Six months of ObamaCare: Two Minnesota insurers stop selling individual policies

posted at 9:30 am on September 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

If you like your policy, you can keep your policy meets We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it right here in Minnesota as ObamaCare hits its six-month mark.  Two major insurers have decided to suspend sales of individual policies rather than run the compliance gauntlet in the health-care overhaul bill, today’s Pioneer Press reports.  Why?  No one really knows what the rules actually are:

Bloomington-based HealthPartners says it is temporarily suspending sales of individual health insurance policies due to uncertainty created by the new federal law.

Congress passed health reform six months ago, but starting today new health insurance policies must comply with key provisions of the legislation.

In Minnesota, that’s meant changes to health plan policies that regulators at the Minnesota Department of Commerce must approve before companies can sell policies to new customers. The state hasn’t signed off on changes because the Commerce Department needs more guidance on certain new federal rules, said Amy Von Walter, a spokeswoman for HealthPartners.

“Due to continuing changes caused by health care reform, we temporarily have no long term individual medical plans for sale” the insurance company says in a notice on its website. “We are currently working with regulators to get affordable products approved to sell as quickly as possible.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota also is waiting for final approval before it can resume sales of its health plans for individuals, said Pam Lux, a spokeswoman for the Eagan-based insurer.

Instead of relieving the uncertainty by passing ObamaCare, the administration and Congress has made the environment so uncertain that insurers can’t even sell their plans — regardless of whether they comply with the mandates.  This doesn’t affect people with existing plans, who will be able to renew their coverage.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for as many as 3 million seniors with supplemental prescription coverage for their Medicare plans, who will lose their existing plans and have to pay significantly more to switch:

Millions of seniors face double-digit hikes in their Medicare prescription premiums next year unless they shop for cheaper coverage, a new analysis of government data finds.

Premiums will go up an average of 10 percent among the top 10 drugplans that have signed up about 70 percent of seniors, according to an analysis of Medicare data by Avalere Health, a private research firm. …

More than 3 million seniors will see their plans discontinued, according to Avalere. Medicare says all but 300,000 will be seamlessly switched to another plan offered by the same insurer, but the Avalere data suggest it may not be that simple.

Medicare “is really reshaping the market,” said Mendelson. “There are a lot of plans that are shutting down.”

The largest plan being discontinued came from an organization that publicly campaigned for ObamaCare passage — the AARP.  Their MedicareRX Saver plan, which offered a lower-cost premium in return for reduced coverage, will shut down in a week.  Consumers will get routed to their more-expensive Preferred plan, which costs almost 15% more.  It has better “doughnut hole” coverage, but until ObamaCare passed, consumers could choose for themselves which plan best fit their needs.  Now, the 1.5 million in the Savers plan — who apparently didn’t buy enough prescription medication to need the Preferred plan — will enter the risk pool of the larger plan.

And what about the people already in the Preferred plan?  Their premiums will actually drop 11%.  Why?  Because AARP can now forcibly transfer the low-risk pool into that plan and spread the costs over more people.  The Savers seniors essentially will subsidize the Preferred seniors. The only way that the Savers seniors can avoid that is to find a new plan, but thanks to ObamaCare, the choices are rapidly disappearing.

Seniors will be getting this news a month before the midterm elections, as will others impacted by decisions like those made by Minnesota insurers.  It’s practically timed to enrage the electorate in an already volatile election cycle.  That’s the part of ObamaCare that Democrats will be discovering in five weeks.


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The fix is in!!

abobo on September 24, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Health Partners? Jeebus…I can’t tell you how many people I know who are covered by HP.

As for the seniors, they are going to get some form letter which describes the changes in legalese so dense that they probably won’t completely understand, until the higher bills start showing up.

Count on it!

Bishop on September 24, 2010 at 9:34 AM

All the more reason to seriously look forward to November.

pilamaye on September 24, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Hopefully the dolts that elected keith ellison (no longer his real name as he converted to Muslim) will wake up!

chicken thief on September 24, 2010 at 9:36 AM

It’s too bad that it will take the senior population getting absolutely HOSED by Obamacare before many will turn on him. I can’t believe people are still members of AARP, either.

search4truth on September 24, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Every time I see that picture, I think Obama is playing with an invisible Hula Hoop. Man, he’s lost it.

