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Sticker Shock: Obamacare Could Double Some Rates

The nation’s biggest health insurers are privately telling brokers to brace customers for a severe Obamacare sticker shock next year, sharing projections that rates could go up steeply for small businesses and more than double for those with individual plans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As the Journal notes, the situation in the real world contrasts with the portrait being painted by the Obama administration:

The projected increases are at odds with what the Obama Administration says consumers should be expecting overall in terms of cost. The Department of Health and Human Services says that the law will “make health-care coverage more affordable and accessible,” pointing to a 2009 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office that says average individual premiums, on an apples-to-apples basis, would be lower . . .

In a private presentation to brokers late last month, UnitedHealth Group Inc.,UNH +0.33% the nation’s largest carrier, said premiums for some consumers buying their own plans could go up as much as 116%, and small-business rates as much as 25% to 50%. The company said the estimates were driven in part by growing medical costs not directly tied to the law. It also cited the law’s requirements that health status not affect rates and that plans include certain minimum benefits and limits to out-of-pocket charges, among other things.

Other insurers are offering similar forecasts. While subsidies will buffer the effect on low income earners, many in the middle class could be paying significantly more for their health insurance as Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all provisions take effect and consumers are forced to purchase higher-priced plans.

What’s more, healthy young people who have foregone insurance as not worth the cost will now have to have it – and pay for it – effectively subsidizing older, sicker consumers, since insurers in 2014 will no longer be able take health history into account when deciding on coverage and are limited in their ability to do so based on age.

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54 Responses to Sticker Shock: Obamacare Could Double Some Rates

  1. Once the sticker shock really sets in, the GOP can–if it’s competent–say, “This is what we warned you about. Now, send us to Washington so we can get this monstrosity out of your life.” If they can pull that message off without it coming across as “We told you so,” it won’t be a good year for the blue team.

    Never mind taking the House: the Democrats are more than likely going to lose the Senate, and lose a few more seats in the House for good measure. If premiums go up that much, Obamacare could be in issue in 2014 to be sure, 2016 in all likelihood, and perhaps even 2018. “Obamacare: Never Again” could, one hopes, become the gift that keeps on giving.

  2. “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
    – Thomas Sowell

  3. And?

    No, seriously: and?

    Does anyone think that a significant percentage of elected officials, appointed officials, or bureaucrats give a good flying rip how much it’s going to cost people? The simple fact is they’re going to point the blame at everyone and everything but themselves and their policies and the majority of Americans will believe it.

    Like the Home Depot founder said, workers seem to think that the increased payroll tax that is making their take home pay smaller is something being done by the company they work for and not the government. Why would they think they’re increased premiums are the result of the government? They won’t.

    • I’m more optimistic that they will. Even before the Democrats passed Obamacare, opposition to all or parts of it ran high (maybe 2 to 1). This time the people will know whom to blame.

      • “This time the people will know whom to blame.” – Julie Brueckheimer

        Yeah, Republicans and George Bush. It’s been so Pavloved into some segments of the population that you’d just get a “Derp” expression if you said anything else, followed by accusations of racism and hating the poor.

        (Sigh).

        • The GOP’s number one enemy is the liberal press. Just take a look at the WaPo’s front page at this minute. It’s all about how low the GOP has fallen all because of the conservatives. They have totally igonored the positive response the Young Turks are getting from the public. The GOP must find alternate ways of getting to the public, blogs, Twitter, C-SPAN, door-to-door, whatever. They will not get a fair shake from the MSM.

          The WaPo is on a crusade to make the GOP responsible for the sequester too. Just today, articles on how its going to hit the Native Americans and the FFA air traffic controllers. The GOP needs to get a grip and show the public how the Democrats are not cutting wasteful programs and needless bureaucracies.

          Right now, Obama’s numbers are dropping so that has led me to be hopeful that the public sees where the problems lie. A big however, however, is if the Republicans will continue to push back.

          • Julie, the GOP is more interested in spending $10 million for their outreach to minorities than they are in fighting for our freedom and defending the Constitution.

            I thought Preezy Revenge’s temper tantrums were over after he released thousands of criminal illegal aliens on our communities and shut OUR White House down to US, but he’s still at it. Inflicting as much pain on us as he can while the idiots in the GOP navel-gaze. In my neck of the woods, the FAA shut down two small airport towers – New Braunfels and San Marcos. San Marcos Municipal Airport is home to a fleet of restored WWII-era planes. I used to work with a guy who piloted one of those planes for 4th of July celebrations.

      • I totally agree with you. That will lead to the end of it and we’ll be sitting like we do now at the DMV waiting for our number to come up.

