Thursday, February 14, 2013

Future of Risk Pools

Most folks assumed state run risk pools and the federal PCIP would go the way of the dinosaur when Obamacare rules prevail on 1/1/2014.

But perhaps not  . . .

More than 300,000 people are now covered through special plans for people with pre-existing conditions — about 100,000 in pools created by the health law and more than 200,000 in older, state-run pools.
The federal plan was designed from the start to be temporary and to shut down as soon as the exchanges open.
But many states had planned on moving their high-risk pool populations into the exchanges slowly to mitigate the shock to the individual market. But now, the state high-risk pools may offload as many people as they can onto the exchanges as soon as they open in 2014 or risk losing a piece of that $20 billion pie.


Well isn't this exactly why Obamacare was conceived? To prevent big bad health insurance companies from DISCRIMINATING against those with pre-existing conditions?

Did the folks who wrote this law (but never bothered to read it) not anticipate an influx of people with serious medical conditions? Did they fail to realize young people would pay the tax penalty rather than purchase coverage?

Some actuaries say it won’t make much of a difference as millions of people start getting covered; other studies see this population boosting premiums significantly in the individual market. One Indiana study projected premiums would rise by up to 45 percent.
HHS says the reinsurance program will keep premiums on the individual market 10 percent to 15 percent lower than they would be without it. But even some supporters of the law believe the impact will be significant
And HHS has never been wrong about anything, right?

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