Ward Cleaver on September 24, 2010 at 9:38 AM

When all of the lies, deceptions and total corruption being commited by Obama and his incompetent administration, the American public may not believe it is possible because it is so mind boggling. It is entirely possible that life, as we know it, may never be the same. NOvember is critical.

volsense on September 24, 2010 at 9:39 AM

It’s too bad that it will take the senior population getting absolutely HOSED by Obamacare before many will turn on him. I can’t believe people are still members of AARP, either.

search4truth on September 24, 2010 at 9:37 AM

My MiL canceled her membership.

Ward Cleaver on September 24, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Designed to destroy the system so that people will want nazionalized health care. Ain’t gonna happen bub.

Repeal it all. Vote the Fascist-Democrats out.

rbj on September 24, 2010 at 9:40 AM

It’s too bad that it will take the senior population getting absolutely HOSED by Obamacare before many will turn on him. I can’t believe people are still members of AARP, either.

search4truth on September 24, 2010 at 9:37 AM

They sure as hell better not vote Democrat in November. If they do, they have no one to blame but themselves for their inevitable suffering.

Doughboy on September 24, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Huh, they just better not let Sebelius hear any bitchin about it. Or else.

Akzed on September 24, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I keep hearing Kaa, the boa constrictor in Jungle Book, singing “Trust in Me”.

AubieJon on September 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Sebelius better not get wind of their dissatisfaction.

Akzed on September 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I was listening to Jerry Doyle last night while driving kids around he was talking about this.
Once state’s premiums were going up 40%. They (on the show) thoroughly covered the keeping children/adults on your policy until 26 as well.
Obamacare needs to be repealed as soon as humanly possible. Not surprising, so far, the groups that are blindly Democrat are getting the biggest increases.
And as stated on Jerry Doyle’s show over and over, the money has to come from somewhere.
Obamacare is the biggest cluster imaginable.

ORconservative on September 24, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Demoncrats. Spawned from hell, to destroy you! Who wouldn’t love that??? *sigh*

Now I worry about my mom, and inlaws. This is not going to be good for them, or any seniors. :( Well…except those in higher office, who won’t put themselves under this, the way they forced it on the rest of us.

capejasmine on September 24, 2010 at 9:49 AM

I got a notice this summer from the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s insurance broker that Blue Cross’ HMO (Keystone) would no longer write individual policies or sole practitioner policies (one lawyer and a secretary or paralegal) for them. (I’m an independent contractor at my firm, so get insurance through the PBA.) The policies in effect are safe, but no new policyholders would be signed up.

Wethal on September 24, 2010 at 9:49 AM

I get a solicitation to join AARP about once a week. I send it all back in their envelope, postage paid by them…

Fallon on September 24, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Coventry, among others, has already announced that they will no longer write individual children policies. As I sit down to make 70 cold calls today to small businesses as an independent health insurance agent, I wonder to myself: Is Walmart hiring?

kingsjester on September 24, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Why? No one really knows what the rules actually are:

No Ed, they know what the rules are, they know what the future holds, they know exactly what action and policies they need to implement.
The problem is this:
They can’t discuss it, they can’t debate it, they can’t editorialize about it.
If they say anything negative, they will be severely punished. That his been made quite plain and made public by this administration.
If if the discussion isn’t “negative” but a discussion to resolve or explain why, they know the wrong step, the wrong word, or if it is reported out of context, and the insurance company will suffer an attack so severe, that they will not survive.
This administration has made it very clear…there will be no negative, or perceived negative publicity regarding health care.
Therefore, no resolution, no “fixes”, no change can be made except by the government. Suggestions will not be tolerated, but will be construed as attacks.

right2bright on September 24, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Just take the blue pill and die/death panel.

OldEnglish on September 24, 2010 at 9:55 AM

kingsjester on September 24, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Come on out to Minnesota, I am looking for someone who can weld and operate heavy equipment well enough to make repairs on them. One of my guys decided to join the Navy along with his little brother.

