CT Obamacare Exchange Struggles to Save Remaining Two Insurers

Comment: “[W]ithout competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down.  And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly.” –President Barack Obama, Sept. 9, 2009

“HARTFORD, Conn.  Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace hopes to help its two remaining insurers remain financially sustainable in the state now that another insurer, HealthyCT, has been barred from writing new policies because of its financial condition.” [...]

“The move comes after nonprofit health insurer HealthyCT was ordered by the Department of Insurance to stop writing new policies. Commissioner Katharine Wade said the Wallingford-based Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan or CO-OP, has become financially “unstable” and “seriously jeopardized” by a recent $13.4 million payment HealthyCT was required to make to the federal government under [an Obamacare] program intended to spread risk for insurers participating in [un]Affordable Care Act exchanges, such as Access Health CT.”

Access HealthCT to help other insurers remain in Connecticut
July 15, 2016
By SUSAN HAIGH Associated Press

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MEDICAID EXPANSION Responsible For ONE TENTH of the National Deficit in 2014

OCTS original reporting, July 15, 2016

Our Friend, Mr. National Debt

Pretty much anything with a pulse (including your neighbor’s cat) knows America’s national debt is the twenty-trillion pound elephant ready to crush the country’s future.

Wondering just how that’s going, a trip over to the Office of Management and Budget’s website at Whitehouse.gov/omb tells us that, in 2014, the United States piled up a mind-numbing deficit of $484.6 billion dollars (and twenty-four cents, but who’s counting?) on top of the previous Mt. Everest-heap’s worth of future bad karma.

“But what does this have to do with Obamacare?” ye ask, faithful readers?

Hold onto your mortgaged horses, this handy graphic from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows that new spending resulting from Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, all by itself, accounted for $47.2 billion dollars of 2014′s deficit. That’s nearly ONE-TENTH of the national deficit in 2014 FOR THIS ONE ITEM!  (But not to worry, that’ll soon go even higher, as more states start charging up a Medicaid shopping-spree on the national Mastercard.)

To sum it all up, here is Knoxville Tea Party’s handy-dandy little Medicaid High Finance Guide:

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Another 22,000 Ohioans Lose Plans … and Face IRS Penalty Because of It – UNFAIR!

Comment: What’s even better than Obamacare killing your plan? Why, losing your plan, getting Obama-fined for it, and having to pay a second deductible!  Trois fois merci, Obamacare!

“The Ohio Department of Insurance took control of Westerville-based InHealth because of its insolvency [...]. But under state law, total benefits for individuals maintaining InHealth coverage have been capped at $500,000 a year, making the plan non-compliant with the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits annual benefits limits.”

“Consequently, policyholders who stick with InHealth could be subject to substantial tax penalties for not having qualified coverage under the law’s individual mandate  [...].”

““We did everything right. We chose a plan that met all the essential benefits requirements, and we’re still looking at a tax penalty,” said West Carrollton resident Tammy Braden, referring to her husband, Douglas. “It’s just unfair that we would have to pay a penalty for something that happened through no fault of our own.”” [...]

““We dish out $1,100 a month for our health care — which is more than our house payment — plus a $4,500 deductible that we’ve already met,” Braden said. “We just can’t afford to start a brand new deductible right now.”"

InHealth customers face fines, higher costs
Friday, July 15, 2016
By Randy Tucker – Staff Writer

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CORRUPTION: OBAMACARE OFFICIALS CAUGHT PAYING OFF INSURERS TO REMAIN IN EXCHANGES

Comment: MONSTROUS government malfeasance of the highest order.  High crimes and misdemeanors, felonies, and theft, all in a desperate attempt to prop up a hideous outrage and cover up what we all always knew: Obamacare does not work.

“Senior Obama administration officials took a series of decisions beginning in late 2013 that ranged from the reckless to the illegal in an effort to keep insurers participating in health insurance exchanges.”

