Posted by: danielfee | November 15, 2013

It’s the Insurance Companies Stupid!

For all of you who have been blaming the ACA (aka Obamacare) for higher rates, and everything else you can think of, let me share with you the letter I received today from my insurance carrier. They were happy to inform me that I could continue with my current plan for one more year (this is because they only do renewals 1 year at a time)  without experiencing any changes (except they are shifting the policy year date to December 31 where my current policy starts on March 31 of each year). Not a surprise because I already knew my plan met the minimum requirements of the ACA, so I wouldn’t need to change unless I wanted. Then in bold print in the first paragraph of the letter it says “With the new laws, your current plan is likely (yea right, likely) to be less expensive than other plan choices out there.” But then here is the kicker. When you turn to the next page they informed me that they are raising my premium by 22.14%. This has nothing, I repeat NOTHING, to do with the ACA since my plan already exceeds the minimum standards. However, if I want to be disingenuous I am sure I could get booked on Fox News to blame the premium increase on Obamacare. This 22.14% increase is on top of the 39.36 % total increases I have seen over the past 3 years. I have already been investigating alternative plans that my wife and I can get through the exchange. We have identified a gold-level PPO plan that will provide us with a lower annual deductible, however the annual out-of-pocket is a little higher for my plan but not hers, and the monthly premiums will be 36.21% less than we would pay if we continue our current policies. So it looks like we will be switching to a plan we can obtain through the exchange. But here is what is really annoying, the PPO gold-level plan is offered by Cigna. The same company that I have now, who told me in BOLD print that “your current plan is likely to be less expensive than other plan choices out there.” Insurance companies suck and they will lie to your face, even when they know they are offering plans through the exchanges that are less expensive than your current plan. So for all of you out there who are blaming the ACA for everything you need to stop complaining, do a little of your own investigation and what you will find out is that it is the insurance companies that are the ones putting the screws to people. If they can trick you into paying for a more expensive plan, even if they have good plans that are less expensive, they will screw you in a heartbeat. One final point, Cigna is a private insurance company so this is not a “”government take over” of my health care insurance.


Responses

  1. The insurance companies are taking advantage of the failure of the website because they know how hard it is for people to check and compare right now. They want to get folks signed up before the website gets fixed. I’m sure they would have tried this anyway, relying on people’s basic laziness, but the Obama Administration is enabling this crappy behavior by not having a fully functioning website, and so the insurance companies will get even more renewals.
    GOP states are enabling this crappy behavior by not having state exchanges, which are working better than the federal website.
    I also think some people just assume that whatever the letter from the insurance company says is what they would find on the website — that the ACA dictates the premiums and conditions for their renewal, which isn’t true, but is in keeping with the false notion that we have a “government takeover” of health care. They think the insurance companies are in effect doing the government’s job, when really the insurance companies are just trying to make as much money as they can whether on or off the exchanges. Okay, so he wasn’t going to get single payer, but Obama shouldn’t have caved on a “public option.”

    • I thought they should have included a Medicare buy-in provision in the ACA. It could have addressed 2 issues at once. But as soon as Joe Lieberman turned on his own proposal there was no way it was going to happen. Not to mention the problems with Ben Nelson & Mary Landrieu. And I agree with you on the insurance companies. It is just a bonus for them that they can point the finger at someone else.

  2. Thanks Daniel – a thoughtful and informative insight on the issue of the day. Its refreshing compared to the uber-hyped political commentary that substitutes for real journalism these days.

    • Thanks Scott, there is so much negative and fake stories being pushed through the media I thought I would share my own situation.


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