Bishop on September 24, 2010 at 9:56 AM

The largest plan being discontinued came from an organization that publicly campaigned for ObamaCare passage — the AARP. Their MedicareRX Saver plan, which offered a lower-cost premium in return for reduced coverage, will shut down in a week. Consumers will get routed to their more-expensive Preferred plan, which costs almost 15% more.

And is more profitable for AARP.

Vashta.Nerada on September 24, 2010 at 9:57 AM

capejasmine on September 24, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Aw shiite, I never considered that. My parents don’t have any sort of retirement plans, they were both self-employed and get their health coverage on the fly.

Bishop on September 24, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Bishop on September 24, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I appreciate the invitation, Bish. But that’s beyond my skillset. I can pull a palletjack with the best of them, though.

kingsjester on September 24, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Florida insurers have stopped selling child-only policies.

Ronnie on September 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Get that Silver Sneakers gang on the march in protest, and O-care will have one more nail in its redistributive coffin.

How is Commissar Sebelius handling this news? Will she have to go up there to Minnesota to punish its insurance carriers?

onlineanalyst on September 24, 2010 at 10:07 AM

The October Surprise

phreshone on September 24, 2010 at 10:11 AM

kingsjester on September 24, 2010 at 9:59 AM

I hear ya. My shops are fairly specialized, the guy who is leaving is becoming a Seabee, normally you have to wait years to get in that program and the Navy is putting him at the head of the line because of his skills. You have a tough business to operate in today’s climate, no doubt.

Bishop on September 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM

The law has been controversial. In August, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he would take whatever steps he could to impede implementation of federal reform, and it is his administration’s Commerce Department that has not provided final approvals for the offerings from HealthPartners and Blue Cross.

But health plan officials say the Commerce Department has been doing everything possible to get the situation resolved.

Gee, Ed, it wouldn’t be a Republican Governor trying to f*ck up the process for political reasons, would it?

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM

How bad is it when your children are not your children when it comes to dietary requirements, sex education and abortion decisions but they are still your children up to age 26 on your health care plan?

fourdeucer on September 24, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Bishop on September 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM

I spent 27 years in Corporate Video Production and A/V Services. With everyone having editing programs on their PC, A/V equipment available over the internet, and coporations not doing the huge conventions anymore because of the economy, those businesses are dead, too.

kingsjester on September 24, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Everyone in the hand basket….we’re going on a trip!

milwife88 on September 24, 2010 at 10:18 AM

And what about the people already in the Preferred plan? Their premiums will actually drop 11%.

I read this story from AP yesterday and here’s what they said in the article:

And there’s another wrinkle: Seniors who are already in the AARP Preferred plan this year and decide to stay will see their premiums fall 11 percent on average. Instead of an average of $39 a month, they’ll be paying under $35.

No explanation, no analysis from AP. Thank you Ed for putting this “good” news into perspective – the light users are subsidizing the heavy users of prescription drugs:

Because AARP can now forcibly transfer the low-risk pool into that plan and spread the costs over more people. The Savers seniors essentially will subsidize the Preferred seniors.

mdenis39 on September 24, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Not sure if this is off-topic, but I got a strange phone call last night from Hartford Hospital (CT), where someone claimed that Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s contract with them expired on Oct. 31, and that BC/BS “was not negotiating in good faith” for renewal, and asked me to write to BC/BS to complain about it.

Since I don’t really know the facts here, I told the man on the phone that I didn’t want to get involved in a dispute between a hospital and an insurance company which didn’t concern me, but I asked him whether the “new health insurance law” may have had some influence on the negotiations. The man on the phone said he didn’t know, and then hung up.

I don’t know if this is an isolated incident, or whether proponents of ObamaCare (or health-care providers) are trying to enlist uninvolved third parties to demonize the insurance industry.

But this sure is strange. I have never before received a call from any health-care provider asking me to protest against an insurance company. Is this part of the strategy of ObamaCare–to pit hospitals against insurance companies, “divide and conquer”, so the Government can force private insurance out of business?

Steve Z on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I was told that every insurer in LA, MS and AR have dropped individual policies for children. (One in AR MAY still offer.)

These states already had a CHIP program and a high risk pool for kids with serious, pre-existing conditions that could not get “regular” health insurance that was subsidised by the State and Fed.

