Purchase your own health insurance?

michaelr

Former Staff
Dec 2006
89,668
6,643
FEMA Region 10
[quote name='Gypsy' date='18 February 2010 - 06:19 AM' timestamp='1266502741' post='117647']

HHS warns of double-digit spike in health premiums





WASHINGTON – Eye-popping health insurance premium increases of up to 39 percent are not an exception but a worrisome sign of the times, the Obama administration said in a report Thursday.



Proposed premium increases by Anthem Blue Cross for Californians purchasing their own coverage set off a wave of criticism and forced the company last week to announce a postponement. Now, the Health and Human Services Department says similar pressure on premiums is being felt in at least six other states.



"This shocking increase isn't unique," said the report, being presented by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a news conference Thursday. "Across the country, families have seen their premiums skyrocket in recent years, and experts predict these increases will continue."



With his drive for health care overhaul bogged down, President Barack Obama has seized on the Anthem premium increases as Exhibit A to make his case for sweeping change before a bipartisan White House summit next week. California officials say 700,000 households face increases averaging 25 percent overall and as high as 39 percent for some.



The HHS report found that those numbers are in line with increases sought by insurers in other states — at a time of robust profit growth for the companies and a lack of competition in most states.



For example, Anthem in Maine was denied an 18.5 percent increase last year and is now requesting that state regulators approve a 23 percent rise. Maine is home to Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Republican moderates whose support Obama would like to have for his health care legislation.



Michigan's Blue Cross Blue Shield plan requested approval for premium increases of 56 percent in 2009. And in the state of Washington, rates for some individual health plans increased by up to 40 percent until regulators cracked down.



Other states cited in the report were Connecticut, Oregon and Rhode Island.



The premium increases affect the most vulnerable part of the health insurance market, policies marketed individually to customers buying their own plans. According to the Census Bureau, only about 9 percent of Americans purchase coverage directly, while nearly 60 percent are covered under employer plans. Family premiums for those with workplace coverage rose 5 percent last year, even as inflation fell 1 percent, but nowhere near the rates seen in the individual market.



The health care legislation pending in Congress aims mainly to address the insurance problems of individuals and small businesses. While requiring most Americans to carry coverage, it would provide subsidies to make premiums more affordable. It would also create a new kind of insurance supermarket for individuals and small businesses, offering a range of competitive plans comparable to what federal employees have.



Insurers say the push for higher premiums reflects supply and demand. Medical costs keep going up, even in a weak economy. Many healthy people are dropping coverage or switching to bare-bones policies to keep their bills down. That leaves a higher proportion of people with health problems in the risk pool, forcing the steep rate increases.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_insurance_rates/print

[/quote]

This happens as the government is expected to bail them out. The health insurance industry is struggling, there are fewer employed people, therefore fewer insured people. They, like the gov will rape the workers that are left.
 
Aug 2006
4,676
260
Valley of the Sun
[quote name='Pragmatist' date='18 February 2010 - 06:37 PM' timestamp='1266518244' post='117775']If you are insinuating healthcare is not an essential service you are simply an idiot.[/quote]



That's not what I'm "insinuating".



But now that you bring it up, healthcare is essential in certain situations.



Nearly anything can be considered "essential" in the right situation.



In the sense that having a gun might save my life, one might consider gun production an "essential service". That would make funding for gun production an "essential service".



Should the government be responsible for funding the production of, or flat-out producing, guns?



Of course not. If you base your argument on a premise, but don't apply that premise objectively, you have no rational argument.



What's the % of GNP spent in all those countries for healthcare versus the US?


Immaterial.



The problem is that costs are rising much faster than the CPI.



Want to fix something? Identify the actual problem.



The difference makes it ridiculously obvious that you are flat wrong.


Wrong about what? What proposition have I made that those statistics prove false?



None. Not a single one.



Disagree? You're either reading a proposition that isn't there (making you insane), or making an assumption.
 

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
33,456
21,902
SoCal
[quote name='michaelr' date='18 February 2010 - 11:06 AM' timestamp='1266519974' post='117804']

This happens as the government is expected to bail them out. The health insurance industry is struggling, there are fewer employed people, therefore fewer insured people. They, like the gov will rape the workers that are left.

[/quote]



Mike, how can they be struggling? Check this line in what you quoted:



The HHS report found that those numbers are in line with increases sought by insurers in other states — at a time of robust profit growth for the companies and a lack of competition in most states.



They aren't struggling, they are gouging their clients because they have monopolies and huge lobbies paying off both Republicans and Democrats, and who the hell can stop them?
 
Dec 2006
271
2
Phoenix AZ
[quote name='Gypsy' date='18 February 2010 - 07:19 AM' timestamp='1266502741' post='117647']

HHS warns of double-digit spike in health premiums



WASHINGTON – Eye-popping health insurance premium increases of up to 39 percent are not an exception but a worrisome sign of the times, the Obama administration said in a report Thursday.

