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Insurers Seek Sizable Rate Increases On Affordable Care Act Health Plans

on Aug 23, 2015 in Eat Smart

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Coventry Health CarePursuant to a Governor’s directive from 2010, and in accordance with Iowa Code section 505.15, whenever any health insurance company that conducts business in Iowa submits a health insurance premium rate increase request to the Division, the Iowa Insurance Commissioner (the Commissioner”) must utilize an independent, qualified third-party actuary to conduct a secondary review to determine the adequacy and appropriateness of the proposed rate. Two other insurers, Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas and United Healthcare, also offer plans through the marketplace to North Carolina residents. Blue Cross Vice President and Chief Actuary Patrick Getzen said more than 325,000 people statewide enrolled in the insurer’s plans offered on the marketplace for 2015. Although the demographics are similar to those who enrolled in 2014, he said, the current group of clients has more chronic health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The Affordable Care Act requires that insurers spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar directly on health care.

Enrollees also are visiting hospital emergency rooms more than expected ‘ the health care law was designed to provide coverage to more people so they wouldn’t resort to an ER visit for routine care. Getzen also noted that 15 to 20 percent of customers with plans canceled their coverage after paying initial premiums and consuming costly medical services. For the first time next year, Humana plans to offer health plans through the marketplace in North Carolina.

The initial year or two of Obamacare would predictably result in higher healthcare costs. The bigger problem isn’t insurance companies (though I think we’d be better off without them and just move all coverage to Medicare – yes, I said that), but the cost of healthcare. The government should strongly regulate the cost of healthcare, the healthcare insurance.

These increases are all part of the plan in place to eventually eliminate health coverage outside the ACA. Costs will continue to rise until all Americans will be REQUIRED to buy from the government sponsored plans to spread the costs of the bloated Obamacare system. We still provide that care but now there is a new heavy layer of expensive Government regulation to deal with.

A hearing on the proposed rate was held on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mercy College of Health Sciences, Sullivan Center, Des Moines, Iowa. Access to the hearing was made available at six locations around the state via the Iowa Communications Network (ICN”). The Division is mindful that several key provisions of the ACA impacted health insurance premium rates and pricing. Balancing the needs of Iowa consumers and the solvency of an insurance carrier must be weighed carefully.

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