So, now, only the State offers an individual policy for kids.

barnone on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

He is the DOTUS………everyday….several times a day….seemingly every hour we hear/see/feel evidence t support this view.

DON’T doubt the PAPPYD!!

PappyD61 on September 24, 2010 at 10:22 AM

ugh…my father’s policy is through AARP, better give him call pronto…

cmsinaz on September 24, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Not sure if this is off-topic, but I got a strange phone call last night from Hartford Hospital (CT), where someone claimed that Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s contract with them expired on Oct. 31, and that BC/BS “was not negotiating in good faith” for renewal, and asked me to write to BC/BS to complain about it.

Steve Z on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

In New Orleans, a parish(county)owned hospital and BC are running dueling radio ads saying the same thing.

barnone on September 24, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Steve Z on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Insurance is regulated by state insurance commissioners. Any rate increases have to be approved by those commissioners. My impression is that CT recently approved premium increases. Unless the CT insurance commissioner is acting in bad faith, no one should have any beef except with Obama and Dems. Under the circumstances, the insurers presumably proved their case, so they shouldn’t be blamed.

BuckeyeSam on September 24, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Why are there so many idiots who vote Democrat?

WisCon on September 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

With all these companies refusing to sell policies, it’s just a matter of time before people start clamoring for the government to do something. Of course the Dems would love to provide a low cost (initially, at our expense) public option as a response to public “demand” and to “increase competitition”.

John Deaux on September 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Not sure if this is off-topic, but I got a strange phone call last night from Hartford Hospital (CT), where someone claimed that Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s contract with them expired on Oct. 31, and that BC/BS “was not negotiating in good faith” for renewal, and asked me to write to BC/BS to complain about it.

Since I don’t really know the facts here, I told the man on the phone that I didn’t want to get involved in a dispute between a hospital and an insurance company which didn’t concern me, but I asked him whether the “new health insurance law” may have had some influence on the negotiations. The man on the phone said he didn’t know, and then hung up.

I don’t know if this is an isolated incident, or whether proponents of ObamaCare (or health-care providers) are trying to enlist uninvolved third parties to demonize the insurance industry.

But this sure is strange. I have never before received a call from any health-care provider asking me to protest against an insurance company. Is this part of the strategy of ObamaCare–to pit hospitals against insurance companies, “divide and conquer”, so the Government can force private insurance out of business?

Steve Z on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Blue Cross/Blue Shield has negotiated hard with hospitals for a number of years. When I was in Michigan, one of the hospitals in our area was dropped by BC/BS for a few months. They eventually worked it out.

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Consumers will get routed to their more-expensive Preferred plan, which costs almost 15% more.

What’s that old saying?

“Follow the money!”

Oldnuke on September 24, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Bambicare wasnt meant to help the health care system, it was meant to collapse it.

The democrats want all citizens dependent on them for health care.

They want control over life itself.

Labamigo on September 24, 2010 at 10:30 AM

SOYLENT GREEN RESORT GIFT CARDS now available from HHS.

Special discounts now available for:
SENIORS, handicapped, AIDS/HIV, and other selected groups.

PappyD61 on September 24, 2010 at 10:31 AM

With all these companies refusing to sell policies, it’s just a matter of time before people start clamoring for the government to do something. Of course the Dems would love to provide a low cost (initially, at our expense) public option as a response to public “demand” and to “increase competitition”.

John Deaux on September 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Guys, they already do. Google your state’s “high risk pool”. In New Orleans if you are over 50, have high blood pressure, cancer twice, 3 heart attacks are 5′ and 450 lbs, your insurance premium is $650 with a $2000 deductible.

So, if you were denied insurance by 2 carriers, you could already get insurance. It was a scam from the begining.

barnone on September 24, 2010 at 10:33 AM

“My premiums are going down 11%!?! Yay, Democrats!1! Twenty-three Skiddoo!!!”

/AARP Preferred Plan customer!

