIRC, the exchanges still have minimum amounts of money that must be used to cover medical expenses.  It's entirely possible that they found they have to refund money and thus dropped the premiums.

      •  Don't the Germans (0+ / 0-)

        and Dutch have insurers operated as public utilities with regulated rates?

        Overhead is limited to 15% or 20% in the two markets, but that does not mean they have to reach those levels of overhead...squeeze them margins down thru more rate regulation at the state commissioner level.

  •  There might be a MASSIVE premium spike (0+ / 0-)

    Now that they got one of the district courts to rule against the ObamaCare subsidy in states where there's no state exchange, where people sign up through the federal exchange.

    One district court says "yes", another says "no", so it goes to the Supremes. And those people? Holy fuck. It'd be a big spike for my premium, and for millions of others who qualified for the subsidy using the federal exchange.

    NM doesn't have an exchange because of Susana Martinez. I hope we can get this out in a way that will stand in the way of her getting re-elected.

    I wonder if BrainWrap is working on the numbers of how many people would be affected by this?

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:56:59 AM PDT

  •  where do I complain? (0+ / 0-)

    My premiums have more than doubled.  Where can I complain and get a refund for my skyrocketing premiums?

  •  Mine spiked (0+ / 0-)

    Bronze level plan from Kaiser was one third more than the same (pre ACA) low level plan from Kaiser. Plus, I was not informed of the price increase in time to purchase my plan from the federal site until after open enrollment ended. Now I'm stuck paying the increased premium until November. Just in time for the SCROTUS to kill the subsidy. Maybe I'll still be able to take the premiums off my business taxes.

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