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Author Topic: ObamaCare costs going up even higher.  (Read 1317 times)
Soul Crusher
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« on: September 29, 2017, 11:52:11 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-obamacare-victims-20170929-story.html

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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 11:57:41 AM »

Squeezed again: Americans burdened by Obamacare now face even higher costs under Trump


Jim Hansen is one of millions of Americans who get health insurance on their own, rather than through an employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid. They are being increasingly squeezed as insurance markets teeter around the country. (Matthew Staver / For The Times)


 
Jim Hansen and his wife considered themselves fortunate when they retired five years ago.

The Denver couple, both electrical engineers, were healthy. They’d socked away an ample nest egg. And they found health insurance that, if not cheap, seemed reasonable for two people in their late 50s.

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Then, the math started to change. Since 2015, the couple’s annual premiums have more than tripled and may hit nearly $18,000 next year.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Hansen, who has had to recalculate his retirement finances.


The Affordable Care Act made life-saving protections available to millions, many for the first time. But the transformation of the nation’s insurance markets has been a bumpy ride, particularly for one group — people like Hansen who get health insurance on their own, rather than through a job, but whose income is too high to qualify for government aid.

Now, these same consumers, whom Republicans have held up as victims of the current law, stand to see insurance bills soar even higher unless Congress acts quickly to stabilize insurance markets that have been weakened by the Trump administration.

Hansen’s insurer, Cigna, plans to increase premiums for individual insurance plans in Colorado by an average of 31% for 2018 -- one of many double-digit increases slated to hit consumers around the country next year.

“Many of these people are just normal, middle-class folks,” said former Kansas insurance commissioner Sandy Praeger. “And they’re just not going to be able to afford coverage.”

Praeger, a Republican, is among a bipartisan chorus of state regulators, governors and health insurance officials urging Congress to take a set of relatively simple steps to stabilize markets and help consumers like Hansen.

A group of Republican and Democratic senators is now racing to put together legislation.

The work was derailed in mid-September by the recent GOP push to repeal the law. Negotiations in the Senate health committee have now resumed, but it’s unclear whether a bill can make it through a bitterly divided Congress in time for insurers to scale back big premium hikes planned for 2018.

“They need to act yesterday if not sooner,” said Anthony Wright, head of Health Access California, a leading consumer advocate in the state.

Before the Affordable Care Act, the so-called individual market survived largely because insurers were able to turn away sick consumers, allowing health plans to keep premiums in check for the healthy people they chose to serve.

That meant millions of Americans were locked out of coverage if they had pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes. Even minor ailments such as acne were used to deny coverage.

At the same time, health plans routinely imposed annual and lifetime caps on how much medical care they would cover and excluded coverage of prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse treatment and other services.

“This was a critical weak link in our system,” said Karen Pollitz, a market expert at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

But for healthy Americans, plans could be relatively affordable, especially for consumers willing to buy plans with high deductibles or limited benefits.

For the first few years after Hansen and his wife retired in 2012, they enrolled in plans that cost less than $5,000 a year.

“That worked for us,” explained Hansen, who lives in a modest brick house in one of Denver’s older neighborhoods.

He budgeted about $100,000 for health insurance in the couple’s retirement plan, calculating that would get him and his wife to age 65, when they would qualify for Medicare, the government health plan for the elderly.

Then the market began to change.

The advent of new consumer protections in 2014, including guaranteed coverage for the sick, brought consumers with untreated illnesses, many of whom couldn’t previously get insurance, into the market. That pushed up insurance premiums for healthier people.

Hansen and his wife kept their premiums in check for a couple years by switching to plans with higher deductibles.

Then, in 2016, their annual premium for a plan with a $7,000 deductible jumped from $4,350 to $13,200.

It got worse in 2017, forcing the couple to switch plans and switch doctors.

Although the specifics of what will happen to Hansen’s plan haven’t been finalized, according to a company spokesman, the 31% increase the company expects on average would put the couple’s 2018 premium at $17,685.

“Needless to say, we’re pretty angry,” Hansen said.

“Something just seems way out of whack here,” he said. “It seems like everything about the way we are being treated is unfair.”

The vast majority of Americans receive substantial government assistance to buy health insurance.

People who get a health plan through an employer get a tax break because health benefits aren’t taxable. That tax benefit is most valuable to upper-income Americans.

Americans older than 65, who qualify for Medicare, also get help. Although they paid into the program through payroll taxes, those payments cover only part of the program’s cost, and the government significantly subsidizes the cost of care.

