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Another Week, Another Round Of ObamaCare Problems

- August 2, 2016

insurers in illinois and michigan have requested double-digit rate hikes and a co-op is suing to prevent being punished for offering low-cost options to its customers

Michigan Insurers Are Likely To Request An Average 17.3 Percent Premium Increase For 2017, Serving As A Reminder That ObamaCare Has Failed To Lower Healthcare Costs

Health Plans Sold On Michigan's Insurance Exchange Could See An Average 17.3 Percent Premium Increase In 2017. "Health plans sold on Michigan's insurance exchange could see an average 17.3% increase next year, and if recent history is any guide, state regulators could approve the insurance companies' rate hike requests without many - if any - changes." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)

  • If Approved, This Increase Would Be A Financial Hit To Taxpayers And Would Impact The 345,000 Michigan Residents Who Participate In The State's Health Exchange. "The rate increases would mean a financial hit for taxpayers in general and the 345,000 Michiganders who buy their health insurance on the Healthcare.gov exchange, created under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)
  • 10 Of The 14 Insurers With Individual Market Plans Are Seeking Increases Greater Than 10 Percent. "Of the 14 insurers with individual market plans, 10 are seeking increases exceeding 10%. They include a proposed 13.9% average increase by Priority Health, 18.7% by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, 16.8% by Health Alliance Plan and 39.2% by Humana." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)
  • The Proposed Premium Increased Would Most Significantly Impact The 116,000 Michigan Residents Who Don't Receive Tax Credits. "The proposed increases would affect 116,000 covered individuals, including Lee. 'Frankly we can afford it, which is why we're not getting any subsidies,' said Lee, whose wife qualifies for Medicare. 'But it still is a kick, to say the least.'" (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)

Insurance Companies Say That These Rate Increase Requests Are "A Reflection Of Market Realities" As Some Insurers Have Even Been Losing Money On Plans Sold On The Michigan Exchange. "Insurance companies say rate increases are not an attempt to profiteer, but a reflection of market realities, such as the high inflation of health care costs each year, especially for certain prescription drugs. Some insurers also say they've been losing money on plans sold on Michigan's exchange, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, which projects a small loss this year for its individual plans." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)

"The Double-Digit Rate Hike Requests Are Also A Reminder That The Affordable Care Act Was Primarily Designed To Extend Health Insurance Coverage To More People - Not Necessarily To Contain The Ever-Rising Costs Of Private Coverage." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)

Another Factor In The 2017 Premium Hike Requests Is The Expiration Of ObamaCare's Temporary 'Reinsurance' Program. "Another big factor is that 2017 marks the expiration of the health care law's temporary 'reinsurance' program that distributes money to health plans whose members have very high medical claims." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)

  • "Priority Health, Whose ObamaCare Plans Cover 113,100 Michiganders, Says The End Of Reinsurance Accounts For More Than 6 Percentage Points Of Its Requested 13.9 Percent Increase Next Year." (JC Reindl, "Affordable Care Act Rates May Jump 17.3% In Michigan," Detroit Free Press, 7/31/16)

Illinois Residents Could Face A Premium Hike As High As 45 Percent In 2017 As Insurers Try To Avoid Exiting The Marketplace While Staying In Business

Health Insurance Premiums For Illinois Residents Who Buy ObamaCare Coverage Could Increase By As Much As 45 Percent In 2017. "Health insurance premiums for Illinois residents who buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace could increase by as much as 45 percent according to proposals submitted by insurers and made public Monday." ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield, Illinois' Leading Insurer, Is Proposing Increases Ranging From 23 To 45 Percent For 2017. "The leading insurer on Illinois' exchange, Blue Cross Blue Shield, is proposing increases for 2017 ranging from 23 percent to 45 percent for individual health care plans, according to proposals posted by Heathcare.gov." ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)
  • Coventry Health Care Of Illinois Proposed Rate Increases As High As 21 Percent For 2017. "Another insurer, Coventry Health Care of Illinois, proposed rate increases as high as 21 percent." ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)
  • Harken Health Insurance Company Proposed Rate Increases Of Nearly 29 Percent For 2017. "Harken Health Insurance Company has proposed a nearly 29 percent hike in individual premiums and Health Alliance Medical Plans Inc. a more than 28 percent increase." ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)
  • Health Alliance Medical Plans Proposed Rate Increases Higher Than 28 Percent For 2017. "Harken Health Insurance Company has proposed a nearly 29 percent hike in individual premiums and Health Alliance Medical Plans Inc. a more than 28 percent increase." ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)

