UPDATE Obamacare 5 Years On: #PremiumPain and Insurers Leaving

On last week’s webinar, people asked for more ammunition to fight Obamacare on the basis that premiums are sky-rocketing and insurers are leaving the exchanges.  Tonight, I give you that ammunition, but I want to start by drawing your attention to a new rule HHS is proposing to cut off an escape route from Obamacare.

There’s something called short-term insurance that can be purchased off-exchange outside of Obamacare.  For years now, the Truth Squad has been urging people to consider buying short-term insurance and paying the ACA individual mandate penalty as a way of resisting Obamacare. We believe this strategy would be cheaper, and suit some people’s needs better than an Obamacare plan, even though short-term insurance typically covers less.

This strategy must make some sense because along comes HHS this week trying to put a stop to it.  Their proposed rule would limit short-term insurance to 3 months and not let it be renewed.  Currently, short-term insurance can be purchased for up to 364 days and it is renewable. If the rule is finalized, only people in some kind of transition would still have access to short-term insurance.

We know that sick people like Obamacare because Obamacare heavily subsidizes the cost of their illness.  Healthy people are more likely stay away from the Obamacare exchanges, and many have.  Cutting off the short-term insurance escape route will push some of these healthy individuals into Obamacare plans, shoring up Obamacare financially by capturing more healthy people to subsidize sick risk pools.

HHS calls short-term insurance a “loophole”.  I call their effort to drastically curtail its availability, left-wing authoritarianism.

Now on to premium increases.  The Truth Squad has tweeted 30 stories about premium increases, so far.  I’m including all 30 in the wrap-up.  That’s too many to put in Chatzy tonight, so I will provide one link to a post on ObamacareTruthSquad.com where you can find the stories later tonight.  One notable story is about the 60 percent increase requested in Texas recently.  This is not what we were promised, so we often include the hashtag #WheresMy2500, referring to the President’s repeated promises that people would see their premiums go down $2,500 a year, not up.

On a previous webinar, I mentioned that Obamacare subsidies go up as premiums go up.  I called this the ‘real Obamacare death spiral’ because it means the national debt will just keep getting bigger.  Since that time, I’ve read that only half the people on the Obamacare exchanges are getting subsidies.  This means that premium increases are hitting these people right between the eyes.  The administration likes to say that subsidies insulate Obamacare policyholders from premium increases, but that’s not true for half the people on the exchanges.  Surely, they can’t be happy campers, and we should channel their discontent into repealing Obamacare.

Finally, we have tweeted more than 20 stories about insurers getting out of the Obamacare business and leaving the exchanges.  It’s true that some new ones are coming in, and some insurers are profitable and want to stay on.  However, it appears, on balance, that more are leaving and over 500 counties in the country are down to one insurer.  That’s not a good thing and it gives us another reason to get rid of Obamacare.


Short-Term Insurance

Left-wing authoritarian gov’t wants to capture more sefs, save #ACA risk pools by stomping on short-term insurance

#Premium Pain

California expects ave increase in #Obamacare rates of 8%. #SpinThis #TheYearOfRisingPrecipitously
#PremiumPain #1

#PremiumPain #2 – “Obamacare insurers request double-digit rate hikes in Maine”. #RepealObamacareNow

#PremiumPain #3 – “Vermont health insurance companies seek 8 percent rate hike”. #SpinThis

#PremiumPain #4 – “Humana Seeks 50% ObamaCare Premium Hike In Michigan”. #WheresMy2500

#PremiumPain #5 – Wellmark to jack up rates 38% to 43% for some customers in Iowa. #WheresMy2500

 #PremiumPain #6 – Florida #ACA plans to increase average of 17.7%. #WheresMy2500

#PremiumPain #7 – Insurers seek 9.4 to 37.1 percent #ACA hikes in Virginia. #WheresMy2500

#PremiumPain #8 – average 29.6% increase requested in Oregon

#PremiumPain #9 – low-cost provider requests 45.2% increase in New Hampshire, right between the eyes. #WheresMy2500

#PremiumPain #10 – New York insurers seek ave 17.3% increase. If regulators trim, insurers will leave

