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September 23rd, 2010

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12:55 am - Healthcare Comments
The first parts of the new healthcare plan comes into effect While lunatics & ideologues have yammered endlessly about death panels, "Obamacare", socialism, and various other nonsense, the reality is that starting now we have:

• Coverage expansion for adult dependents until age 26
• Children no longer denied coverage for pre-existing conditions
• Prohibit insurers from rescinding coverage
• Free Preventive Care
• No lifetime limits on coverage
• Unrestricted doctor choice
• Level charges for emergency services

I'm hoping that their initial experiences with these modest, but excellent changes will help keep people from voting for Republicans.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
Though some insurers seem to be responding to item 2 by dropping child-only insurance.
[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
I wonder if this is why my mom's insurance bill is jumping from $100 to $300 this month. The timing seems to match.
[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Seems likely. First you force all of the insurance companies to offer a decent service, then you make them compete on price. I'd expect those that were offering a dramatically cut-rate service would have to put their prices up, at least to start with.
[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Without knowing a lot more about the specifics, it's impossible to say definitively. However, I'd say that it was extremely unlikely. Estimates of the premium impact of the ACA seem to cluster in the 1 - 2.5% range.

On the other hand, the timing is anything but coincidental. Many insurers -- including my own vendor, Regence Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Oregon -- have found it convenient to imply that their premium increases are being driven by the ACA. But it ain't so.

[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
It's possible, but there's a large difference between a reason and an excuse. Historically, prices rise when an industry is about to be regulated as a last attempt at price gouging before such behavior must be actually justified, and there is nothing more to justify the price rise than greed. Given the record profits that almost all health insurance companies have been making for the last decade, I'm betting on that.

Thankfully, all that will be irrelevant in 2014, when most people who pay for their insurance (ie their job doesn't fully pay for it) will experience a significant price drop. I'm looking at paying somewhere between 25% & 33% what I am now for insurance, and even many people making far more than I do will see their premiums fall by 30-50%.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
I didn't know about the free preventive care until today. I knew about the rest of it, though. I hope that people's self-interest trumps their fear when they get into the voting booth come November. Unless one is a CEO or a stockholder of a health insurance company, I cannot see any reason to want health care coverage repealed.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
A lot of those things don't take effect until your employer renews the contract with the insurance provider. This is not the same as you re-enrolling as many people do annually. Most employers contract with an insurance company for 1-2 years at a time, and when this contract runs out, the new one must comply with the new healthcare laws.

Some of the child stuff takes effect immediately, however.

At least that's my understanding.
[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
Emergency room charges can probably knock of 1% of annual health costs by itself. It's not completely "Free" in the sense that the costs of emergency care are paid by someone, somewhere, but it's a huge improvement in a situation where first you need it, then you buy it, then you find out how much it costs.

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