Shock: Health insurers tell brokers premiums could ‘rise sharply’ next year

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health-care overhaul law, with the nation’s biggest firm projecting that rates could more than double for some consumers buying their own plans.

The projections, made in sessions with brokers and agents, provide some of the most concrete evidence yet of how much insurance companies might increase prices when major provisions of the law kick in next year—a subject of rigorous debate.

The projected increases are at odds with what the Obama Administration says consumers should be expecting overall in terms of cost. The Department of Health and Human Services says that the law will “make health-care coverage more affordable and accessible,” pointing to a 2009 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office that says average individual premiums, on an apples-to-apples basis, would be lower.

Keith Koffler at the White House Dossier blog observes:

Other insurers are offering similar forecasts. While subsidies will buffer the effect on low income earners, many in the middle class could be paying significantly more for their health insurance as Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all provisions take effect and consumers are forced to purchase higher-priced plans.

What’s more, healthy young people who have foregone insurance as not worth the cost will now have to have it – and pay for it – effectively subsidizing older, sicker consumers, since insurers in 2014 will no longer be able take health history into account when deciding on coverage and are limited in their ability to do so based on age.

Either that or hop onto mom and dad’s insurance – which they can do  until they are 26, which effectively raises mom’s and/or dad’s premiums, too.  Yippee!

Aaaand if that isn’t depressing enough, there is this:

THURSDAY, March 21, 2013 (MedPage Today) — Most physicians have a pessimistic outlook on the future of medicine, citing eroding autonomy and falling income, a survey of more than 600 doctors found.

Six in 10 physicians (62 percent) said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next 1 to 3 years, a survey from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found. That perception is uniform across age, gender, and specialty, it said.

Another 55 percent of surveyed doctors believe others will scale back hours because of the way medicine is changing, but the survey didn’t elaborate greatly on how it was changing. Three-quarters think the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine, although that is an increase from the 2011 survey result of 69 percent.

[…]

Despite those pessimistic views, seven of 10 said they were satisfied about practicing medicine, although that number was lower for primary care providers and higher for younger age groups, the survey found. Dissatisfaction was attributed toward less time with patients, long hours, and dealing with Medicare, Medicaid, and government regulations.

And you know what? It’s going to get even worse because, as my friend Ken Gardener so accurately stated earlier:

Bbbbut our celebrity Prez would have you believe he’s never been a proponent of single payer. However, pesky videos out there exist that show otherwise. Obama in 2003:

Oops…

Anyway, if you’re like me and many others I know and have read about, your premiums have ALREADY gone up. As a result of it happening with me, I had to downgrade my health care plan to something I could afford. Sooo, no, I didn’t get to keep the plan I wanted to be on, Mr. President.

Anyone else?

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