  4. Wow, Obamacare is a bad thing. It’s an income and job destroyer, it will cost too many dollars, makes UncleSam the dirty uncle who wants to “see” all our private parts, and “we” should do something about it. Now.
    Why, the Dems will be crushed at the polls because of this act.

    Not so fast. If you’re one of the 47% who relies on UncleSam for just about everything, you don’t want your only chance at healthcare denied. You will vote for that person who promised to take care of you, your children and parents. The evil Repubs want to take everything away and replace your kindly elected person with someone who will expect you to get a job and pay for your own groceries. The 47ers don’t care how much it costs, they’re not going to pay a dime for it, they will only collect the benefits. They think that everyone else is a millionaire or billionaire like MrObama claims and they’re not paying their ‘fair’ share.

    These are not the good old days when having a job, paying your own way was a measure of adulthood and men took pride in providing for their families.This is the new age of payers and takers, of sophisticated electioneering like we’ve never seen before.
    The message is no longer about what’s good for our country, but what the bad man/woman wants to take away from you.

    • Let’s hope that the midterm election will draw out the civic minded. The people you mention, the 47%, WILL
      be negatively affected. As I wrote to Dark Angel, Krauthammer is stressing that physicians will refuse to treat people who cannot pay the going rate with their cheap Obamacare.

    • Your right, and it’s called taking the easy way out, let someone else pay for it. At least I know my sons are responsible, living on their own now, graduated college, good jobs and repaying their loans.That makes me feel good, knowing I did something right in how they were raised and values instilled. I guess being military brats also helped :-)

  5. Just saw this at the Weekly Standard – how’s this for “sticker shock”.

    Friday, Mar 22, 2013

    Biden’s $459,388.65 Hotel Bill

    ‘Approximately 136 hotel rooms for 893 room nights.’
    9:46 AM, Mar 22, 2013 • By JERYL BIER

    Vice President Biden and his entourage spent a little time in London in early February during his first foreign trip of the second term of the Obama administration.

      • Star, it’s gets rounder and rounder.

        As it turns out, Vice President Joe Biden’s London stay in February was not the most expensive part of his trip. A government document released on February 14, 2013 shows that the contract for the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand came in at $585,000.50.

    • Yeah, but at least we got rid of Joe Biden, however temporarily…

      Much has been said about The Vacationing One and his spendthrift beard as well as this jacka – eh, Vice President, but IMHO, I believe it would be FAR cheaper if we just let them take a series of Mooch’s 5 star trips on our dime ALL the time. Here’s the catch. No speeches, proposals, or TelePrompTer readings permitted while on vacation. Hey Obama, relax, you’ve earned it! (sarc).

      While this will have a large bill, think of what it could have spared us if we had JUST sponsored The Entitled Family’s taking a four-year vacay starting in 2009 under these terms! We would have avoided Obamacare, for example…

      With that in mind, honestly, do you think even Moochie on her wildest lobster and lingerie shopping sprees could spend CLOSE to the trillions that Obamacare’s costing us, not to mention the collateral damage to the world’s economy? See where I’m going?

      So please, PLEASE, Obamas, take a vacation! Take ALL the vacations! Take Joey with you! And don’t worry about running the country, you’ve done SUCH a good job so far, we’ll be able to muddle along without you somehow…

  6. While the enormity of Obamacare is not expected to kick in until next year, my individual Blue Cross premium increased 30% in Jan. Adding insult to injury, I was forced to sign five ‘agreements’ between doctor and patient when I went for an annual physical last month. The most egregious of which was the notification that I may (or may not) be charged an extra fee if I have a different ‘complaint’ from those of my last visit! I have had the same Internist for 20 years, yet I was ‘ordered’ to show a picture ID which was photocopied and placed in my chart.

    Obamacare should be sub-titled ‘the High Cost of Inferior Healthcare’.

    Obamacare is reducing all of us to the lowest common denominator. We are cattle being herded into the Obamacare train. Doctors are now offering
    ‘group sessions’ for patients suffering from similar infirmities, diabetes, heart disease, etc .I suppose we should be grateful to even see an M.D., since many will be examined by a pharmacist, optometrist or CNA.

    • My supplemental (oh dear, I must be one of those seniors) insurance sky-rocketed in the last three years. The insurance companies were filling their coiffers before SCOTUS in anticipation. At these rates the option of using a pharmacist or RN sounds good. I fully expect a local vetanarian to be certified to treat this “old dog” eventually. No need to wonder why they’ll call me a “bitch” in no time. ; )

  7. Don’t forget the half a trillion the bill took out of Medicare and then sort of faked back in to get Obama through the election without anyone noticing (you know those gimlet-eyed oldsters)? Now the so-called Advantage plans are going to start whacking away at what can be done to you.

