Monday, January 24, 2011

Wherefore art thou, Gramps?

Another ObamaPromise© under the bus:

"After health care reform was enacted on March 23, 2010, we chose to grandfather most of the medical plans in our portfolio ... Since that time, we have seen muted market interest in retaining grandfathered status."

This is from Anthem, but I suspect that other carriers share this experience. It's simple, really: all 'grandfathering" does is tie a group's hands: it can't make substantive changes to bring down rates at renewal, and it adds a whole host of complications to the renewal process itself. And, as we've mentioned, the whole phenomenon will go away in a few short cycles since groups must make changes to rein in costs, thereby "un-grandfathering" their plans.

As a result, Anthem isn't even going to go through the motions any longer. Beginning with April renewals:

"We will release all renewals as nongrandfathered plans."

Sure, they'll still offer groups the option of remaining grandfathered (as opposed to the current "default" position), but that's going to be a bit more complicated going forward, since the carrier, the agent and the group will have to determine whether any changes have already been made that would obviate grandfathered status. In fact, there's a rather extensive "laundry list" of issues that must be addressed in that process.

It's just one more (egregious) example of how ObamaCare© does not, in fact, have anything to do with managing the cost of health insurance, let alone health care.
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