Premium hikes direct result of health care legislation insurers say

As a companion piece to my health care trade-offs post more than two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal has another article today discussing the premium increases that are starting to hit businesses now that the legislation is law, and open enrollment season is around the corner.

Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, who points us to the WSJ piece written by Janet Adamy. I wrote about this subject on Aug. 20.

Many carriers also are seeking additional rate increases that they say they need to cover rising medical costs. As a result, some consumers could face total premium increases of more than 20%. …

In addition to pledging that the law would restrain increases in Americans’ insurance premiums, Democrats front-loaded the legislation with early provisions they hoped would boost public support. Those include letting children stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26, eliminating co-payments for preventive care and barring insurers from denying policies to children with pre-existing conditions, plus the elimination of the coverage caps.

Weeks before the election, insurance companies began telling state regulators it is those very provisions that are forcing them to increase their rates.

By front-loading popular stuff like covering 26-year old kids on a family policy, health insurance companies were provided cover by Congress and the White House to increase health care premiums for everyone. After all, to provide these extended benefits, who the heck did you think was going to pay for them?

Then of course, you have the general rise in health care costs due to the explosive growth of medical procedures like joint replacements and the use of drugs for the treatment of heart disease and diabetes. Add it all together and you’ve got a 20 percent increase in premiums.

How’s the change working out for you?

Think this will work out in the end for Democrats? The timing can not be worse for them since most of the health insurance policies are effective Jan. 1, with open enrollment season for employees starting about 30 days prior to election day.

Take a look at what your premiums are today, then let me know what you think when you get your companies benefit packages and pricing. Be very careful during your analysis, if your premiums go up a small amount, triple check to see what you’re loosing in benefits.

But don’t worry, you’re 25 year old kid will be covered.

Update: Michelle Malkin suggests Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) might stir up the election-season pot by dragging those health insurance company CEOs to Washington to explain the premium increases. As I note above the answer is pretty simple, Waxman and his crew implemented mandates that someone needs to pay for. They might just try this approach, because we know their final end-game is single payer health care… demonize the health insurance companies!

16 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Here in MA, land of the "mini me" Øbamacare, rates have gone up 25% and copays are skyrocketing.


    Apparently, a lot of people are getting treated for a "Hopium" addiction.  🙂   Too bad we all have to pay with the withdrawal symptoms…

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Why wouldn't the insurance carriers hike the premiums? They have been doing that year after year. This time they have a new excuse.

  3. SoundOffSister
    SoundOffSister says:

    It would appear that Congressman Waxman is, once again, shocked at the results of Obamacare.  Remember how, earlier this year he called for hearings into the way AT&T, John Deere and others were accounting for the increased cost of providing drug coverage to their retirees as a result of Obamacare?  The hearings never took place because someone explained to Waxman that the companies were correct.

    I'm guessing his new round of "hearings" will never take place either.  Do the Democrats really want insurance companies to explain to the public why Obamacare will actually raise the cost of insurance, as opposed to lowering the cost as Congress promised before Obamacare was passed? 

    I think I heard something about an election coming up in November.

  4. rickyrock
    rickyrock says:

    All research I have done demonstrates that the insurance companies raise rates 40 % higher than the underlying cost increases.It's pure profit motive nothing more.Rates have gone up and will continue to go up…It's not the fault of Obamas health care .

  5. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    rickyrock gets it. Both SOS and Co "hope" that the insurers compete w/ one another. No such luck!!! Why should they???????

  6. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    Prove it, not in the comments section though. Do your own research and prove that if underlying costs of care increase $100, health insurance companies increase premiums to $140. Or that for every $100 in premium increases, health insurance companies are keeping $40. (I'm not sure which one you mean.)

    Then publish it somewhere and link to it from here. Use government data – not "studies" from some sort of think tank that estimates things. I clearly showed about 5 percent of the total increase in health care premiums can be tied to the cost of health care administration and profit.