The poorest Americans typically qualify for nearly free care through Medicaid.

And even many of the people who buy insurance on their own now get assistance through subsidies provided by the 2010 law. Those subsidies – available to consumers with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, or between $12,060 and $48,240 – have protected many from the recent rate hike and in many cases mean the difference between a double-digit rate hike and a rate decrease after subsidies.

But more than 10 million Americans - some uninsured — don’t fit into any of those categories and, as a result, don’t get any assistance.

Their difficulties have been a major focus of Republican calls to repeal the current law and loosen insurance regulations to make coverage more affordable.

The changes the GOP has proposed might help some consumers, according to independent analyses by the Congressional Budget Office and others. But looser regulations would also likely mean higher costs for people with pre-existing medical conditions and for many older consumers nearing retirement, the budget office and others have warned.

Other GOP plans also have included proposals to give Americans who buy health coverage on their own the same tax break enjoyed by people who get coverage through an employer.

In the short term, most state regulators, insurers, consumer advocates and others say Congress and the Trump administration could slow rate hikes for people like Hansen with a few basic steps.

These include providing funding to protect insurers from high-cost patients and to offset the cost of consumers who can’t afford their deductibles and co-pays.

It also includes enforcing the law’s requirement that everyone have insurance and aggressively working to get more people to sign up for health plans. The Trump administration is instead making plans to dramatically scale back advertising and outreach efforts for 2018.

“The best thing we can do for people is to enroll a whole lot of healthy folks,” said Christopher Koller, the former insurance commissioner of Rhode Island.

For his part, Hansen said he and his wife will be able to keep paying their premiums. “For us, it’s survivable,” he said. “We’re lucky.”

But he remains perplexed by the inability of leaders in Washington to address the problem. “It seems like reasonable people ought to be able to fix this,” he said.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 12:42:09 PM »

Squeezed again: Americans burdened by Obamacare now face even higher costs under Trump


Jim Hansen is one of millions of Americans who get health insurance on their own, rather than through an employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid. They are being increasingly squeezed as insurance markets teeter around the country. (Matthew Staver / For The Times)


 
Jim Hansen and his wife considered themselves fortunate when they retired five years ago.

The Denver couple, both electrical engineers, were healthy. They’d socked away an ample nest egg. And they found health insurance that, if not cheap, seemed reasonable for two people in their late 50s.

ADVERTISING

Then, the math started to change. Since 2015, the couple’s annual premiums have more than tripled and may hit nearly $18,000 next year.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Hansen, who has had to recalculate his retirement finances.


The Affordable Care Act made life-saving protections available to millions, many for the first time. But the transformation of the nation’s insurance markets has been a bumpy ride, particularly for one group — people like Hansen who get health insurance on their own, rather than through a job, but whose income is too high to qualify for government aid.

Now, these same consumers, whom Republicans have held up as victims of the current law, stand to see insurance bills soar even higher unless Congress acts quickly to stabilize insurance markets that have been weakened by the Trump administration.

Hansen’s insurer, Cigna, plans to increase premiums for individual insurance plans in Colorado by an average of 31% for 2018 -- one of many double-digit increases slated to hit consumers around the country next year.

“Many of these people are just normal, middle-class folks,” said former Kansas insurance commissioner Sandy Praeger. “And they’re just not going to be able to afford coverage.”

Praeger, a Republican, is among a bipartisan chorus of state regulators, governors and health insurance officials urging Congress to take a set of relatively simple steps to stabilize markets and help consumers like Hansen.

A group of Republican and Democratic senators is now racing to put together legislation.

The work was derailed in mid-September by the recent GOP push to repeal the law
.
Negotiations in the Senate health committee have now resumed, but it’s unclear whether a bill can make it through a bitterly divided Congress in time for insurers to scale back big premium hikes planned for 2018.

“They need to act yesterday if not sooner,” said Anthony Wright, head of Health Access California, a leading consumer advocate in the state.

Before the Affordable Care Act, the so-called individual market survived largely because insurers were able to turn away sick consumers, allowing health plans to keep premiums in check for the healthy people they chose to serve.

That meant millions of Americans were locked out of coverage if they had pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes. Even minor ailments such as acne were used to deny coverage.

At the same time, health plans routinely imposed annual and lifetime caps on how much medical care they would cover and excluded coverage of prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse treatment and other services.

“This was a critical weak link in our system,” said Karen Pollitz, a market expert at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

But for healthy Americans, plans could be relatively affordable, especially for consumers willing to buy plans with high deductibles or limited benefits.