“A report issued last week jointly by the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees explores how the administration came to unlawfully funnel $7 billion in unappropriated money to insurers through [the cost-sharing reduction (CSR)] ObamaCare program.”

“[T]he government’s unlawful spending on the CSR program fits into a broader pattern of malfeasance in ObamaCare implementation. That malfeasance includes decisions made during the first half of 2014 to unlawfully divert $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion from the Treasury to insurance companies through the “reinsurance” program.”"

“Although the administration is not especially fond of insurers [...], the exchanges would collapse without them. To avoid the political embarrassment of insurers withdrawing en masse from the exchanges, it has chosen to supply them with unlawful payments and stonewall congressional inquiries into this misconduct.”

Panic prompted ObamaCare lawlessness
By Doug Badger, contributor,    July 15, 2016, 11:47 am

 

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Dropping Like Flies–10,000 To Lose Plans in New Mexico

Comment:  It’s gettin’ ugly folks.  But the solution is simple: don’t force people to buy things they don’t need or want, just let them pay cash for ordinary care, and buy super-cheap catastrophic insurance for the rest.  That eliminates the middlemen, saves a bundle.  Problem solved.

“Many insurers are shedding their Obamacare plans lately, and that now includes the largest health plan in New Mexico. Presbyterian Health Plan will no longer offer individual and family policies on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, starting next year, company officials said Monday.”

“The decision will affect 10,000 exchange members…”

_____

“Also on Monday, Presbyterian said it will be requesting an average increase of 21 percent on its non-exchange, individual plan premiums. The insurer had sought an average 30 percent hike on its exchange plans before deciding to pull out of the exchange.”

“The other insurers providing care to the current 55,000 New Mexicans on Obamacare are in the process of filing 2017 rate proposals, and many have suggested they will seek big increases. In preliminary filings this spring, New Mexico Health Connections sought a bump of 20 percent to 30 percent on its individual plans. Christus and Molina asked for increases of between 3 percent and 6 percent. Blue Cross, which is returning to the state’s health insurance exchange after taking a year off, has requested rates that are between 20 percent and 83 percent higher than its 2015 rates.”

Presbyterian to drop out of Obamacare exchange
By Steve Sinovic / Journal Staff Writer     Published: Monday, July 11th, 2016 at 12:59pm

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UPDATE – Medicaid Expansion Costs Going Through the Roof

Tonight, I’ll tell you about the cost of Medicaid expansion going through the roof, then some quick items on how Obamacare is for totalitarians and cronies.

Word came this week that the average cost of Medicaid expansion enrollees is about 50 percent higher than the genius masterminds thought.  They didn’t anticipate that states would game the system.  The states are paying higher rates per expansion enrollee than for the original Medicaid population.  The states are misusing Medicaid to funnel federal money to insurers and hospitals.  Remember, the states aren’t paying anything for Medicaid expansion through the end of the year.  It’s all federal money.

As a result of the increased costs, CBO raised its projection of federal Medicaid spending by $146 billion over the next ten years.  That’s a big jump from CBO’s previous estimate.

Meanwhile, we learned this week that Montana’s Medicaid expansion has exploded.  As in so many other states, expansion enrollment is double original projections.  Someone took a look at what Medicaid expansion would mean in Georgia, if Georgia passes it, and found the same potential for costs to explode. Many more people would be eligible in Georgia than the government thinks.

A member of my Truth Squad came up with a pretty good argument about all of this: Medicaid expansion? You just want to run up the national debt. You’re trying to spend a bunch of money we don’t have.

Now on to totalitarians and cronies.  HHS has changed its rules and is helping for-profit companies sell health data from Obamacare, Medicare, and other government programs to commercial customers.  You could be forgiven for asking ‘where’s my cut’ when these companies sell your data.  It turns out that one of the companies that will benefit from the new rule is United Healthcare.  The person who pushed the rule change through HHS is the ethically challenged Andy Slavitt, head of CMS.  Andy Slavitt came to the government from – you guessed it – United Healthcare.  And you thought Obamacare was about healthcare. Silly you.  Follow the money.

