A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Premiums/Costs"

Enrollment In U.S. Company Health Plans Fell Among The Young–ADP

Theo Francis, Wall Street Journal
Thu, 2014-04-03
"Young workers signed up for company health plans at a lower rate than last year, a surprising result that kept overall corporate enrollment rates flat. American companies had been bracing for a big bump in the number of employees signing on to workplace plans as a result of the new government mandate that most American adults buy health insurance or pay a penalty. New data on worker behavior for the 2014 coverage year from payroll services supplier ADP suggests that surge of enrollment never happened, at least for large companies."

Near the Finish Line: The Lifecycle of Obamacare’s Enrollment Target

Meghan McCarthy
The Morning Consult
Sun, 2014-03-30
"The Obama administration announced they hit their revised goal of 6 million enrollees on the Affordable Care Act exchanges this week, several days before enrollment closes tomorrow. Politically, hitting this benchmark is an important symbol for the administration, as it has struggled to recover from the disastrous rollout of the insurance exchange websites this fall. But policy-wise, it doesn’t mean nearly as much. And it may take until 2016 to really see if the law is successful at consistently getting lots of Americans affordable health insurance."

Insurers see double-digit Obamacare price rises in many states next year

David Morgan & Caroline Humer, Reuters
Fri, 2014-03-21
"U.S. consumers eligible for Obamacare health plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to draw large numbers of enrollees for 2014, including some states that have been hostile to the healthcare law, according to insurance industry officials and analysts."

ObamaCare Exchanges: Less Choice, Higher Prices

David Hogberg, National Center for Public Policy Research
Mon, 2014-03-10
"Many supporters of ObamaCare insisted that the health insurance exchanges created by the law would result in consumers having a greater choice among insurance policies and lower prices. This study tests those claims by examining policies on the exchanges in metropolitan areas across 45 states for a single 27-year-old and a 57-year-old couple. It then compares those with the policies available in those same areas on eHealthInsurance.com (eHealth) and Finder.healthcare.gov (Finder) in 2013."

49-State Analysis: Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 41%

Avik Roy, Forbes
Mon, 2013-11-04
"One of the fundamental flaws of the Affordable Care Act is that, despite its name, it makes health insurance more expensive. Today, the Manhattan Institute released the most comprehensive analysis yet conducted of premiums under Obamacare for people who shop for coverage on their own. Here’s what we learned. In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent. As we have long expected, the steepest hikes will be imposed on the healthy, the young, and the male. And Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies will primarily benefit those nearing retirement—people who, unlike the young, have had their whole lives to save for their health-care needs."

President Obama's Mandated Insurance Rebates Will Cost Consumers Money And Limit Health Plan Competition

Scott Gottlieb
Forbes.com
Fri, 2013-07-19

[T]he MLR caps will also limit innovation. Right now, expenses that are on a pre-approved, government list of “activities that improve health care quality” are not included in the cost of administration and so don’t count against the 20 percent cap on what plans get to spend on overhead. If a health plan comes up with a new business approach that it believes improves quality and outcomes, it will be forced to count the costs against its allowable profits. It can’t incorporate the cost into the total money it spends on healthcare if the new scheme isn’t on the government list."

Price Gouging Could Impale Obama's Healthcare Law

Scott Gottlieb
RealClearMarkets
Tue, 2013-06-25

"In recent weeks, I've talked to a handful of large healthcare firms and medical practices that offer specialty medical services. I asked them what kinds of prices they're soliciting from the new health plans now taking shape under Obamacare. These providers said that they're demanding, and in some cases securing, pretty rich reimbursement rates from the new, Obamacare health plans."

Primer: Cadillac Tax (High Cost Plan Excise Tax)

Emily Egan, American Action Forum
Tue, 2013-06-25

"The High Cost Plan Excise Tax, which is often referred to as the 'Cadillac Tax' is one of the revenue raising provisions in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The excise tax is calculated by comparing the cost of an employer-sponsored plan (which includes premiums paid by the employer and/or employee as well as any contributions into health accounts such as health savings accounts of flex savings accounts) to a benchmark, which will be adjusted every year based on the Consumer Product Index (CPI). Any amount above the benchmark is taxed at 40 percent; this tax is levied on the health insurance company but is generally understood to be passed onto the consumer, or firm purchasing that plan."

Yes, Premiums Will Go Up

James Capretta
National Review Online
Wed, 2013-06-19

"Obamacare is imposing a minimum benefit for insurance that is in excess of what many consumers purchase on their own today. And the law is imposing many new rules on what insurance companies may and may not take into account when setting premiums. There is no experience anywhere indicating that these kinds of changes will lower premiums. And there’s an abundance of evidence from state experiments indicating that these changes will increase premiums, and probably quite substantially."

The Young Won't Buy ObamaCare

Holman Jenkins
The Wall Street Journal
Wed, 2013-06-19

"Mr. Alito pointed out that young, healthy adults today spend an average of $854 a year on health care. ObamaCare would require them to buy insurance policies expected to cost roughly $5,800. The law, then, isn't just asking them to pay for 'the services that they are going to consume,' he continued. 'The mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies . . . to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else.'"

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