Affordable Care Act
Update May 24,2013 California announces 13 plans to participate in State's Exchange. Participating companies cut profits on exchange business to 2%. I wonder what the rates will be offered to provide health care with a 2% margin. Cigna, Aetna and United Healthcare, three of the nation's largetst health insurers are standing this one out. I don't blame them for a wait and see attitude. I bet that many insurers will follow suite.
Update May 21, 2013 National Nurses United a union of 185,000 nurses research finds the following information about ACA program does not address cost.
The nurses' research found what appear to be staggering statistics: U.S. hospitals charge on average $331 dollars for every $100 of their total costs, a 331 percent charge-to-cost ratio. From 2009 to 2011 (the most recent year for which the data is available), hospital charges lunged upward by 16 percent, while hospital costs only increased by 2 percent.
“There is no other word for this than price gouging,” said Deborah Burger, co-president of NNU whose research arm, the Institute of Health and Socio Economic Policy produced the findings based on an analysis of publicly available Medicare Cost Reports.
Burger says the consequences of hospital price gouging for patients and families is “immediate and severe.” High hospital charges get passed along by insurance companies to employers and individuals. And employers either drop health coverage or shift the cost to workers, she said.
“Hospitals should be providers of care, not loan sharks,” Burger said. “But we also know that price gouging is widespread throughout the health care industry, and that is a symbol of what is wrong with our profit-focused health care system, and why we need real reform.”
This is a scathing report from an insider group seeing the cost of health care going up. The promise was that more people would be insured and all of us would see a reduction in our health premiums.
It appears that the Hospital lobbyist in D. C. , have more clout than insurance carriers. If you remember a law was passed that said insurers must spend 92% of all premiums to pay for patient care and if they don't meet that standard they would have to refund it to the insureds. So what happens to hospitals that over charge?
The ACA (Affordable Care Act) is on its way and will be marketed to small business starting in October. HHS has contracted with public relations firm Weber Shandwick, and will also be employing counselors to aid people in navigating the exchanges and choosing an insurance policy. Some of the plan's supporters fear there are not enough resources available to promote and explain the act.
The employment of a marketing firm is an indicator of the complexity of the ACA. Brokers will be the lifeline for small business owners to get the information necessary to navigate the exchange. The federal government will also employee non-licensed individuals called navigators. They will also assist those seeking help. Government call centers have never been a choice for people to get information but the ACA administration feels this will be a key source.
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