Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monday Lagniappe

■ We haven't really addressed the new ObamneyCare© CO-OP program, and now's a good time to start. Scheduled to launch in 2014, these are essentially "mini-insurers" designed to compete with the big boys. CO-OP's (the misnomered Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan) would be state-licensed, and available both inside and outside of the Exchanges, targeting the small group and individual medical markets.

I remain skeptical of their viability, but "[t]he organizers ... are facing plenty of competition and strict scrutiny."

We'll see.

As we've repeatedly pointed out, MLR's (Medical Loss Ratios) are a dumb idea. Nevertheless, they're real (and not so spectacular); UHC has a new report out predicting that the total payout will be "less than 1% of total premium for 2011."

Be still my beating heart.

Frequent IB tipster Holly R dropped a dime on this interesting item:

"While UCLA Health System has long prided itself on being at the forefront of treating patients ... it is now trying to lower sharply the cost of providing that care. By enrolling young patients with complex and expensive diseases in a program called a medical home, the system tries to ensure that doctors spend more time with patients ... to coordinate care."

The "medical home" concept is relatively new, but seems promising. By communicating and coordinating care, it's hoped that the cost of that care can be reined in. And as we all know, the cost of care drives the cost of insurance.

Potential win-win.
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