Skip to comments.Michigan Insurance Companies: It's Too Late To Reinstate Old Health Care Plans
Posted on 12/06/2013 1:26:42 PM PST by MichCapCon
President Barack Obama said Americans can keep their health insurance plans another year, but Michigan insurance companies say it's too late.
Recently, the Obama administration announced it was delaying open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) until after the 2014 elections. That announcement meant that health insurers could extend 2013 plans through 2014. However, after having converted their policies to fit Obamacare's significant rules and requirements, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and other major insurance companies in the state are saying "no" to such extensions.
With the imminent approach of Obamacare, health insurers began cancelling 2013 health plans and offering Obamacare-compliant policies for 2014. According to reports, the switch to Obamacare-compliant plans was generally resulting in major cost increases. With few exceptions, if insurance purchasers could keep their 2013 plans, theyd be getting a better deal.
But extending the 2013 health plans at this late date is apparently easier said than done.
Michael Harp, of the East Lansing-based health insurance agency, Michigan Group Benefits, said it is unrealistic to expect health insurance companies to switch back to the pre-Obamacare plans.
"I think the state insurance commissioner would have done us all a favor by just telling the insurance companies they wouldn't be allowed to go back to the terminated plans," Harp said. "It's just ridiculous to ask them to quickly undo the three years of work they did to put the Obamacare changes in place. Now they'd have to look back at those terminated policies, pull claims, get the actuarials (statistical calculations), submit them and roll them out. ... Theyd have to do it all in a few weeks and just for a temporary situation. It just doesn't make sense."
President Obama was forced to admit that he broke his promise that people who liked their health insurance plans could "keep it." But he left it to state insurance regulators to determine if they would allow that to take place. Most health insurance companies were ready for the fundamental changes to the health care system mandated by Obamacare, though the federal government was not ready.
Charles Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said that suggesting insurers could make a fast U-turn shows a lack of appreciation for the complexities involved.
"I think the president is unfamiliar and out of touch with the real world of business and health care," Owens said.
Owens said it is possible President Obama decided on the last minute delay to shift blame from Obamacare to the insurance companies for the higher cost health care plans.
"He's either ignorant or intentionally trying to deflect the blame," Owens said. "Rightfully, however, the insurance companies aren't at fault for not reverting to the cancelled plans."
Harp said that in the majority of cases he's dealt with, health care coverage under the Obamacare plans have been examples of having to pay a lot more for a less desirable product.
"Under Obamacare you don't have the ability to do things like manipulate co-pays the way you used to," Harp said. "It takes away the tools we could use. There are mandatory areas of coverage, such as always having maternity coverage."
The mandates are so strict that even couples who are older than 60 are required to have maternity coverage, he said.
"When you have to cram maternity coverage and everything else in these plans, of course the cost is going to go up," Harp said. "I recently had to explain to a dentist that his plan had to include dental coverage. It was mandatory.
"I had to tell a nonprofit business in Lansing that it would be seeing a 38 percent increase," Harp continued. "They used to pay $500 a month. The replacement plan is $900 a month and the benefits aren't as good. People are now starting to get angry."
The only purpose of ObamaCare is to deplete the resources of anybody who has any resources left so that everyone will be a ward of the state.
I can only imagine the fury generated when the cancelled folks watch the plethora of ACA “I’m covered” commercials that are carpet bombing our tvs these days.
Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got. Former President Bill Clinton, November 12
So the former president asserts that the current president continues to dishonor his you like your plan, you can keep your plan pledge. And calls for the Affordable Care Act to be changed, despite furious White House resistance to the very idea.
Coming from the dean of the Democratic Party, this one line marked the breaching of the dam. It legitimized the brewing rebellion of panicked Democrats against Obamacare. Within hours, that rebellion went loudly public. By Thursday, President Obama had been forced into a rearguard holding action, asking insurers to grant a one-year extension of current plans.
The damage to the Obama presidency, however, is already done. His approval rating has fallen to 39 percent, his lowest ever. And, for the first time, a majority considers him untrustworthy. That bond is not easily repaired.
