Health Care Reform July 2013 Update

I learn in the military that in order to glimpse the truth you must capture what seems to be meaningless information and draw your own conclusions about what is really happening.  So let me give you some data points and see what conclusion you draw.

1.      Indiana Department of Insurance, News Release, July 18 2013.  As a result of the federal Affordable Care Act, individual health insurance rates in Indiana will increase by an average of 72% in 2014” according to Logan Harrison, Chief Deputy Commissioner at the Indiana Department of Insurance. “Small group rates will increase by 8%.”

Mr. Harrison also commented: “This new data regrettably confirms the negative impact of the Affordable Care Act on the insurance market in Indiana,”

2.      Washington Post Wonkblog response to Indiana’s Department of Insurance Statement.  It certainly doesn’t tell us insurance coverage in Indiana will be cheap; that much is obvious. But it doesn’t really tell us that Indiana’s premiums are outrageous – in fact, when you dig into the documents insurers’ filed, it turns out Indiana’s rates look a lot like the rest of the country.”

 3.     Los Angeles Times Business Edition, July 19 2013.  “Health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross is spurning California’s new insurance market for small businesses.”  Mr. Chad Terhune from the LA Times also wrote: “Friday’s disclosure made Anthem the first big insurer in California to publicly pass on the small-business pool. Some other big names, such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc., have already opted out of California’s larger exchange for individual consumers.”

Keep in mind that the fact that they are pulling away from the exchanges doesn’t mean that they are pulling away from the small business market.  Anthem led the small business market in 2011 (31% of the total business pool) and will continue to sell and cultivate this market outside of the exchanges.

4.      Response to Anthem Blue Cross by a California exchange spoke person, Dana Howard, “We don’t think it will have a huge impact.  There are other companies that are just as big. This will be a competitive market.”

I have lots more information about what is going on and have made my own inferences based on the same.  Yet, I will not taint your opinion with my own.  Instead I leave you with this; what are your own conclusions so far?