Kenneth Artz, a freelance reporter for The Heartland Institute, writes:
Although President Obama promised that if you like your health care plan you can keep it, a new report shows more than half of all insurance plans for individuals in the United States won’t survive under his health care law.
According to the study from the Commonwealth Fund, published in Health Affairs and conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and Towers Watson, more than half of the people who had individual health insurance in 2010 were enrolled in plans that won’t pass the new standards set up by Obama’s law.
Read more: Half of Individual Insurance Policies Eliminated By Obamacare | Heartlander Magazine.
Greg Scandlen writes:
[T]he annual AHIP census of HSA plans, which finds qualified HSA insurance has grown 18 percent since a year ago, and now cover 13.5 million people, according to the Heartlander. PDF of the survey.
Yet, in spite of all this, HSAs may be on the ropes in Washington. Tom Purcell writes in the Tribune Review, “It figures. Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, have been so successful at reducing the cost of health care, the ObamaCare people are out to get them.”
Read more: Myth Buster #21: HSA Round Up | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.
Sally Pipes writes:
The new CMS figures on health spending are encouraging. But it’s disingenuous for the president and his allies to claim that Obamacare is the reason why. Consumer-directed health plans — not federal government dictates — have helped bring down costs. Obamacare should be expanding them — not regulating them out of existence.
Read the whole article: How High Deductible Plans Lead To Low Healthcare Spending – Forbes.
At Forbes, Avik Roy explains how government bureaucrats will make high-deductible insurance plans that qualify for Health Savings Accounts more expensive. Note that last year, the RAND Corporation published a study showing people who bought such plans spent less while “without unduly restricting access for lower income and chronically ill populations.”
See also: Success of Health Savings Accounts & high-deductible insurance.
John Goodman also has a good review of ways people in the U.S. can save money for medical care, and how this can be improved.
In the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto rebuts the Associated Press’s claim that
In fact, the law provides for a cheaper “bronze” plan that is broadly similar to today’s so-called catastrophic coverage policies for individuals, several insurance experts said.
The AP is confusing a difference of degree (coverage at 60% vs. 80% or 90%) with a difference of kind (coverage of catastrophic vs. inessential services). Bronze-plan buyers would still have to purchase coverage for all the services the chief justice mentioned, it’s just that the policy is cheaper because the benefits are less.
The bronze catastrophic benefits are less, too, so that the ObamaCare policy would be a lousy deal for someone who needs catastrophic coverage but not all the mandatory bells and whistles.
Read his whole article, via Randy Barnett, via FIRM.
Writing in the Investor’s Business Daily, David Hogberg reports:
A new Obama administration rule could drive out of the market the low-cost, high deductible plans that are supposed to be available under ObamaCare [HR 3590]. That would likely mean a sharp jump in taxpayer subsidies.
The problem stems in large part from contradictions in the hastily written health care overhaul.
Starting in 2012, ObamaCare requires insurers in the individual or small group (small business) market to spend at least 80% of premiums on medical costs, leaving 20% for salaries, advertising, fraud prevention, profit, etc. For large groups, this medical loss ratio (MLR) must be 85%.
Read the whole article: New HHS Regulation Will Endanger HSA, High-Deductible Plans, Make ObamaCare More Costly – Investors.com.
Via the Galen Institute.
Margery Eagan of the The Boston Herald writes:
Now, the state of Massachusetts is grinding [Lauren and Nick Destito] into the dirt. The reason: the health insurance the Destitos bought, paid $750 monthly premiums on and repeatedly used at doctor visits apparently does not pass muster with the state’s mandatory universal health insurance law. Now the Destitos, both 50 and already on the brink of financial ruin, are facing a $3,000 state fine. …
“The stress will kill me before anything else,” Lauren Destito joked nervously yesterday just before her appeal hearing with the state’s Health Connector. She was so worried she asked her state representative, Dan Winslow, to listen in on the conference call. With hearing officer Irene Herman’s knowledge, I listened in, too.
“I would just like to say that we did make the effort and purchased a plan,” Destito told Herman. “I don’t understand why we’re in this situation at all.”
Because, Herman explained, the state must establish if her family could afford other, better insurance, and that affordability is determined “not, unfortunately, from your perspective but from the state agency’s view.”
In other words, the state decides how much health insurance you can afford — not you.
Read more: Health-care agency sick – BostonHerald.com.