At stake, however, is more than the fate of one presidency or of the current Democratic majority in the Senate. At stake is the new, more ambitious, social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama, of which Obamacare is both symbol and concrete embodiment.
Precisely when the GOP was returning to a more constitutionalist conservatism committed to reforming, restructuring, and reining in the welfare state (see, for example, the Paul Ryan Medicare reform passed by House Republicans with near unanimity), Obama offered a transformational liberalism designed to expand the role of government, enlarge the welfare state, and create yet new entitlements (see, for example, his call for universal preschool in his most recent State of the Union address).
The centerpiece of this vision is, of course, Obamacare, the most sweeping social reform in the last half-century, affecting one-sixth of the economy and directly touching the most vital area of life of every citizen.
As the only socially transformational legislation in modern American history to be enacted on a straight party-line vote, Obamacare is wholly owned by the Democrats.
Its unraveling would catastrophically undermine their underlying ideology of ever-expansive central government providing cradle-to-grave care for an ever-grateful citizenry. For four years, this debate has been theoretical. Now its real. And for Democrats, its a disaster.
It begins with the bungled rollout. If Washington cant even do the website the literal portal to this brave new world how does it propose to regulate the vast ecosystem of American medicine? Second, arrogance. Five million freely chosen, freely purchased, freely renewed health-care plans are summarily canceled. Why? Because they dont meet some arbitrary standard set by the experts in Washington.
For all his news-conference gyrations about not deliberately deceiving people with his if you like it promise, the law Obama so triumphantly gave us allows you to keep your plan only if he likes it. Thats the very definition of paternalism. Lastly, deception. The essence of the entitlement state is government giving away free stuff. Hence Obamacare would provide insurance for 30 million uninsured, while giving everybody tons of free medical services without adding one dime to our deficits, promised Obama.
This being inherently impossible, there had to be a catch. Now we know it: hidden subsidies. Toss millions of the insured off their plans and onto the Obamacare exchanges where they would be forced into more expensive insurance packed with coverage they dont want and dont need so that the overcharge can be used to subsidize others.
The reaction to the incompetence, arrogance, and deception has ranged from ridicule to anger. But more is in jeopardy than just panicked congressional Democrats. This is the signature legislative achievement of the Obama presidency, the embodiment of his new entitlement-state liberalism. If Obamacare goes down, there will be little left of its underlying ideology.
Perhaps it wont go down. Perhaps the web portal hums beautifully on November 30. Perhaps theyll find a way to restore the canceled policies without wrecking the financial underpinning of the exchanges.
Perhaps. The more likely scenario, however, is that Obamacare does fail. It either fails politically, renounced by a wide consensus that includes a growing number of Democrats. Or it succumbs to the financial complications (the insurance death spiral) of the very amendments desperately tacked on to save it. If it does fail, the effect will be historic. Obamacare will take down with it more than Mary Landrieu and Co. It will discredit Obamas new liberalism for years to come.
Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2013 the Washington Post Writers Group
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and other major insurance companies in the state are saying “no” to such extensions.”
Of course not, the coconspirators in this fiasco who saw the golden ring of more policies sold and higher prices right before their eyes are not going to go back on their plans. Why sell some family a policy that cost them about $500 per month when they can sell them a plan with stuff they do not want for $1000 a month.
Beam me up Scotty
It would be easier to keep flies off a gut pile. The insurance companies won’t give up their sweet heart deal courtesy of ACA.
Obama used Chicago streetsmarts to sell Obamacare-----duping insurance companies musta been a breeze for this con artist.
Obama remembers fondly how easy it was to dupe stupid Chicagoans. He conned people on food stamps and SSI---- into thinking they could payoff subprime mtges.
He is clueless that there are actually people out here who cant be hustled----who would have told him where to put those pipe-dream subprime mtges. Who are telling him now what he can do w/ his Obamacare pipe-dream.
* DERANGED PROGRESSIVE THINKING Obama's now suing banks for predator-lending--for "burdening" ths stupids w/ mtges they cant possibly payoff--the same banks he originally sued to setup the subprime mtges.