Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another Piece Of The Train Is Coming Off The Track

Watch the market today! The health insurers were just given a huge Christmas in July gift (yes, I know it's August, but it's early August, but I assume the insiders all knew in July this was going to be announced by the end of the summer). I've always maintained the insurers will do well during the transition. I assume they all raised their rates in anticipation of the costs associated with O'BamaCare. Now that those costs will come down significantly, my hunch is that the insurers will not be lowering their premiums.

Forbes is reporting:
First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. 
Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate.
Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead. 
Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year
According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2011, the Obama administration had missed as many as one-third of the deadlines, specified by law, under the Affordable Care Act. 
Here are the details on the latest one. Obamacare contains a blizzard of mandates and regulations that will make health insurance more costly.
One of the most significant is its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs, such as co-pays and deductibles. Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by Obamacare, requires that “a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for the any participant or beneficiary.”
Annual limits on cost-sharing are specified by Section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act; in addition, starting in 2014, deductibles are limited to $2,000 per year for individual plans, and $4,000 per year for family plans.
A catastrophic illness, the reason most folks buy health care insurance, will simply drive a family to bankruptcy. O'BamaCare would have lessened that risk. Folks will have to wait until at least 2015 for that safety net to be raised again. My hunch: it won't be.


President O'Bama: Wall Street's gift that keeps on giving.

About the only mandate left is a mandate for main street: the individual mandate. It will be interesting to see if that mandate is delayed. If not, it will be the only significant piece of ObamaCare that will not be delayed or scrapped.

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