#PremiumPain #11 – “MARYLAND: ‘Insurers to seek rate increases of up to 30 percent’”

 #PremiumPain #12 – Uh oh, Tennessee insurers continue to bleed despite 36-60% increases last year. #WheresMy2500

 #PremiumPain #13 – rates for young men increasing 97-99%, young women 55-62%. #MillennialsGettingTheShaft

Scott Gottlieb, MD Verified account @ScottGottliebMD 1h1 hour ago
Public Exchange Update: Pennsylvania Insurers Propose +24% Individual Market Rate Hikes #Obamacare
#PremiumPain #14

#PremiumPain #15 (Pa) – Highmark seeks 48% increase; others also ask for big hikes

#PremiumPain #16 – Nebraska insurers seek average 35% increase

#PremiumPain #17 explained – “At every turn, regulators favored enrollment gains over sound management.”

#PremiumPain #18 – Arkansas insurers ask for big rate hikes, up to 24 percent. #WheresMy2500

#PremiumPain #19 – Midwest states biggest losers 2016 price hikes.  Who loses most 2017?

#PremiumPain #20 – rate hike requests average 17% in Kentucky

 #PremiumPain #21 – double-digit increases in Massachusetts small biz attributed to #ACA risk adjustment

#PremiumPain #22 – “Blue Cross asking for 60 percent rate hike for Obamacare plans in Texas in 2017”

 #PremiumPain #23 – “Health insurance could cost up to 49.4% more for individuals, small businesses”

 #PremiumPain #24 – rates to go up as much as 29% in Indiana next year

#PremiumPain #25 – Oklahoma state regulators: don’t look at us. We don’t set rates, feds do.

#PremiumPain #26 – Florida rate increases reach 44%, average 13%. #WheresMy2500

#PremiumPain #27 – #ACA 2016 Average Rate Hike Was 8%. You broke your promise. #WheresMy2500


‘Stable health insurance market’ and ‘no reason to despair’? You’re in denial. #PremiumPain

‘Subsidies insulate you from rate hikes.’ Really? Half the individual market does not get a subsidy.

Insurers Leaving

Wheels coming off – “Fifty-plus insurers nationwide are exiting the exchanges”

UnitedHealth to remain in only 3 states – Nevada, New York and Virginia

 UnitedHealth joins Humana in leaving Wisconsin exchange

UnitedHealthcare, Humana leaving Arizona exchange, leaving only one statewide insurer. #ItsNotWorking

Dan BonginoVerified account
When does the good news start with Obamacare? “Humana warns it will exit some #Obamacare exchanges” http://washex.am/1UyKPva  @DCExaminer

Humana might leave more #ACA exchanges; enrollment way down.

 Humana to leave #Obamacare market in Alabama and Virginia

Virginia a microcosm: sicker pool, rate hikes, insurer profits squeezed, insurers leaving

Humana loses $176M on #ACA business, may withdraw from exchanges next year

“Oregon health insurers seek double-digit 2017 rate hikes”; one insurer leaves state

Blue Cross might leave North Carolina after losing almost $300 million there.

“UnitedHealthcare leaving Illinois Obamacare exchange”. #ItsNotWorking

“UnitedHealth to exit California’s Obamacare market”

“UnitedHealthcare leaving Florida Obamacare exchange”

“UnitedHealth Quits 27th Obamacare State as Insurer to Exit N.J.”

UnitedHealth’s departure will leave consumers paying more and getting less

Where UnitedHealth leaves and others merge: no, you can’t keep your plan, doctor, or drugs

Quality of #ACA coverage will continue to fall after UnitedHealth exit; race to the bottom

UnitedHealth is 1 of 2 insurers in 536 counties; pull-out will cause rates to go up

 “UnitedHealth to exit Michigan Obamacare exchange”

UnitedHealth to exit Georgia and Arkansas exchanges after losing $1 billion on #Obamacare plans

Sally Pipes@sallypipes 54m54 minutes ago
My latest piece in @MedEconomics: “As insurers leave Obamacare exchanges, doctors pay the price” http://buff.ly/1Tyiikx  #Obamacare #ACA

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