Kensington on September 24, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Obama’s legacy will be that he was the President who completely destroyed the best Health Care System in the World and also the free market system. He had a lot of help from the Media who still continues to adore and praise him as he leads us down the path of destruction. Don’t count on the Bush Tax Cuts being extended. Obama and the democrats have no intent on doing so, if they did, it would have already been done before the election.

flintstone on September 24, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Ed,

I think you should change the headline here to more accurately reflect the situation. The insurers haven’t arbitrarily stopped selling policies. They are being prevented from selling policies by the state and federal regulators who don’t know what the rules are and can’t approve any policies at all.

mrveritas on September 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Gee, Ed, it wouldn’t be a Republican Governor trying to f*ck up the process for political reasons, would it?

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Too late, Jimmy, the politicians have already f*cked up the process. They called it health care reform, remember?

iurockhead on September 24, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Ya think that maybe if they had published the Bill a few weeks before it was submitted to vote perhaps one or two or more would have been able to point out the obvious, bring it to the attention of the public at large and stop it before it became law?

The Dems knew what was in the Bill…none of this was accidental. It provides a pretext.

The solution to private insurers getting out of a very expensive and high risk market will be an edict from this Administration that we simply have to have single payor helth insurance mandatory in all states for all citizens.

That was and is and will be their goal.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Why are there so many idiots who vote Democrat?
WisCon on September 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

We could put that question to the oppressive trolls, but I think you answered your own question.

Chip on September 24, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Ed,

I think you should change the headline here to more accurately reflect the situation. The insurers haven’t arbitrarily stopped selling policies. They are being prevented from selling policies by the state and federal regulators who don’t know what the rules are and can’t approve any policies at all.

mrveritas on September 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM

If you read the article that Ed linked to, it appears that the inaction of the Minnesota Commerce Department–not any other regulators–is causing the problem.

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Steve Z on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The bill decreases the federal funding for indigent care to hospitals like Hartford, which is a level 1 trauma center and likely the primary provider to the medically indigent and uninsured/underinsured in your area. It’s likely that the hospitals are looking to make up the “difference” by increasing rates to insurance companies.

batterup on September 24, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Guys, they already do. Google your state’s “high risk pool”. In New Orleans if you are over 50, have high blood pressure, cancer twice, 3 heart attacks are 5′ and 450 lbs, your insurance premium is $650 with a $2000 deductible.

So, if you were denied insurance by 2 carriers, you could already get insurance. It was a scam from the begining.

barnone on September 24, 2010 at 10:33 AM

It’s not that simple. It can take 9 months to get coverage in Louisiana in the high risk pool: Open To New Enrollees -
6 Month Waiting Period NOTE: Currently there is also a 3 month wait list

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Hot Air should follow closely RomneyCare here in Mass. Our healthcare insurance rates keep going up, now they are the highest in the country. They are strong arming insurance companies while ignoring the under lying reasons for the high costs. And RomneyCare was the model for ObamaCare, it’s a good preview of how bad things will get if we don’t repeal Obamacare.

http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2010/09/23/small_firms_health_care_rates_soaring/

shanimal on September 24, 2010 at 10:55 AM

In New Orleans, a parish(county)owned hospital and BC are running dueling radio ads saying the same thing.

barnone on September 24, 2010 at 10:23 AM

There was a similar situation in Baton Rouge within the past year involving BC/BS and at least one of the major hospitals.

While doing a search, I also found articles on another case of this in Houma, LA, where the hospital there was upset with BC/BS that they got rural reimbursement rates compared with the rates received by hospitals in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, etc.

teke184 on September 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Visions of “Logan’s Run” in my mind right now.

If I could, I’d beatch slap all the Dems in Congress, and Obama too.

GrannyDee on September 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM

There can be no debate regarding this bill…the administration has already announced that any dissent would be met with intolerance, that they would be punished by not having access to government programs.
They were blatant about it…so why is this a surprise, insurers will drop programs, instead of trying to change the bill because this regime is intolerant of any criticism.
It started with “flag@whitehouse.gov” and when that was shouted down, it went “underground”, but still in speeches.
Madam Zero Tolerance, Sebilius, stated publically that any criticism would be punished severely…that any “misinformation” (read what we don’t agree with) will be dealt with in the harshest manner.

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.”