Now two reminders why Obamacare is something only a totalitarian could love.  HHS is expected to promulgate a rule auto-REenrolling people who try to leave the Obamacare exchanges.  Obamacare is about to become Hotel California – you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.  In Louisiana, where the new Governor expanded Medicaid with a phone and a pen, some people are finding themselves in another kind of Hotel California where they never even checked in.  They have Obamacare exchange plans, but qualify for expanded Medicaid.  They’re being slammed into the Medicaid program even though they would prefer to keep their exchange plan. They no longer have any say in the matter.  Like I said, Obamacare is something only a totalitarian could love.

Links

HHS: ave cost of Medicaid expansion enrollees nearly 50% higher than projected, not lower as expected
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2016/07/20/government-report-finds-that-obamacare-medicaid-enrollees-much-more-expensive-than-expected/#26652fd82dd0

CBO increased its projection of fed Medicaid spending by $146B over 10 yrs, big jump over previous estimate
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2016/07/20/government-report-finds-that-obamacare-medicaid-enrollees-much-more-expensive-than-expected/#26652fd82dd0

Montana Medicaid expansion explodes; double initial projections
http://khn.org/news/montana-medicaid-expansion-by-the-numbers/

A Georgia Medicaid expansion could explode past projections; study finds many more eligible than gov’t says
http://onlineathens.com/opinion/2016-07-12/mccutchen-medicaid-expansion-worst-option-improving-georgia-healthcare

Medicaid expansion? You just want to run up the national debt. You’re trying to spend a bunch of money we don’t have.

CMS rule update facilitates for-profit companies making money off of gov’t health data. #WheresMyCut
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160701/NEWS/160709998/cms-updates-rule-allowing-claims-data-to-be-sold

#CronyAlert – data-selling rule from CMS, run by United Healthcare crony Andy Slavitt, benefits UnitedHealthcare
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160701/NEWS/160709998/cms-updates-rule-allowing-claims-data-to-be-sold

HHS moves toward auto-reenrollment of people who exit exchanges. #HotelCalifornia – you can never leave
http://watchdog.org/269276/walker-obamacare-cms/

Louisiana: some exchange enrollees to be slammed into Medicaid, crowding out private insurance. #ToldYouSo
http://theadvocate.com/news/16234641-123/uncertainty-surrounds-whether-newly-medicaid-eligible-people-in-louisiana-can-keep-their-obamacare-p

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‘Free Market’ Tweet Most Popular This Week

Our most popular tweet this week came from the ‘Free Market Fridays’ set we do most Fridays at 10 a.m. ET.  We’ve developed a bit of a following for that set – doctors, clinics, consultants, etc.

Obamacare holding back Direct Primary Care, but solution to physician burn-out and suicide
http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/obamacare-severely-holding-dpc-care-back-succeeding?page=0,0

Genius Obamacare masterminds failed to anticipate how sick the risk pool would be; ACA headed to collapse
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-cameron/the-healthcare-industry-m_b_11073090.html

Would-be masterminds clucking their way to healthcare nirvana in CT. Price controls? Sure, that’ll work.
http://ctmirror.org/2016/07/13/sweeping-plan-put-forward-to-control-health-care-costs/

“So the purpose of the “public option” is not to supplement private insurance, but to finish it off.”
http://thefederalist.com/2016/07/15/obama-obamacare-didnt-work-so-lets-completely-socialize-medicine/

EHRs #MuggedByReality – providers charging “ridiculous” fees to connect, deliberately blocking interoperability
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/information-blocking-allegations-surface-in-cms-emails-225741

Colorado #SinglePayer – 10% payroll tax would make Colorado highest taxed state in the nation
http://gazette.com/guest-column-dont-buy-the-coloradocare-single-payer-snake-oil/article/1580063

Prediction: remaining insurers will be told ‘eat your exchange losses or lose your big Medicaid/Medicare managed care contracts’.