Health Care Service Corporation, Which Operates Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Illinois, Said That "The Proposed Rates Are In Line With Those In Many Markets Across The Country." "In a statement, Health Care Service Corporation, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, said that although no final decision has been made, the proposed rates are in line with those in many markets across the country." ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)

  • While Some Carriers Have Chosen To Exit The Market, Health Care Service Corporation Is Trying To Stay But Will Require Higher Premiums To Do So. "It added that while some carriers have chosen to exit the market, it is 'working toward continuing to provide health insurance options for consumers in Illinois.'" ("Illionois Insurers Seek Premium Hikes Of Up To 45 Percent," Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/16)

Minuteman Health Of New Hampshire Is Suing The Federal Government, Claiming That It Is Being Illegally Punished For Offering Lower-Cost Options On The Health Exchanges

Minuteman Health, Which Has 25,000 Customers In Massachusetts And New Hampshire, "Has Filed A Federal Lawsuit Claiming It Is Being Illegally Punished For Offering Lower-Cost Products." "A nonprofit health insurer with 25,000 customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire has filed a federal lawsuit claiming it is being illegally punished for offering lower-cost products." (Holly Ramer, "Minuteman Insurance Co-Op Sues Government," Concord Monitor, 8/2/16)

Under ObamaCare's Risk Adjustment Program "Insurers With Healthier Customers Make Payments To Insurers With Sicker Customers," Thus Minuteman Health Is Expected To Pay $16.7 Million. "Under the Affordable Care Act's risk adjustment program, insurers with healthier customers make payments to insurers with sicker customers. Boston-based Minuteman Health, a nonprofit insurance co-op, recently was ordered to pay $16.7 million, but it objects to how payments are calculated." (Holly Ramer, "Minuteman Insurance Co-Op Sues Government," Concord Monitor, 8/2/16)

  • Minuteman Argues That This Assessment Is Based On "Unrelated Factors Such As How An Insurer's Premiums Compare To Statewide Averages." "In a lawsuit filed Friday, it argues that instead of assessing only a consumer's relative health status or actuarial risk, the program calculates payments based on unrelated factors such as how an insurer's premiums compare to statewide averages." (Holly Ramer, "Minuteman Insurance Co-Op Sues Government," Concord Monitor, 8/2/16)
  • Minuteman Said That Its Premiums Are Lower "Because Its Business Model Focuses On Keeping Costs Low," Not Because Its Customers Are Healthier. " Minuteman said its premiums are substantially lower than average not because its customers are healthier but because its business model focuses on keeping costs low and because its members are more likely to purchase less-expensive plans." (Holly Ramer, "Minuteman Insurance Co-Op Sues Government," Concord Monitor, 8/2/16)

After Losing $42.7 Million Last Year, Minuteman CEO Tom Policelli Said "We Cannot Continue To Allow CMS To Take Our Members' Money Illegally And Give It To More Expensive Insurance Companies." Though it lost $42.7 million last year, Minuteman CEO Tom Policelli said the co-op can afford to make the risk payments. 'But that's not the point, he said. 'We cannot continue to allow CMS to take our members' money illegally and give it to more expensive insurance companies,' he said." (Holly Ramer, "Minuteman Insurance Co-Op Sues Government," Concord Monitor, 8/2/16)

  • Policelli: "CMS Has Essentially Created A Reverse Robin Hood Program, Which Harms Consumers, Small Companies And Taxpayers." (Holly Ramer, "Minuteman Insurance Co-Op Sues Government," Concord Monitor, 8/2/16)

Despite Skyrocketing Premiums And Additional Lawsuits, Clinton Continues To Tout Her Role In Creating ObamaCare

Clinton: "Before It Was Called ObamaCare, It Was Called HillaryCare, As You Remember." CLINTON: "Before it was called ObamaCare, it was called HillaryCare, as you remember. I fought really hard. The insurance companies and the drug companies spent millions against me." (Hillary Clinton, CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall, 3/4/16)

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