From The Wall Street Journal:
Higher-cost premiums for 2016 threaten the appeal of the program for the healthy customers it needs
By Louise Radnofsky, Paul Overberg and Stephanie Armour | Updated November 19, 2015 2:21 p.m. ET
Many people signing up for 2016 health policies under the Affordable Care Act face higher premiums, fewer doctors and skimpier coverage, which threatens the appeal of the program for the healthy customers it needs.
Insurers have raised premiums steeply for the most popular plans at the same time they have boosted out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance in many of their offerings. The companies attribute the moves in part to the high cost of some customers they are gaining under the law, which doesn’t allow them to bar clients with existing health conditions.
The result is that many people can’t avoid paying more for insurance in 2016 simply by shopping around—and those who try risk landing in a plan with fewer doctors and skimpier coverage.
These dual realities threaten to undercut the law’s popularity with the customers it relies on the most: relatively healthy people. Their participation is vital to offset the costs of sicker people who can buy coverage at equal prices for the first time under the law; if the healthier ones pull out, that would put additional upward pressure on premium prices.
There’s more at the link, and here is the methodology used by the Journal.
But we told you that this would happen. Way back in 2010, John Hitchcock wrote, on the older site:
You cannot add layers of bureaucracy without adding a lot more cost. You cannot insure people with pre-existing conditions for less than you can insure healthy people. But that’s exactly what the government had in its ObamaCare Cost analysis.
Going back even further, to one of my articles noting that health care providers were bailing out of Medicaid due to decreasing cost reimbursements, I saw this comment from our now-banned commenter Perry1:
Steven: “The consumer is now so far removed from the decision making that there is no control on cost.”
You make a point which I have never considered, and at first glance it is a good point.
You should like the Health Care Reform Bill just passed, because it calls for the setting up of exchanges which enables folks to do exactly what you recommend.
You were probably not here, but while the bill was being debated, I opined that the Swiss system is one that would fit us best. In negotiation with the government, all private insurers have to provide Swiss citizens with a basic insurance plan at fixed price. The insurance companies then make their profits by competitively selling added features. The basic plan, as I understood it, included insurance for basic health care, including preventative care, plus coverage for catastrophic events. This leaves coverage for elective surgery and health care, for extended hospitalization, for additional testing and lab services not covered, for nursing home care, for extended rehabilitation care, and the like, to be provided by health insurers at an additional premium.
That was what the left thought of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which we told them wouldn’t work, and the Journal article is simply more confirmation of that. Everything that conservatives said about the 2010 health care reform law has come true, while virtually all of the projections given us by the Democrats have turned out to be gross underestimates.
- Since I have cited his words, fairness requires that I allow him to comment on this article, if he should happen to read it. ↩