Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Custer Rides Again

A little over a year ago, May, 2013 to be exact, we panned GSU Professor Bill Custer for his
remarks on the upcoming 2014 Obamacare plans.

We took him to task over his comment that individual plans would be "slightly less than employer premiums". His apples to oranges comparison indicated Prof. Bill really lacked a grasp of how group premiums were calculated vs. individual plans.

It appears he is still a lost ball in high weeds with his latest foray into Obamacare 2015, the sequel.
Blue Cross is lowering its rates for the 2015 year across the board, Custer noted, and Time Insurance, Coventry and United will also offer coverage in all regions of the state.Competition, he added, “will bring the disparity in rates down.”
Georgia Health News

Uh, Bill. Time and Coventry were statewide in 2014.

Strike one.

For the current year, the southwest had only one insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, offering exchange coverage.
Meanwhile, metro Atlanta – with a 4.6 percent participation rate in the exchange – had more insurer competition and much lower exchange premiums.

It doesn't appear that Prof. Custer is aware that coverage is available off the exchange.

Blue was in fact the only ON exchange player in several regions but OFF the exchange yielded a larger number of carriers, plans and networks.

Blue only offered HMO plans statewide, on or off the exchange. In some parts of the state if you bought a Blue plan you might drive by several hospitals before you got to a par hospital on the Blue HMO.

If you wanted broader coverage there were several PPO options off the exchange.

Rural areas, in particular, did not have as much insurance counseling available as other regions did, experts say. 
“There are real [enrollment] gaps in rural Georgia,’’ said Dante McKay, Enroll America director in Georgia. “I suspect that had a lot to do with [a lack of] in-person assistance.” 

Insurance agents, with much more experience than the 30 day wonder navigators, have been offering one-on-one personal advice for years.

And agents didn't suck up taxpayer dollars for salaries, overhead, etc.

And for what it's worth, Obamacare is even less popular this year than it was a year ago. Those navigators and Champions in Healthcare are going to have a tough time making their quota.

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