Skip to comments.WSJ: Poorer counties facing high premiums, few choices, little competition through ObamaCare
Posted on 02/13/2014 10:35:58 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. Thats how the market works. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down.
So sayeth President Obama, but so far, his crowning legislative achievement has directly resulted in a whole lotta restrictions on consumer choice, while his brand of top-down government-led competition, well isnt, really.
On top of the narrower provider networks that many Americans are now facing as insurers scramble to control costs while complying with ObamaCares new rules, the WSJ just did an analysis of the healthcare offerings in 36 states that found that hundreds of thousands of Americans in poorer counties are discovering they have limited choices of health insurers and are looking at higher premiums through the online exchanges. For many, in fact, their ObamaCare-offered policy options are going to come from a monopoly of their local insurance market:
Consumers in 515 counties, spread across 15 states, have only one insurer selling coverage through the online marketplaces, the Journal found. In more than 80% of those counties, the sole insurer is a local Blue Cross & Blue Shield plan. Residents of wealthier, more populated counties in the U.S. receive lower-priced choices than those living in counties with a single insurer.
Higher participation rates among young adults, as much as 40%, is seen as essential to balance out the higher costs of covering older people for insurers that are already limiting the counties where they offer coverage.
The average price for a 50-year-old American to obtain the cheapest midlevel silver plan through HealthCare.govthe marketplace operated by the federal governmentwas $406 in counties with one health insurer, the Journal found. In counties with four insurers, the average price of the cheapest comparable silver plan was $329.
The price differences reflect the strategy of insurers to pick markets where they believe they can turn a profitand avoid areas of high unemployment and a concentration of unhealthy residents they deem more risky.
Aetna Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., for instance, have limited their participation in the new health-insurance marketplaces, where consumers shop for coverage, to a much smaller map than their traditional business. They offer coverage in more counties outside of the marketplaces, where plans are sold directly to consumers and federal subsidies arent available.
Aetnas CEO Mark Bertolini has been pretty open about the fact that his company is only participating in ObamaCare in areas with stable levels of employment and income in order to attract profitable customers, although as he mentioned again last week, theyre still considering pulling out of ObamaCare altogether if they dont feel they can maintain profitability.
So, in many cases, the number of insurers competing in many states individual insurance markets via ObamaCare is actually less than the number of carriers that sold individual policies pre-ObamaCare.
I’m sure someone must have asked this already but I need help understanding. ...If Obamacare is officially a tax and you can only buy it from these private companies, are you paying a tax to a private company ?
No, the tax decision had to do with the amount you have to pay the IRS if you don’t have a policy. They were debating if that amount was a tax or a penalty (punishment). There were pitfalls for the government with both choices. They argued penalty before SCOTUS, and Chief Traitor Roberts ignored the government’s argument and retroactively turned it into a tax so it would be legal.
thanks for the explination
What a mess
Poorer counties?/demorat voter base.Tough cookies morons.
I’ll point the obvious out....if you are a former felon and did your time in prison, but now....cannot vote in an election...you are required to pay taxes without representation. This violates one of those silly Constitutional things that we often forget about. I would think that a felon required to buy health insurance now...would stand up and note that he can’t be required to buy into the health insurance...unless the state changes it’s election laws, or this is deemed not-a-tax. I can see Justice Roberts standing there....mostly grinning...as he goes 180-degrees....and says well now....this can’t be a tax. At that point, he’d have to be fired and sent off to retirement.
Barack’s little science fair project has some very grave consequences.
There is no "right to vote" in the US Constitution, and I submit that universal suffrage is a, if not THE primary cause of the political condition the USA is in. The so-called low information voter, or leech (be they welfare leech or corporate rent-seeker) are a majority of voters. Once the majority figure it can vote money for itself out of the public treasury, the gig is up.
At least some of the founders were wary of universal suffrage, having studied history and being a bit more thoughtful than the average person.
“...a former felon (is) required to pay taxes without representation.
This violates one of those silly Constitutional things...”
Though “taxation without representation” is indeed itemized
as one of the “long train of abuses” in the Declaration of Independence,
“taxation without representation” is nowhere prohibited by
nor even mentioned in the body of the Constitution.
There are several examples of “taxation without representation”
that occur all around us all the time.
Was it different pre-Obamacare? Did these counties have more options and insurance companies opted out because of Obamacare requirements? Or has it always been this way?
Why does this even matter ? Isn’t it theoretical if they’re all just on Medicaid and we’e paying for it anyway?
My supplement premium went from $135 to $153 as of 2/1/14. No mention of zer0care as the cause. Just the usual boilerplate that this was across the board for my age group and had nothing to do with my own use, which is miniscule.
“Poorer counties facing high premiums, few choices, little competition through ObamaCare”
But that’s OK. Poorer counties tend to be rural counties, and rural counties almost always vote for Republicans, conservatives and other assorted scum, so this works out exactly like the Obamufascists wanted.
Obama’s plan to nationalize healthcare is working by convincing doctors to abandon their private practice for a steady job in a hospital.
Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
FEB. 13, 2014
Launch media viewer
Dr. Suzanne Salamon, with a patient at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said she has had trouble filling a prestigious fellowship because of relatively low salaries. Katherine Taylor for The New York Times
American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following.
Actually poorer counties equals low population rural counties with a conservative voter base. All counties have infrastructure to maintain, but low pop counties don't have much property tax coming in to offset the expense. Also property values are generally lower away from cities, since employment opportunities are fewer.
I was thinking more like the southside around atlanta