Why Are Insurers Flocking to Obamacare and Many Rates Coming Down?
In the 10 states where data is available, at least 27 new insurers, including some big ones like United Health Care and Aetna, have said they will join, some at lower rates (Aetna at least) than what is currently available. In the 6 states which have released preliminary rate proposals, all have some of the participating insurers coming in with lower rates.
I think a lot of insurers where hesitant to get in the game. I can't really blame them considering how much effort the Republicans put towards derailing the program (and still are).
But now I think they are realizing that this thing is actually working and they too need a booth in the marketplace if they are going to remain competitive, which would also be why they are coming in at lower prices. They need a selling point compared to already established vendors.
You make an excellent point. Companies that had the ability to do market research and sound economic predictions, instead depended on the political rhetoric and the fear factor to make decisions. Now that the program is in place, sanity may set in.
I sure hope so, but Obama and the Dems hope so even more, lol.
My state must not be one of the states where the rates are coming down. I think these “lowered rates” may be misleading. While my rate stayed close to the same (maybe up $20 mo.), the deductible, fees like lab or MRIs, and especially the copays have skyrocketed. Copays to see a specialist have doubled. Most all prescription programs have limited patients to generic drugs, and patients granted special permission to buy name brand because there is no generic for that drug find that they will be paying hundreds of dollars for it because the insurance kicks in only about $25 per month. The U.S. has shut down the buying of any prescription from Canada that may be a scheduled drug, for instance, Lyrica, a Schedule V. My insurance company has diverted people with reflex sympathetic disorder (RSD) like me to generic gabapentin, which by its own literature says it is ineffective in the treatment of RSD.
Right now the insurance companies are running the game, so why not get in on it? This is the one instance in which I have been disappointed in the Affordable Care Act. I feel like the government is letting these companies run rampant over the patients, and if the administration doesn’t put its collective foot down soon, many people who originally supported the act will turn against it.
The new rates won't be official until Jan 2015. I have only seen rates for Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, and one other I don't remember at the moment; those are who I am referring to. Hope is competition will do what Rs says it will do.
I signed up for Obamacare as soon as I could and am very glad to have it. Set the stage. I was 62, too young for Medicare. Was laid off at 59 and one-half. Had Cobra for a year. Could not extend it. Tried buying new insurance. I was 60 then--too old. I had prior health conditions--too much of a risk. Every major insurance company operating in my area turned me down. I purchased an association policy, which pays for one annual checkup, had a decent drug plan at first, but dropped it, (I purchased my medications from Canada). Lab work, X-rays, etc were not covered. I incurred $19,000 in out-of-pocket exepnses, not counting the $33,000 hospital bill which the hospital wrote off for me. I now have a policy. It is the best plan offered by one of the four companies that were in the federal marketplace for my area. The other three had turned be down before. I get most of my medications for $5 a month. A few name brands cost more. I have an annual $500 deductible and a maximum of $1,400 out of pocket expenses. After that insurance covers everything. I think I am meeting that point this month. I think it is great. I pay a high premium and I got a very good tax credit, because I had been unemployed for most of the year. I may pay more next year and the following six months before I go on Medicare. The amount I pay is almost equal to my share of the group policy we had at my office. Policy is not as good, but that was a gold plated policy.
But, why do I like it so much? They could not turn me down and the insurance companies could not charge me six times the rate charged a younger person. So, younger people may be paying a little more and I am paying a lot less. As the young get older, they will be glad they paid $100 more per month when they realize that they will be paying several hundred dollars less when they are old that what was charged a year ago and the important thing, they cannot be turned down.
Also, there are three or four levels of coverage. I purchase the top level, if you "never get sick" and want to take your chances you can buy a much cheaper plan with a much higher deductible. The choice, and you do have a choice, is yours.
I like to add one thing. Buying insurance is not easy. You need to check to see which doctors are in their network. You need to check to see if your your medicines are covered. With any insurance, you have to do the homework to make the right choice
The hope is that as new insurers enter the market place and more competition occurs because, presumably, there is money to be made, both the networks and the drug coverage will expand. But, only time will tell.
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