#Obamacare one broken promise after another – skyrocketing costs, insurers leaving. ‘ACA destroying the market’
http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=400950

“my new policy effective 7/1 but still can’t see providers (and you’re paying for the $450 subsidy this month)”
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/rnr/5693028783.html

#ACA: The coercion, the lies, the wasted money, the train wrecks, the cronyism. & now you want to double down with the public option? Never!

 

 

 

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The unAffordable Act’s Death Throes–Oregon’s Co-Op Dies, Full Casualty List!

40,000 Oregonians to Lose Their Plans

Comment: A blind man could’ve seen this coming.  We sure did.

“WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services announced Friday evening that Oregon’s Health CO-OP would shutter, forcing its approximately 40,000 participants to find new coverage. This is the second CO-OP in Oregon to fail as Health Republic Insurance of Oregon closed last year. The announcement means that 15 out of the original 23 Obamacare CO-OPs have closed their doors at a total cost to taxpayers of over $1.5 billion. The closures have come at an increasingly rapid rate – 12 of the CO-OPs have collapsed since last September, with Connecticut closing last week.”

Oregon’s Health Co-op Shuts Its Doors As Taxpayer Losses Surpass $1.5B
July 12, 2016

___________

THE OCTS CO-OP “HONOR” ROLL: Failed CO-OPs  (from same source, in order by closing announcement):

  1.  CoOportunity Health – Iowa and Nebraska,  Cost: $145,312,100
  2.  Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc.,  Cost: $65,790,660
  3.  Nevada Health Cooperative,  Cost: $65,925,396
  4.  Health Republic Insurance of New York,  Cost: $265,133,000
  5.  Kentucky Health Care Cooperative – Kentucky and West Virginia,  Cost: $146,494,772
  6.  Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance Company – Tennessee,   Cost: $73,306,700
  7.  Colorado HealthOp,  Cost: $72,335,129
  8.  Health Republic Insurance of Oregon,  Cost: $60,648,505
  9.  Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company – South Carolina,  Cost: $87,578,208
  10.  Arches Mutual Insurance Company – Utah,  Cost: $89,650,303
  11.  Meritus Health Partners – Arizona,  Cost: $93,313,233
  12.  Consumers Mutual Insurance – Michigan,  Cost: $71,534,300
  13.  InHealth Mutual – Ohio,  Cost: $129,225,604
  14.  HealthyCT – Connecticut,  Cost: $127,980,768
  15.  Oregon Health’s CO-OP – Oregon,  Cost: $56,656,900

TOTAL TAXPAYER DOLLARS: $1,550,885,578

(Note: This total does not include Vermont’s CO-OP, which was denied an insurance license by the state, and was dissolved before enrolling a single person.)

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DEATH SPIRAL!

Comment:
In Your Face Gruber — Americans Are Boycotting Obamacare!

A few money quotes from this target-rich shadenfreude special…

“For the insurance companies doing business in the state–the ones issuing policies to those 600,000 people–Obamacare has turned into a financial sinkhole. UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurance company, is pulling out of the Obamacare business in North Carolina next year. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which dominated the individual market with more than a half-million customers, reported that losses on its Obamacare business in 2014 and 2015 topped $400 million. The only other current competitor, Aetna, wants to hike rates by nearly 25 percent next year.” [...]

Fewer individuals signed up for coverage than projected, and they’ve proven sicker and more expensive than insurers had expected.” [...]

“Three years ago, the Congressional Budget Office projected that 24 million Americans would be enrolled in exchange plans in 2016. The reality: barely half that number signed up this year–and that number is certain to erode as people stop paying their insurance bills or find jobs that include coverage.”

Obamacare’s sinking safety net
By , 07/13/16

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RATE SHOCK: 19% PREMIUM HIKES SOUGHT NEXT YEAR

Comment:  Wow, look how ‘Affordable.’  Any questions?

“According to the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, median proposed premiums are expected to rise by an average of 19% next year.”

W&M Members Highlight the Rising Cost of Obamacare
July 12, 2016

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