  8. […] What’s more, healthy young people who have foregone insurance as not worth the cost will now have to have it – and pay for it – effectively subsidizing older, sicker consumers, since insurers in 2014 will no longer be able take health history into account when deciding on coverage and are limited in their ability to do so based on age.   LINK […]

  9. Two easy and costless laws that are needed to control Health Costs are: 1. Having Hospitals disclose their ‘ChargeMasters’. This is their master price list for procedures and supplies. It becomes the prices those without insurance must pay. The ChargeMasters are so out of wack to reality it is the reason why over half of bankrupcys occur today. Furthermore, as part of the disclosure, Hospitals need to provide a comparsion on every bill of what Medicare (the current standard) pays for each item on its ChargeMaster. Medicare by the way, pays the Hospitals its costs plus a 6% return, so contrary to reports Hospitals don’t lose money on Medicare patients, they just don’t make nearly as much.
    2. Congress as part of the 2004 Medicare Part D reform, prohibited Medicare from even establishing standards for Prescription Drug prices as was done for Medical procedures. Medicare is actually prohibited from even NEGOTIATING prescription drug prices. This the main reason why Americans pay 200-300% more for the same drugs as anyone else in the world.
    Economic Freedom depends on information to have an efficient market. What is occurring now is blind purchases by consumers in a market dominated by oligarchies whose pricing is defended by the government.

    • Excellent summation, overview and suggestions. Sadly, it makes too much sense for DC to even consider such measures.

      It does, however, make fuel for the fire and you should get the message out to anyone and everyone who will print it.

  10. This atrocity called Obamacare will be the death of freedom and liberty in America if it is not pulled up by the roots and the ground around it salted. We could blame this all on Obama, but he couldn’t have accomplished his usurpation without the aid of our elected representatives from both sides of the aisle. From the disgraced GOP Senator Olympia Snowe, who voted to move Obamacare out of committee and chose not to run for reelection because of her vote, to the treachery of the GW Bush appointee, John Roberts, who had to turn the Constitution on its head to rule the individual mandate a tax – we the people have been betrayed by the people we sent to Washington to represent us. No longer do they see themselves as our representatives, but as our masters.

    The only way to escape from this abyss will be to vote the usurpers out of office. We need more legislators like Senator Ted Cruz who promised Texans his first act would be to introduce a bill to repeal Obamacare. He lived up to his promise, and from that straight party line vote it is clear that as long as the Democrats are in control of the Senate we will never repeal Obamacare. The RINOs need to be defeated as well. The majority of them just voted for the continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. The RINOs are fine with funding Obamacare because they are afraid they won’t be re-elected if they put up a fight to defund it. Clearing out the deadwood in Congress will be a very daunting task because America has become so corrupted and dumbed down, but it can be done. We the people need to stand up and fight by spreading the message far and wide about this impending evil that is Obamacare.

    • We all know what happens when dead wood sits in the forest for too many years – along comes a storm, some lightening that ignites a bush fire that consumes the dead wood.

    • I’m so impressed with Ted Cruz. I wouldn’t say this about many, but I don’t think he will knuckle under to anyone. Next year his name will be on the CPAC straw poll although what I’d really like to see is the next Republican President name him to the Supreme Court and replace John Roberts as Chief Justice.

    • Meanwhile.. Deb is having no issues spending money and taking trips on the govt dime. How was your AF1 ride and trip to the Holy Land?

      Give me a break. Granted DC is expensive, but no way am I willing to ask for aides or staff to get raises.

  11. Common sense tells one that a law that forbids insurance companies to deny coverage for existing conditions, many such as cancer extremely expensive to treat, and forbidding insurance companies to cap payments will have to increase the costs of health care. When more extremely sick people are added to insurance pools and payments for their care are endless, no one with common sense can argue this will save money.

    Of course these are just two of the myriad of draconian mandates in Obamacare and all of them serve to create class warfare where the middle class is eliminated and become members of the poor class which will be pitted against the wealthy class.

  12. I was terrified when I saw Obamacare coming down the pike. So much so that I worked the phone banks for Scott Brown of MA from here in GA. I felt we had a firewall when he got in and then….one of the worst days in our nation’s history with this backdoor RAM it piece of legislation.The only thing that was even worse, was when I looked around and found that virtually nobody cared or even knew what had just happened. Ah….still sickens me.