suprizes are comming for the stupid
Posted in the Cocoa Beach Forum
#1 May 15, 2014
The laws supporters claim that the higher prices result from better coverage, but that depends on ones perspective. The main point of Obamacare was to provide insurance to the uninsured, but the enrollment numbers showed that precious few of those actually gained coverage. The White House announcement of 8 million enrollees turned out to be more like 6.65 million when discounting those who hadnt paid their first premium, just barely above the estimated 5-6 million who lost their existing plans after the coverage mandates were imposed.
The numbers get worse when looking at how many of these enrollees were previously uninsured. Earlier estimates put that number at around a third, but a new study from the McKinsey Center for US Health System Reform pegs the number lower at 26 percent. When filtering out those who have paid their premium, the number drops to 22 percent of the administrations claimed enrollees, or about 1.7 million people.
Most of the individual-market enrollments were simply churn created by the market disruption of Obamacare itself. Those enrollments barely made a dent in the claimed numbers of the uninsured, estimates of which range between 30-40 million.
Now that insurers have seen the composition of their new risk pools under Obamacare, they have to calculate their new pricing levels for state and federal regulators. The pricing jump for 2014 was more speculative, based on the presumed demographic composition of incoming enrollees. The pricing proposals from Virginia and Washington indicate that the new enrollments made the risk pools riskier than first thought.
Rate-proposal filings in the state of Washington show the four largest insurers proposing average increases across their plans ranging from 8.1 percent to 11.2 percent in a single year. Jonathan Wu of Value Penguin analyzed the proposals and concluded that the insurers tried betting on success, and came up short.What is troubling about the data is that among these insurers, there is clearly an issue with the premiums offered in the first enrollment period, Wu writes. Noting that the four companies offered the lowest prices in the market this year, their enrollment numbers are not surprising, but their consumers may get a less-pleasant surprise by the end of the year.
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