A letter sent Thursday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans — the chief lobbyist for private health insurance companies.

right2bright on September 24, 2010 at 11:02 AM

JIMBO you are a fool

Enjoy your lesson in the law of unintended consequences idiot.

CWforFreedom on September 24, 2010 at 11:05 AM

It’s not that simple. It can take 9 months to get coverage in Louisiana in the high risk pool: Open To New Enrollees -
6 Month Waiting Period NOTE: Currently there is also a 3 month wait list

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:55 AM

You have to be a resident for 6 months to get it otherwise there is immediate eligibility – and they have 2 plans, one is immediate on pre-existing and one has a 6 month waiting period. I don’t know where you are getting the 3 month wait list but that sounds like it’s a paperwork back-up.

That 6 month on the pre-existing is no different than a person with a pre-existing condition who lets their coverage lapse & then has a 6 month waiting period on their new plan with their employer – it’s a HIPPA law.

batterup on September 24, 2010 at 11:07 AM

And the sad thing is if BCBS is one of the only survivors it will take many months to get claims processed. Having worked in claims submission BCBS is the worst at getting claims through. So pray folks that we don’t end up with them as primary players.

wi farmgirl on September 24, 2010 at 11:08 AM

If you remember, the Liar-in-chief said premiums would go down.

rjoco1 on September 24, 2010 at 11:12 AM

I spent 27 years in Corporate Video Production and A/V Services. With everyone having editing programs on their PC, A/V equipment available over the internet, and coporations not doing the huge conventions anymore because of the economy, those businesses are dead, too.

kingsjester on September 24, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Try looking at mega churches. They are very A/V friendly. They are constantly looking for people with those skills. We have 3 services that are simulcast video, one to a remote church plant. Many are paid positions, especially management.

Also consider large ministries, they do the simulcast big events all across the country and even world. Just attended one this last weekend that was in 8 countries and shown to several hundred thousand people. Not sure if this would be an option but just sayin could be an opportunity.

wi farmgirl on September 24, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Steve Z on September 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Boy that sure will leave lots of people that carry their plan in the lurch. Can you imagine paying premiums on that plan and then the hospital you go to just got their contract dropped? How far do they have to go to get emergency care then? What about newborn and L&D claims? This could get really nasty out there for consumers and providers. BCBS only negotiates to their advantage, and does not respond to providers very well at all. At least in WI.

wi farmgirl on September 24, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Why are there so many idiots who vote Democrat?

WisCon on September 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

I ask myself that several times a day. Koolaid?

wi farmgirl on September 24, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Instead of relieving the uncertainty by passing ObamaCare, the administration and Congress has made the environment so uncertain that insurers can’t even sell their plans — regardless of whether they comply with the mandates.

Worse. The department that enforces compliance can’t even decide what insurance plans need to comply with, and is still seeking guidance from the federal government that passed the law.

This is uncertainty at the business level, the state regulation level, and the federal law level. A trifecta of confusion.

tom on September 24, 2010 at 12:00 PM

And what about the people already in the Preferred plan? Their premiums will actually drop 11%. Why? Because AARP can now forcibly transfer the low-risk pool into that plan and spread the costs over more people. The Savers seniors essentially will subsidize the Preferred seniors. The only way that the Savers seniors can avoid that is to find a new plan, but thanks to ObamaCare, the choices are rapidly disappearing.

No wonder the AARP spent member bucks to promote Obamacare. They have forced subscribers to up their premiums and increase the money pool of the AARP

AARP has found a way to get the old geezers to fork over.

I found a WAPO article from 10-27-09 stating the AARP was paid $650 million in royalties and fees from insurance companies etc. According to the article the AARP lends its name and gets back part of the premiums, tax exempt

AARP execs collect the big bucks. The prior CEO collected 1 million in salary and compensation. I havent found the current CEO info yet

entagor on September 24, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Will the government PLEASE stop tinkering with our private business arrangements? I am so sick of this. They have wrecked home ownership, now they are wrecking our health insurance. They obviously don’t have enough “real” work to do and are justifying their existence though finding things to meddle in.

