T Nation

Anthem Blue Cross Raises Rates

California’s largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking to raise rates an average of 18% for more than 630,000 individual policyholders, drawing scrutiny from regulators and the ire of consumers already struggling with soaring premiums.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-insurance-rate-hikes-20121128,0,1885711.story

I thought Obama said that I would not pay a single penny more ?

Now, now, don’t you understand this is just a way for a greedy insurance company to increase evil profits and blame Obama for it.

/sarcasm

I’m shocked, shocked I tell ya!

Surely a government program will sort this out!

It looks like they may have been having problems for a while so this rate increase would have happened regardless of anything Obama did or Romney if he had won.

It’s actually great news for the company I work for (it’s not one of the ones named in the article). The rate increases would have definitely happened and the exchanges are actually going to help better control costs (at least the costs for the consumer).

It’s a PR nightmare for them and they got in trouble for doing this before so I’m really surprised to see them raising them so high.

james

This is not a surprise to me at all. My healthcare costs have gone up close to that every year for the past 4-5 years (and that was starting with Anthem and moving to Cigna).

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
California’s largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking to raise rates an average of 18% for more than 630,000 individual policyholders, drawing scrutiny from regulators and the ire of consumers already struggling with soaring premiums.

I thought Obama said that I would not pay a single penny more ?[/quote]

What’s even crappier is there is going to be “equalization” of rates across the USA.

Put bluntly, if you are in a state that has its shit together, has control of frivolous med mal cases, and low medical overhead, you have low rates (e.g., the South/Southwest).

Well, rates for, say, Ft. Worth, Texas are going to be “equalized” with, say, Los Angeles, so rates go up huge.

Good things like high deductible HSA policies are to be regulated out of existence — you know, because it’s not fair for “rich” people who save up $2,500 in their HSAs to pay low rates.

It’s a complete theft.

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:
What’s even crappier is there is going to be “equalization” of rates across the USA.

Put bluntly, if you are in a state that has its shit together, has control of frivolous med mal cases, and low medical overhead, you have low rates (e.g., the South/Southwest).

Well, rates for, say, Ft. Worth, Texas are going to be “equalized” with, say, Los Angeles, so rates go up huge.

Good things like high deductible HSA policies are to be regulated out of existence — you know, because it’s not fair for “rich” people who save up $2,500 in their HSAs to pay low rates.

It’s a complete theft.[/quote]

Where are you getting the bit about equalization of rates across state lines and about getting rid of high deductible plans? I ask because I’m looking at the law in front of me and it doesn’t say that anywhere. And I know that we’re not planning on getting rid of any of the high deductible plans anytime soon. Is this just conjecture at this point or did you see that somewhere?

james

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

Where are you getting the bit about equalization of rates across state lines and about getting rid of high deductible plans?

[/quote]

I am the managing partner of a very, very large law firm. I just spent 1/2 day determining the insurance for our multi-state, multi-country, firm, with multiple insurance brokers. Unless Blue Cross and multiple other VPs of insurance companies are lying, it’s the law.

All 2,400 pages? The 20,000+ pages of regulations, too? Wow.

[quote]
And I know that we’re not planning on getting rid of any of the high deductible plans anytime soon. Is this just conjecture at this point or did you see that somewhere? [/quote]

What you “know” is wrong.

The law is limiting high deductible plans to 2,500 effectivce 1/1/2014, and then probably $1,500 in 2016.

We currently have a $3,000 dedectable (and funded the HSA to 3,000) as part of our self-funded plan because it was far cheaper. This will no longer be allowed.

Our rates went up 13% to keep benefits the same. We’re just cutting everyone’s salary 13% or not giving them raises/giving smaller raises, depending. Hey, it’s New York. They voted for the loser, they get to reap what they sew.

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
California’s largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking to raise rates an average of 18% for more than 630,000 individual policyholders, drawing scrutiny from regulators and the ire of consumers already struggling with soaring premiums.

I thought Obama said that I would not pay a single penny more ?[/quote]

What’s even crappier is there is going to be “equalization” of rates across the USA.

Put bluntly, if you are in a state that has its shit together, has control of frivolous med mal cases, and low medical overhead, you have low rates (e.g., the South/Southwest).

Well, rates for, say, Ft. Worth, Texas are going to be “equalized” with, say, Los Angeles, so rates go up huge.

Good things like high deductible HSA policies are to be regulated out of existence — you know, because it’s not fair for “rich” people who save up $2,500 in their HSAs to pay low rates.

It’s a complete theft.[/quote]

Just to clarify, the 2003 Texas Tort Reform didn’t get rid of “frivolous” med mal suits–none of the reforms had anything to do with non-meritorious cases–the caps and barriers to entry were by definition designed to eliminate the most meritorious cases by making them too expensive to prosecute and by, among other things, capping damages to such an extent that the experts required to prosecute a significant med mal case eat the whole recovery and by allowing and encouraging wasting med-mal insurance polices that disappear through defense costs before a case gets to trial. The reforms did have the effect of drastically reducing medical malpractice litigation, but the litigation it eliminated was not the “frivolous” kind.

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:
This is not a surprise to me at all. My healthcare costs have gone up close to that every year for the past 4-5 years (and that was starting with Anthem and moving to Cigna).[/quote]

ditto.

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
California’s largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking to raise rates an average of 18% for more than 630,000 individual policyholders, drawing scrutiny from regulators and the ire of consumers already struggling with soaring premiums.

I thought Obama said that I would not pay a single penny more ?[/quote]

What’s even crappier is there is going to be “equalization” of rates across the USA.

Put bluntly, if you are in a state that has its shit together, has control of frivolous med mal cases, and low medical overhead, you have low rates (e.g., the South/Southwest).