[/quote]

Not a single explanation for the Anthem Blue Corss (CA) rate increase was given. In CA, the state government requires that insurers carry the COBRA covereage longer than other states.



Link to WSJ article with actual facts.



Wellpoint's rate hikes are the direct result of the Golden State's insurance regulations—the kind that Democrats want to impose on all 50 states. Under federal Cobra rules, the unemployed are allowed to keep their job-related health benefits for 18 to 36 months. California then goes further and bars Anthem from dropping these customers even after they have exhausted Cobra. California also caps what Anthem can charge these post-Cobra customers.



Most other states direct these customers to high-risk pools that are partly subsidized, but California requires the individual market to absorb the customers and their costs. Even as California insurers have had to keep insuring these typically older and sicker patients, the recession has driven many younger, healthier policy holders to drop their insurance—leaving fewer customers to fund a more expensive insurance pool.



This explains why Anthem lost $58 million in California on its post-Cobra customers in 2009. If WellPoint didn't raise premiums amid these losses, it would soon be under assault from its shareholders, if not out of business.


Anthem's income on a per-member-per-month basis in 2008 was $12.62, compared to Blue Shield's $13.22 and Kaiser's $18.45. Blue Shield and Kaiser are non-profit.
 

michaelr

Former Staff
Dec 2006
89,668
6,643
FEMA Region 10
[quote name='gabebrooks' date='18 February 2010 - 11:45 AM' timestamp='1266522311' post='117823']

Mike, how can they be struggling? Check this line in what you quoted:



The HHS report found that those numbers are in line with increases sought by insurers in other states — at a time of robust profit growth for the companies and a lack of competition in most states.



They aren't struggling, they are gouging their clients because they have monopolies and huge lobbies paying off both Republicans and Democrats, and who the hell can stop them?

[/quote]

They are profiting because they pay less. The jobs market is the largest supplier to the insurance companies, when that market disappears, the IC's earn less. The market based on U-6 and therefore full coverage benefits, is down about 23~4%. Not good news for the companies. A bailout is needed.
 
Dec 2006
329
0
[quote name='michaelr' date='18 February 2010 - 02:06 PM' timestamp='1266519974' post='117804']

This happens as the government is expected to bail them out. The health insurance industry is struggling, there are fewer employed people, therefore fewer insured people. They, like the gov will rape the workers that are left.

[/quote]



Actually the health insurance industry is doing quite well. Gangsters like United Health Group and Wellstone are making record profits.
 

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
33,456
21,902
SoCal
[quote name='michaelr' date='18 February 2010 - 11:49 AM' timestamp='1266522587' post='117825']

They are profiting because they pay less. The jobs market is the largest supplier to the insurance companies, when that market disappears, the IC's earn less. The market based on U-6 and therefore full coverage benefits, is down about 23~4%. Not good news for the companies. A bailout is needed.

[/quote]



I can't wait to hear the argument for a bailout of companies that are currently experiencing robust profit.



http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HealthCare/health-insurers-post-record-profits/story?id=9818699



In the midst of a deep economic recession, America's health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009, a year that saw 2.7 million people lose their private coverage.
 

michaelr

Former Staff
Dec 2006
89,668
6,643
FEMA Region 10
[quote name='gabebrooks' date='18 February 2010 - 12:05 PM' timestamp='1266523519' post='117839']

I can't wait to hear the argument for a bailout of companies that are currently experiencing robust profit.



http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HealthCare/health-insurers-post-record-profits/story?id=9818699



In the midst of a deep economic recession, America's health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009, a year that saw 2.7 million people lose their private coverage.

[/quote]

You give me free candy bars, let me sell them to you, and I can show a nice profit!
 

metheron

Former Staff
Nov 2006
14,266
4,166
MI
[quote name='Pragmatist' date='18 February 2010 - 10:58 AM' timestamp='1266508734' post='117690']

Seems these 20 30 and 50% increases are the norm countrywide now. I wonder how many more of them America will stand before they replace all the ignorant repubs in congress and get people in there to rectify the problem.

[/quote]





Ha ha ha....whether you agreed with them or not (which apparently you don't) ignorant certainly is not the word for them. They managed to outsmart a supermajority of Democrats for over a year. If you think that Republicans are ignorant I hate to see what word you would use to describe Democrats.



I say get them ALL out of office, lets start fresh. Lets start with people that begin and end legislation based on principle and what is right/wrong for the people in their states. Enough pandering to polls. Do what your people want for you to do, that will get you re-elected.
 

michaelr

Former Staff
Dec 2006
89,668
6,643
FEMA Region 10
[quote name='Horhey' date='18 February 2010 - 12:02 PM' timestamp='1266523378' post='117837']

Actually the health insurance industry is doing quite well. Gangsters like United Health Group and Wellstone are making record profits.

[/quote]

Because they are spending less.