Friday, June 18, 2010

Here Comes Obamacare

[Welcome ObamaCareWatch readers!]

If you want to know how Obamacrap will flesh out you can get a good idea by looking at what is already happening in the Georgia health insurance market. Just in the last two months, Georgia health insurance companies have made the following changes.

Two companies have withdrawn maternity coverage. If you want a Georgia health insurance plan that covers maternity, you have two choices.

If you live outside of Atlanta, you have one choice.

Some companies were offering multi-year rate guarantees in exchange for a "buy up". No more. If you wanted to lock in rates for up to 3 years you should have bought in April.

Another health insurance company issued (for some of their policyholders) their third rate increase in the last 12 months. They also pulled some plans off the market and discontinued brand name drug coverage for some of their existing policyholders. When asked about this move their response was, if someone wants to continue coverage for brand Rx they can go back through underwriting.

I'm sorry, but that response doesn't cut it for me.

And let's not overlook the fact that a few Georgia health insurance companies have indicated they will no longer issue coverage on children that are not included on their parents plan.

That's about it for what has happened already. Now for a glimpse of things to come.

Every major carrier that issues health insurance in Georgia has announced that rates will be much higher in the fall. Part of that is due to the children's health insurance mandate in Obamacrap that will take effect in September. The rest is in anticipation of stricter regulation of rates and loss ratio's going forward. I would not be surprised to see new business rates jump 20% in the 4th quarter for plans that match current plan designs.

Which leads to the other shoe dropping.

At least one company has indicated all new plans will arrive on the scene in October. The good news is the rates will be lower. The bad news is some benefits currently available will be eliminated as a plan option. This company will no longer offer maternity benefits on plans issued in October, 2010 and later. They will also limit where you can fill your prescriptions to one pharmacy. If you choose to go elsewhere you are on your own.

More than one Georgia health insurance company has indicated several of their new plans will not cover any brand name drugs at all. If you opt for a plan with brand Rx coverage expect to pay more.

Most of the companies have been silent on what will happen to children's health insurance rates when the next phase of Obamacrap phases in during September. I had lunch yesterday with representatives from one company and when pressed they indicated children's rates will probably increase about 20%.

I was shocked. I really thought premiums on children's plans would at least double.

Then they said the increase would be on standard rates only. Children with pre-existing condition that are required to be covered under Obamacrap could see their rates increase as much as 150% over standard rates.

Change you can believe in.

Smaller cars, bigger health insurance premiums, Poppa Washington.

Just another stupid government trick.

These are changes affecting Georgia policyholders. If you live in another state your mileage may vary.
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