Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Obamacare Latest Release

Time marches forward, and HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, EBSA and others are weighing in on the future of health insurance coverage.
States and insurers have been waiting for the proposed rules. One proposed rule looks at how insurers can vary premiums based on age, tobacco use, family size and geography. A second outlines proposed rules for essential health benefits. A third proposed rule would govern employer-based wellness programs.
Kaiser Health News, "Proposed rules on essential health benefits"

They also put the "un" in affordable . . .

every American, for the first time, will have access to affordable health insurance coverage notwithstanding any health problems they may have. In addition, also for the first time throughout the nation, health insurance issuers will be prevented from charging individuals and small employers higher premiums due to enrollees’ health status or gender.

Even HHS and CMS admit these provisions will inflate costs more than any other provisions.

It also grants extensive oversight for premium adjustments. This area of regulation has, prior to Obamacare, been the sole responsibility of the states.

Obamacare runs roughshod over those laws and in essence makes health insurance a nationally regulated commodity.

require that health insurance issuers submit data on proposed rate increases in a form and manner to be determined by CMS, and amend the requirements for a state to have an Effective Rate Review Program.

The law requires that, beginning in 2014, the Secretary of the Department ofHealth and Human Services (the Secretary), in conjunction with states, monitor premiumincreases of health insurance coverage offered through an Exchange and outside of an Exchange. The Secretary will monitor these increases to identify patterns that could signal market disruption and assist in oversight of the new market-wide rating reforms created by the Affordable Care Act, which are effective on January 1, 2014.

In other words, if  HHS and CMS feel the states are not doing their job in holding down premiums the federal government will assume that role.

Keep in mind the federal government also has oversight of all aspects of Medicare. They determine plan design, premiums and provider payment schedules.

Given that Medicare is underfunded and has no real cash in the Trust Fund, how well do you think they will run Obamacare?

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