For the first few years after Hansen and his wife retired in 2012, they enrolled in plans that cost less than $5,000 a year.

“That worked for us,” explained Hansen, who lives in a modest brick house in one of Denver’s older neighborhoods.

He budgeted about $100,000 for health insurance in the couple’s retirement plan, calculating that would get him and his wife to age 65, when they would qualify for Medicare, the government health plan for the elderly.

Then the market began to change.

The advent of new consumer protections in 2014, including guaranteed coverage for the sick, brought consumers with untreated illnesses, many of whom couldn’t previously get insurance, into the market. That pushed up insurance premiums for healthier people.

Hansen and his wife kept their premiums in check for a couple years by switching to plans with higher deductibles.

Then, in 2016, their annual premium for a plan with a $7,000 deductible jumped from $4,350 to $13,200.

It got worse in 2017, forcing the couple to switch plans and switch doctors.

Although the specifics of what will happen to Hansen’s plan haven’t been finalized, according to a company spokesman, the 31% increase the company expects on average would put the couple’s 2018 premium at $17,685.

“Needless to say, we’re pretty angry,” Hansen said.

“Something just seems way out of whack here,” he said. “It seems like everything about the way we are being treated is unfair.”

The vast majority of Americans receive substantial government assistance to buy health insurance.

People who get a health plan through an employer get a tax break because health benefits aren’t taxable. That tax benefit is most valuable to upper-income Americans.

Americans older than 65, who qualify for Medicare, also get help. Although they paid into the program through payroll taxes, those payments cover only part of the program’s cost, and the government significantly subsidizes the cost of care.

The poorest Americans typically qualify for nearly free care through Medicaid.

And even many of the people who buy insurance on their own now get assistance through subsidies provided by the 2010 law. Those subsidies – available to consumers with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, or between $12,060 and $48,240 – have protected many from the recent rate hike and in many cases mean the difference between a double-digit rate hike and a rate decrease after subsidies.

But more than 10 million Americans - some uninsured — don’t fit into any of those categories and, as a result, don’t get any assistance.

Their difficulties have been a major focus of Republican calls to repeal the current law and loosen insurance regulations to make coverage more affordable.

The changes the GOP has proposed might help some consumers, according to independent analyses by the Congressional Budget Office and others. But looser regulations would also likely mean higher costs for people with pre-existing medical conditions and for many older consumers nearing retirement, the budget office and others have warned.

Other GOP plans also have included proposals to give Americans who buy health coverage on their own the same tax break enjoyed by people who get coverage through an employer.

In the short term, most state regulators, insurers, consumer advocates and others say Congress and the Trump administration could slow rate hikes for people like Hansen with a few basic steps.

These include providing funding to protect insurers from high-cost patients and to offset the cost of consumers who can’t afford their deductibles and co-pays.

It also includes enforcing the law’s requirement that everyone have insurance and aggressively working to get more people to sign up for health plans. The Trump administration is instead making plans to dramatically scale back advertising and outreach efforts for 2018.
“The best thing we can do for people is to enroll a whole lot of healthy folks,” said Christopher Koller, the former insurance commissioner of Rhode Island.



For his part, Hansen said he and his wife will be able to keep paying their premiums. “For us, it’s survivable,” he said. “We’re lucky.”

But he remains perplexed by the inability of leaders in Washington to address the problem. “It seems like reasonable people ought to be able to fix this,” he said.


good article

thanks for posting
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 01:02:16 PM »


Doesn't matter. Obamacare is imploding. Shit program sold on a proven admitted lie. Strawman and the likes of him still fall for it. Obama makes Madoff look he robbed a 5 year olds piggybank full of pennies
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 01:46:39 PM »

Doesn't matter. Obamacare is imploding. Shit program sold on a proven admitted lie. Strawman and the likes of him still fall for it. Obama makes Madoff look he robbed a 5 year olds piggybank full of pennies

Obamacare is the worst law passed in my lifetime.  What a complete farce. 
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 02:20:14 PM »

Doesn't matter. Obamacare is imploding. Shit program sold on a proven admitted lie. Strawman and the likes of him still fall for it. Obama makes Madoff look he robbed a 5 year olds piggybank full of pennies

That's because the president is PURPOSELY trying to make it fail by cutting funds and also cutting the sign up time.....Its AMAZING that a sitting president is actively trying to destroy a federal program that helps the poor and middle class
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 02:21:48 PM »

Obamacare is the worst law passed in my lifetime.  What a complete farce. 