One simple fix for this … freeze on Congressional salaries for 10 years and the elimination of Congressional pensions. I believe then you will see the sessions get shorter and fewer people in office for decades.

crosspatch on September 24, 2010 at 12:06 PM

And a freeze on salaries for 10 years gives them a financial incentive to prevent inflating the economy as they would get no cost of living adjustments, the greater the inflation rate, the lower their salary in real terms.

crosspatch on September 24, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I stand by what I said yesterday when the new law took effect:

SumErgoMonstro The Monster
Why are people surprised when “if you do X, you must do Y” laws result in less X, not increased Y? #HCR

The Monster on September 24, 2010 at 12:10 PM

You have to be a resident for 6 months to get it otherwise there is immediate eligibility – and they have 2 plans, one is immediate on pre-existing and one has a 6 month waiting period. I don’t know where you are getting the 3 month wait list but that sounds like it’s a paperwork back-up.

That 6 month on the pre-existing is no different than a person with a pre-existing condition who lets their coverage lapse & then has a 6 month waiting period on their new plan with their employer – it’s a HIPPA law.

batterup on September 24, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Here’s the link:

http://www.cobrahealth.com/statehighriskpools.html

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Absolute crooked, incompetent, bast*rds! We need to reinstate penalties like tarring and feathering. These morons would stop immediately after seeing just one of their bretheren ridden out on a rail!

ultracon on September 24, 2010 at 12:33 PM

So, the ones that can afford it will get a cut in the costs, while those that cant afford it will have to pay more? Zero, looking out for the middle class.

WoosterOh on September 24, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Uh, just to make sure everyone knows, AARP does not sell insurance. They “recommend” companies that do sell insurance in exchange for their endorsement. That translates into big bucks for the AARP for nothing more than the AARP logo on the insurers product.

Johnnyreb on September 24, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Johnnyreb on September 24, 2010 at 1:46 PM

I was thinking along that line as well. So if rates go up, AARP gets mo money?

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Are we supposed to feel sorry for the people of Minnesota? After all, they were ‘stoopid’ enough to elect Senator ‘Smalley’.

olesparkie on September 24, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 12:16 PM

As usual you are spreading disinformation how about you go to the STATE website & read about it there.

Here are the credentials of your source:

COBRAHealth.com – About Us

We are a group of health insurance professionals volunteering our time to improve the site, answers emails and update visitors on the COBRAHEALTH user board. There is no registration required and no fee.

We are located in San Marcos California and consists of lawyers, paralegal’s, insurance agents, and experienced HR reps.

The Louisiana State website explains their high risk pools (two of them) very clearly and doesn’t discuss any mandatory 3 month waiting period. And you have been educated on the HIPPA laws multiple times yet you persist in spreading disinformation about coverage for pre-existing conditions. HCAN?

batterup on September 24, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Hot Air should follow closely RomneyCare here in Mass. Our healthcare insurance rates keep going up, now they are the highest in the country. They are strong arming insurance companies while ignoring the under lying reasons for the high costs. And RomneyCare was the model for ObamaCare, it’s a good preview of how bad things will get if we don’t repeal Obamacare.

http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2010/09/23/small_firms_health_care_rates_soaring/

shanimal on September 24, 2010 at 10:55 AM

People need to simply as their Human Resource reps what is coming. It is not good. This year won’t be that bad but wait til next year.

CWforFreedom on September 24, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Gee, Ed, it wouldn’t be a Republican Governor trying to f*ck up the process for political reasons, would it?

Jimbo3

Shouldn’t you be in a welfare line somewhere, or maybe stealing from your neighbors?

xblade on September 24, 2010 at 6:01 PM

batterup, from the Louisiana site:

NOTE: There is a 6-month waiting period in the High
Risk Pool for pre-existing conditions.

http://www.lahealthplan.org/index-noflash.html

Jimbo3 on September 25, 2010 at 10:35 AM

And batterup, also from a letter on the Louisiana site in July; it looks like funding problems are limiting the number of new enrollees:

The final version of the Appropriations bill did NOT include any funding for the High Risk
Health Insurance Pool.

What is the impact of loss of the $2 million?

1. Lowered number of new enrollees in the High Risk Pool2. Decrease in the “Reserves” for long term claims payment
3. Possible increases in premiums

Jimbo3 on September 25, 2010 at 10:58 AM