Well, rates for, say, Ft. Worth, Texas are going to be “equalized” with, say, Los Angeles, so rates go up huge.

Good things like high deductible HSA policies are to be regulated out of existence — you know, because it’s not fair for “rich” people who save up $2,500 in their HSAs to pay low rates.

It’s a complete theft.[/quote]

I’ve been griping on the forums for a while now about what was happening with HSA’s. It’s like they are penalizing the most responsible sect of people that are saving for their own healthcare (and hopefully leading a preventative lifestyle). I tuck away the max that I can into it and that max is shrinking :frowning:

you believed what the media told you???shame…it will cost everyone one way or another.

[quote]storey420 wrote:

I’ve been griping on the forums for a while now about what was happening with HSA’s. It’s like they are penalizing the most responsible sect of people that are saving for their own healthcare (and hopefully leading a preventative lifestyle). I tuck away the max that I can into it and that max is shrinking :([/quote]

Lets be reasonable now, you can hardly punish irresponsible people, they have nothing.

It won’t matter to me what insurance comapanies do. I insure all of my employees but as soon as Obamacare kicks in I am removing all incurance coverage as it is far cheaper for me to pay the $2,000 fine per person than what I’ve been doing over the past 10 years. And all of my employees can go get all of that free government health care.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
It won’t matter to me what insurance comapanies do. I insure all of my employees but as soon as Obamacare kicks in I am removing all incurance coverage as it is far cheaper for me to pay the $2,000 fine per person than what I’ve been doing over the past 10 years. And all of my employees can go get all of that free government health care.

[/quote]

I was actually going to suggest that to JB. It might even be cheaper to pay the fine and their benefits through the exchanges.

And it’s not free government health care. Depending upon what they make they might receive subsidized care or they might have to pay full price. Regardless though they will be able to buy health care either through the exchange or off exchange.

If you don’t know what the exchanges are then you’re missing a large part of what the law was about.

james

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:
It won’t matter to me what insurance comapanies do. I insure all of my employees but as soon as Obamacare kicks in I am removing all incurance coverage as it is far cheaper for me to pay the $2,000 fine per person than what I’ve been doing over the past 10 years. And all of my employees can go get all of that free government health care.

[/quote]

I was actually going to suggest that to JB. It might even be cheaper to pay the fine and their benefits through the exchanges.

And it’s not free government health care. Depending upon what they make they might receive subsidized care or they might have to pay full price. Regardless though they will be able to buy health care either through the exchange or off exchange.

If you don’t know what the exchanges are then you’re missing a large part of what the law was about.

james[/quote]

I don’t care what the exchanges are. I wanted to take care of my employees and have so for over 10 years. But with Obamacare the government is telling me that I don’t need to do that anymore. And also some of my employees voted for Obama so I want them to have some of that Obamacare. I will now pocket the difference between my $2,000 fine per employee and what it had cost me for insurance for each employee. It will be a gigantic windfall for me personally. And one that will go a long way in helping me pay the tax hike that the socialist and chief wants so very badly.

In the end I will be further ahead, my employees will probably be okay, but I doubt they’ll have the kind of insurance that I supplied them. But that is what usually happens when government tries to help people…they hurt them.

Obamacare is an excellent example of that.

  1. Many employees will lose good insurance plans that their employees supplied for them.

  2. Wages/Bounuses will go down for smaller firms who now have to pay a fine.

  3. Some layoffs will occur in order to get some small firms below the 50 employee mark so they are not effected by obamacare.

  4. Prices on goods and services will go up in order to pay the fines.

In the end Obamacare will hurt many more than it will help.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
I don’t care what the exchanges are. I wanted to take care of my employees and have so for over 10 years. But with Obamacare the government is telling me that I don’t need to do that anymore. And also some of my employees voted for Obama so I want to have some of that Obamacare. I will now pocket the difference between my $2,000 fine per employee and what it had cost me for insurance for each employee. It will be a gigantic windfall for me personally. And one that will go a long way in helping me pay the tax hike that the socialist and chief wants so very badly.

In the end I will be further ahead, my employees will probably be okay, but I doubt they’ll have the kind of insurance that I supplied them. But that is what usually happens when government tries to help people…they hurt them. [/quote]

You should very much care about the exchanges and you can’t have an intelligent conversation about Obamacare without understanding those.

james

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:
I don’t care what the exchanges are. I wanted to take care of my employees and have so for over 10 years. But with Obamacare the government is telling me that I don’t need to do that anymore. And also some of my employees voted for Obama so I want to have some of that Obamacare. I will now pocket the difference between my $2,000 fine per employee and what it had cost me for insurance for each employee. It will be a gigantic windfall for me personally. And one that will go a long way in helping me pay the tax hike that the socialist and chief wants so very badly.

In the end I will be further ahead, my employees will probably be okay, but I doubt they’ll have the kind of insurance that I supplied them. But that is what usually happens when government tries to help people…they hurt them. [/quote]

You should very much care about the exchanges and you can’t have an intelligent conversation about Obamacare without understanding those.

james
[/quote]

Not my problem james it’s now their problem. I can afford the best health care that the US supplies for my family and I. And being a greedy one percenter that’s all I’m supposed to think about.

Just going along with the program…

james

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:
I am the managing partner of a very, very large law firm. I just spent 1/2 day determining the insurance for our multi-state, multi-country, firm, with multiple insurance brokers. Unless Blue Cross and multiple other VPs of insurance companies are lying, it’s the law.[/quote]

What you’re referring to are Multi State Plans going through the exchanges. Those will not be the same rate from state to state and that’s clear on page 50 of the linked PDF.

http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-29118_PI.pdf

james