I'd bet my life that YOU are on Obamacare...you paid back all those student loans yet, deadbeat???
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 04:23:24 PM »

Don't worry, if the rinos ever pass anything, healthcare will cost even more.
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2017, 04:29:49 PM »

I'd bet my life that YOU are on Obamacare...you paid back all those student loans yet, deadbeat???

Not on welfare like you fat boy.
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2017, 04:40:59 PM »

Obamacare is the worst law passed in my lifetime.  What a complete farce. 
x2
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2017, 04:54:32 PM »

x2

Bro - I need to find a new plan by January again! 3 plan I have had getting cancelled due to fagcare - and each time costs have skyrocketed
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2017, 04:59:53 PM »

Bro - I need to find a new plan by January again! 3 plan I have had getting cancelled due to fagcare - and each time costs have skyrocketed
It's ridiculous. If they get rid of the fines for not having insurance, I might drop it all together. It's out of control.
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2017, 07:04:40 PM »

The healthcare situation is insane. Not only do we pay exorbitant amounts, we get truly shit care.

I've been going to the same general practicioner for almost 15 years. Back then, I saw an actual doctor. He'd come in the room, listen to any concerns I had, give me an exam, and then move on. It wasn't perfect, but at least I saw a doctor.

These days, that same doctor now own 3 "clinics" and when I go in for a checkup, I first see someone that wears scrubs that isn't quite a nurse, who'll ask me how I am, take my blood pressure and check my temperature. Then she'll leave, and 15 or 20 minutes later, a physician's assistant will walk in, greet me, ask me how I am, check the blood pressure measurements, ask me if I have any concerns, sign off on 6 month refills on my meds and excuse himself. In and out in 3 minutes flat.

I don't blame the doctors, or PAs or the nurses. I have no doubt that the want to provide excellent care and that the problems with the system are both multifaceted and complex. I just think that, given the money we pay, we deserve something better than the equivalent of 5 minute oil change at a Jiffy Lube.

Ultimately, the system needs to be gutted and replaced in its entirety with something that works for the patients and makes sense.
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 07:16:25 PM »

x2

Patriot Act is 100x worse that ACA

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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2017, 07:18:16 PM »

Bro - I need to find a new plan by January again! 3 plan I have had getting cancelled due to fagcare - and each time costs have skyrocketed

have you checked in the group plans available through the NYC bar association

I gave you that link a month or so ago

I'm on a group plan through a professional association and I pay ~ 396 a month (up from ~395 in prior year)
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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2017, 05:52:46 AM »

have you checked in the group plans available through the NYC bar association

I gave you that link a month or so ago

I'm on a group plan through a professional association and I pay ~ 396 a month (up from ~395 in prior year)

They don't allow it in NYS
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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2017, 08:32:29 AM »

Patriot Act is 100x worse that ACA


Both terrible and forced on us by the government.
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« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2017, 08:35:54 AM »

This is ALL the master plan..... TPTB are letting the system crash so the govnt can swoop in and "help" by going to universal
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« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2017, 09:48:30 AM »



Yes because Donald Trump is intentionally crashing it by removing govenment payouts and threatening to cut even more.  Speculators for insurance companies are going to naturally raise it
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A
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2017, 04:20:09 PM »

Premiums higher? Thank the republicans. They've been sabotaging healthcare for at least 8 years.
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2017, 04:25:58 PM »

Premiums higher? Thank the republicans. They've been sabotaging healthcare for at least 8 years.

You're an idiot. It was predicted costs would go up when this lie was implemented. Congrats. You fell for it.
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« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2017, 06:56:12 PM »

Premiums higher? Thank the republicans. They've been sabotaging healthcare for at least 8 years.
I blame republicans for not voting against Osamacare.
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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2017, 08:56:59 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIVqInMfghA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIVqInMfghA</a>


 Grin
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2017, 04:13:20 PM »

You're an idiot. It was predicted costs would go up when this lie was implemented. Congrats. You fell for it.
Actually, you voted to f youself dumb dumb. Cry

http://www.factcheck.org/2015/02/slower-premium-growth-under-obama/

Republicans say the average family health insurance premium has increased by $4,154 under President Obama. That’s right — and it’s a much slower rate of growth than under President George W. Bush. In fact, employer-sponsored premiums have been growing at moderate rates for the past few years.
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2017, 04:18:18 PM »

I blame republicans for not voting against Osamacare.

Word.  Spineless cowards. 
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