Showing posts with label Blue Shield. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blue Shield. Show all posts

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Montana: Blue Cross raising rates for thousands

HELENA — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, the state’s largest private health insurer, told thousands of customers this week it is raising premiums 3.5 percent in January because of “Obamacare” fees and taxes.
The notice, dated Thursday, went to nearly 3,000 holders of group policies, which insure tens of thousands of Montanans. Blue Cross said it didn’t have an exact count of how many people are covered by the affected plans.
Some of those policyholder signed year-long contracts earlier this year and are getting a mid-year increase, which Montana law generally forbids.
But the law has an exception that says an insurer can increase premiums in the middle of a contract year if costs are affected by a change in state or federal law.
Blue Cross linked the increase to fees taking effect Jan. 1 — although insurers have known for some time about the charges.
“We are following the law,” said John Doran, director of strategic marketing services for Blue Cross Montana. “We made that decision feeling it was in the best interest of our members. … We waited until the last available minute to assess these fees.”
Other major health insurers in Montana aren’t invoking the law, saying they already built any costs from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — also known as Obamacare — into their current premiums.
“We’re honoring our current rates,” said Todd Lovshin of PacificSource, which insures about 19,000 people in Montana. “We’ve known about the (fees) for a long time and we knew they were going to be collected.”
The Blue Cross notice referenced two ACA charges effective Jan. 1: A flat-rate federal tax on all health insurers, to raise $8 billion nationwide to help pay costs of the overall act, and an annual “reinsurance fee” of $63 per person insured.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Obamacare: Unfair to the young middle class, punished enough already

The Obama administration came out with a report Monday arguing that 1 million single adults between the ages of 18 and 35 will be eligible for an Obamacare insurance plan costing less than $50 a month.
That’s news to me.
I’m a healthy 34-year-old with a taxable income hovering right around the Obamacare subsidy level who, for the last several years, has purchased a relatively inexpensive catastrophic health insurance plan from Blue Shield. I get to see the doctor four times a year for a $30 co-pay, and I won’t have to spend the rest of my life working off the debt if I get hit by a bus.
Last month, however, I received a letter from my insurance company informing me that my plan was “no longer available” due to “new requirements for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.” I am being funneled into the closest equivalent plan under the new California health exchange, and my monthly premium is going to rise by nearly 43% to $214 a month.  
My old plan was as bare-bones as they came, so I assumed that even though the new plan would cost more, my coverage would improve under Obamacare, at least marginally.
It did not.
Under my old plan, my maximum out-of-pocket expense was $4,900. Under the new plan, I’m on the hook for up to $6,350. Copays for my doctor visits will double. For urgent-care visits, they will quadruple. Though slightly cheaper plans exist if I decide to shop around on the exchange, I will lose my dental coverage should I switch.
Needless to say, I am not pleased.  
Most young, middle-class Americans I know are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obamacare Causes Thousands to Lose Health Insurance in San Diego

APThousands of San Diego county residents are losing their health insurance plans due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Although President Barack Obama said that those who like their insurance could keep it, the law only protects those who signed up for plans before the law passed in March 2010. 
According to the Union-Tribune:
Faced with the new provision that they cannot exclude patients with pre-existing conditions, and a slew of other new regulations, insurance companies are eliminating most non-grandfathered policies.
About 2 million people in the state now buy coverage on the individual market, according to the California Healthcare Foundation. An additional 26 million get their coverage from their employer, a public agency or Medicare and are not affected.
It is not clear how many have received a policy expiration letter from their insurance company. A Blue Shield of California spokeswoman said the company has sent notices to nearly 10,000 individual customers in San Diego County, and a Health Net representative said “thousands” of its customers in the region were affected. Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, the area’s other two large insurers, did not respond to queries Tuesday.
Kaiser told Kaiser Health News that it had sent notices to 160,000 people across the state, which amounts to about half of its individual policy holders.
Via: WFB

Continue Reading..... 

Friday, October 11, 2013

How Much Is Your Health Insurance Going Up?

Have you gotten a letter from your insurance company about your premiums going up? Has your employer told you that more will be coming out of your paycheck to pay for your health plan?
President Obama promised that Obamacare would lower premiums by $2,500. But instead, Americans everywhere are facing higher premiums because of Obamacare.
George Schwab, who lives in North Carolina, was notified in a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield on September 23 that his current plan doesn’t meet Obamacare’s benefit requirements and would be canceled at the end of the year. While Blue Cross did suggest a comparable plan, it was $980 more than what he now pays.
450 px SCHWAB_instagramphoto
“The President told the American people numerous times that… ‘If you like your coverage, you can keep it,’” Schwab told The Charlotte Observer. “How can we keep it if it has been eliminated? How can we keep it

Monday, October 7, 2013

Insurance Rate Spikes Due to Obamacare Crushing N.C. Consumers

APThousands of North Carolina residents are facing huge increases in their health care premiums due to new coverage rules imposed by Obamacare.
Because the Affordable Care Act mandates certain types of coverage each health care plan must contain, some insurers like Blue Cross are canceling existing plans and requiring customers to purchase new plans.
How large are the increases? For some families, the changes will mean tens of thousands of dollars a year, the Charlotte Observer reports:
One of them is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month – $980 more than he now pays. [...]
“The President told the American people numerous times that… ‘If you like your coverage, you can keep it,’” Schwab said. “How can we keep it if it has been eliminated? How can we keep it if the premium has been increased 430 percent in one year?”
Another family the Observer profiles would now pay $24,000 annually, up from $14,000.
The rate hikes at Blue Cross will affect one-third of the approximately 400,000 Blue Cross individual market customers in the state, the Observer reports.

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