Friday, June 14, 2013

Obamacare Misses in Mississippi

Obamacare. The promise of lower premiums, you can keep your plan and your doctor, and more competition which is better for consumers.   

We are gaining on 2014 and so far no indication of those lower premiums.

Many are also finding they won't be able to keep their current plan OR doctor.

But what about increased competition which was supposed to lead to lower prices?
When the state of Mississippi begins offering subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's reform law this year, residents will have only one choice - Magnolia Health Plan - a small insurer little known in most of the country.
The Obama administration hoped to attract robust competition in creating the exchanges, and it is counting on millions of Americans without coverage to sign up for these plans in the program's first year.
But the nation's biggest insurers have decided against joining the exchanges on a large scale, professing uncertainty about the roll-out and how much the uninsured would participate. Most are sticking to states where they already sell insurance directly to individuals, leaving at least half a dozen states with only one or two health plans to choose from.
A competition of one.
But Mississippi isn't alone.
A similar scenario is playing out in Alaska, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine, where one small insurer - typically a regional insurer - will have an equal shot at the market against one larger player. These states, and others like Mississippi where competition has traditionally been slim, are a land grab opportunity for these small companies.
The Obama plan had envisioned competition keeping prices low and drawing the uninsured into the exchanges. 
That's too bad.
Perhaps if the folks who designed this mess actually had any REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE things could have turned out differently.
Clue. Less.
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