ObamaCare shrinking insurance market in Georgia

What has ObamaCare done to Georgia? Bob Vineyard explains:

Since March when Obamacrap was signed in to law we have seen the following changes in the Georgia health insurance market. (Other states have had similar issues, but I am only familiar with Georgia health insurance plans).

All but two health insurance companies have withdrawn from offering maternity benefits.

Only a handful of companies will still write “child only” health insurance plans.

As of this date, it is almost impossible to find a rate for children’s health insurance if they are under age 19 and you are looking for coverage to be effective on 9/23/10 or later.

Some companies have either withdrawn from offering major medical business or are dropping hints they will be out of that market in 18 months or less.

Many have already indicated higher premiums for the 4th quarter of 2010 and later, especially on children under age 19.

Companies are starting to push limited benefit plans as “more affordable” alternatives to true major medical insurance.

Several companies have introduced new plans with stripped down benefits in an attempt to make their product look more appealing.

Drug formulary’s are changing, so the drug that is covered under your plan now may not be covered in the future.

Doctor and hospital networks are shrinking in an effort to further control costs but also has the effect of limiting access to a wide range of medical providers.

Given all this, why is Obamacare so great for the consumer?

This doesn’t even get into the impact on the state’s budget, which Roy Barnes alluded to recently. When ObamaCare was passed back in March, supporters talked about how it was under a trillion dollars, which is not true once you add the cost of the “doc fix” (that was removed from early versions of the proposal to bring the cost down). The CBO did not measure impact to health insurers, who are seeking premium increases to pay for ObamaCare’s mandates, and state budgets.

20 comments

  1. saltycracker says:

    As corporations and savvy entrepreneurs sort this out, health care costs will increase dramatically at the cost to the individual workers, taxpayers and some employers over the threshold but currently not offering health care.

    If you are smart enough to identify the advantaged public held health care providers & businesses it is an opportunity.

    • John Konop says:

      I am not a fan of Obama care but anyone running a business will tell you healthcare cost has been skyrocketing every year. And this bill did very little to deal with the core issue of the cost of healthcare. Yet yelling about death panels does not help either for just putting in an end of life directive clause. The problem is the American people want to have all the bells and whistles without the cost.

  2. peachstealth says:

    Currently insurance companies pay out about 65% of what they take in as premiums to their clients and 35% goes to overhead and profit.
    Obamacare requires that they pay out 85% leaving only 15% for overhead and profit.
    I think this is intended to put private insurance out of business to be replaced by government health care.

    • NoTeabagging says:

      Insurance companies do several things to waste subscribers premiums. In my experience these are the two highest offenders:
      1) Mass marketing to their current subscribers. I was with BCBS for an number of years, 2-4 times a year they send direct marketing to me attempting to get me as a customer. Despite annual complaints, and sometimes promises from customer service, they never removed me from direct marketing list. ‘Merge and purge’ practices was not in their marketing plan. They would rather mass mail to thousands of subscribers asking for their business. Inefficient and a waste of my premiums.
      2) I don’t have the exact figure, but is is well known that Insurance companies spend more on denial of service rather than just giving subscribers what they are due by contract. They employ a phalanx of lawyers and personnel in underwriting and customer service that do everything they can to make the subscriber pay for covered services, deny coverage, deny claims, deny rollback rate requests, and generally ignore other contract provisions.

    • Scott65 says:

      After I read ‘Obamacrap’ in the first line, I quit reading because this is not a serious piece. If you want credibility, act credible. Many of the assertions in this are undoubtedly not true. I dont have time (or the energy) to read a partisan rant to fact check, but if it is a national program, wouldn’t many of the other states see the same things happening…

  3. The ban on pre-existing conditions for children’s coverage is about to go into effect. People like it when the government tells health insurance companies they can’t deny you care based on a pre-existing condition? Well guess what, without a mandate insurance companies respond by increasing prices on responsible people to deal with those that are irresponsible who want to game the system.

    If you’ve got a kid and you don’t have a family plan but want to do the right thing for your child go ahead and sign up now (in fact, if you haven’t already what’s wrong with you). If you can’t afford it because you’re at or under the poverty line what’s stopping you from getting on Peachcare? You have no excuse not to have your child insured and with Peachcare as an option if you can’t afford it yourself there’s really no excuse.

      • Progressive Dem says:

        Not all pre-existing conditions are the result of bad lifestyle choices. My wife, (a non-smoker, healthy diet, low weight and regular check-ups with ob/gyn and an internist) developed a cancer. Turns out she is pre-disposed because of a deffective gene. Her type of cancer is extremely difficult to detect and she was in stage 4 by the time she was diagnosed.

        Our insurance company routinely denied every claim the first time, and there were hundreds of claims for hospitals, doctors, specialists, labs, radiology, chemo-therapy. Everything had to be filed multiple times. Every claim had to be fought over. In the middle of fighting for her life, we had to fight the insurance company.

        Chemo-therapy involved an IV for 6 hours in a hospital treatment center where there were 70 different beds/stations for people to receive similar treatments. She had 12 treatments. The cost for one treatment was $12,000. Almost all of that money went to pay for the drugs. BTW, what price will the market bear for chemo-therapy and life-saving procedures? $10,000? $20,000? $75,000? How much are you willing to pay to save the life of your wife? Do you mind the drug companies determining that price? I’m not a socialist, but I began to see the limitations of a free market.

        We are on an individual plan. Our insurer can drop us any day. They can raise our rates as high as they want, and they have. We have no options to join another plan. Pre-existing conditions will preclude any coverage for cancer.

        Most people have no idea what their coverage includes until they make a big claim, or deal with a long-term disease. Then you find the big holes in your policy and the myriad of ways that insurance companies have gamed the sytem to minimize their payments. Most people don’t see the need for government intervention. They never think anything bad will happen to them, their spouse or their children. But it frequently does. Even when you take care of yourself.

        My wife has been cancer free for 16 months, but every 3 months she gets tested again and lives with the threat of reocurrance (75% probability with her genes and type of cancer) and the fear that her insurance will stop and we will be bankrupted by medical bills. The current healthcare system needs a major overhaul and that includes insurance companies, physicians, hospitals and everything in between.

      • Scott65 says:

        In a word…yes, unless you can define exactly what a bad lifestyle choice is. Your carrier might say getting too close to the monitor when you type this is a bad lifestyle choice (monitor radiation)…especially if you post often, or they might have someone follow you around to see if you cross at the corner and dont J-walk. Sounds ridiculous to most of us…but unless you can define it in concrete terms lots of things we do could be bad lifestyle choices…and my guess is the list would be WAY longer if insurace companies write them

  4. Goldwater Conservative says:

    I am still waiting to see the causal relationship between companies cutting insurance benefits in a down economy and the healthcare reform.

    What happens next year if rates go down coverage expands? Will you attach positive attributes of strength in the industry to the healthcare reform? Doubtful.

    Why? Because you people only care about bashing Obama and have never been explained the concept of cognitive dissonance.

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