    You're welcome to use think tank data if you're able to trace back to federal government data.

    That's right, I'm asking you to do your own research, publish the findings and show me the number is 40 percent and not 5 percent.

    Again, about 95 percent of health insurance premium increases can be tied to increases in costs at the provider level – hospitals, physicians and other health care providers – as shown in my linked post. I even went into detail about why costs are rising and what many insurance companies are doing about it. All you seem to be able to do is blame the "evil" insurance companies. Getting really old.

  7. rickyrock
    rickyrock says:

    This was one of the articles I read searching for answers. It seems an interesting shell game of sending profits (525 million) to an affiliated company then showing your cupboard is bare……….like a nursery rhyme.. another insurance company fairy tale.

  8. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    It's also interesting that Democrats in Washington and in the Executive Branch didn't try to sell the plan to the American people by proclaiming "your rates are going to go up either way." And I've never said the health care bill was the exclusive reason health care rates went up, but for people to ignore the fact the extra mandates had to be paid for in some way, is dishonest at best.

  9. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    @rickyrock: That was your one – and only one – failed attempt at responding to me. I'm willing to fix the link you provided to a news story (it was a broken link and I fixed it) but try that again and your comment gets deleted. I've got a full time job and a part time business and I took the time to put facts together into what I consider a very reasonable post with good data. You'll need to do the same. You saw my challenge and it's quite clear.

    And you're clear we're not talking about health insurance profits right? This topic is specific to health care premium increases and what those increases can be attributed to. Nothing else. Not going to allow you to change the subject.

    And by the way, you've got time, no need to do it tonight or even this week. Next Wednesday will be just fine.

  10. Linda Mae
    Linda Mae says:

    McCain Feingold – Hah!!!

    There is a chapter about this bill in D. Horowitz's book The Shadow Party – very extensive reasons why the bill was created and how it became an issue.  It was pure George Soros and Saul Alinsky.  Create a problem, offer a "solution" to the problem, get the backing of others, and them pass the bill people are clamoring for.  It is very entertaining.  The book was written in @ 2006 – and it is chillingly accurate as a predictor of wha we now have.

    Both McCain & Feingold have lost credibility for me.  They are George's boys.

    So sad Palin worked with McCain. 

  11. rickyrock
    rickyrock says:

    Sorry about the broken link Steve …….I work two jobs so I don't put the time and care this blog deserves ,,

    Will research it for next week ,,if I'm wrong I will be the first to say so,


  12. rickyrock
    rickyrock says:

    One more thing Steve ………I don’t appreciate the implication that I willfully or somehow intentionally put up a broken link ……..I blog a little between customers and I have a very old computer with a broken right click mouse.Secondly the article does state that? rate increases of up to 39% were proposed.

    • Steve M
      Steve M says:

      Sweet goodness. I've never argued insurance carriers in California were not proposing rate increases of 39 percent. As a matter of fact I wrote about the 39 percent proposed increase in early February and the post got national attention since Michelle Malkin referenced my post on her blog.

      I did not mean to imply you intentionally provided a broken link. I was pointing out that you linked to a news story … don't do that again and don't try to keep changing the subject like referencing a 39 percent proposed rate increase. Don't post again in this thread until you can challenge my points and my data.

  13. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Obamacare sounds alot like deregulating the electric utilities  – "you can keep your doctor / you will have choice of provider…"  and the unspoken  "all at a higher price."   Psuedonyms for value added tax – eh !?!

    And the bickering in here is getting bad. 

    We have more in common than we are at odds with:  working more than one job, making do with old equipment and I dare say feeling like the Feds ignore us all.

    We are on the U.S.S. America and it is sinking due to the holes both parties have put into it.  And here we are throwing water at each other instead of bailing out the ship.  We need to stop the politicos from making more holes, plug the holes and start bailing.  Else we better learn to swim or start liking water cooled hand rails. 

    I don't mean to sound all holier- than- thou, I'm just venting. 

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