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Health Insurers Ratcheting Up Rates Ahead of Reform

Posted Oct 29 2009 11:04pm

It would seem that heath insurers are following the lead of credit card issuers in “adjusting” rates, deductibles and co-pays ahead of anticipated federal health legislation.  Sadly, when Congress did pass credit card reform legislation, they allowed a window before it became law resulting in massive increases in credit card interest rates, balance allowances, fees and penalties.  Any school age child could have anticipated that, but Congress nevertheless seemed oblivious – or is it complicit – in allowing financial institutions to take advantage of that window.

Could the same scenario be playing out again in regard to health insurance?  It some respects it would seem so.  Health insurers, just as their financial brethren did, are adjusting their financial underpinnings to guard as best they can against any major reduction in profits.   The public needs to be aware of this and take what measures they can to offset the increases in premiums, co pays and deductibles.  Sadly, Congress is looking to limit rather than expand Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, which if adopted by more in the middle and upper class could go a long way to easing the hikes being imposed on businesses and individuals by health insurers.  Expansion, not reduction of HSA and FSA accounts should be part of real health reform.  Sadly this Congress and President are not about limiting costs to tax payers, but increasing those costs unnecessarily . . . obi jo

Health savings account – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_savings_account

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) – http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/

Whatever you do with your health benefits during the current open enrollment season for 2010, there’s a good chance it won’t be what you did last year. The time-honored “evergreen” option — defaulting to your current plan — may simply no longer be an option. Either your employer no longer even offers that plan, or the terms may be so radically different that you may no longer want it.  With so much in flux, this may be the year you will need to switch health plans.

Scrutinizing 2010 Insurance Options – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/health/24patient.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

Most people choose more insurance than they really need.  Such overstuffed choices may have been fine back when premiums were low. But in the last 10 years, the contributions of workers for family health insurance coverage have risen 128 percent — from just $1,543 a year in 1999, to $3,515 in 2009, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  So whatever rules of thumb you might have used in the past, here are some general guidelines to help you select the right plan for right now.

Picking the Right Health Insurance Plan for Right Now – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/health/24patientbar.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0

AND now comes the pitch: What can you do to reduce health care costs? During the open enrollment season for employee benefits, now under way for next year, you are likely to hear a whole lot about Consumer-Directed Health Plans. You, of course, are the consumer. And you’re being directed to save your employer a lot of money — so much so that many employers are offering workers lucrative incentives to make the switch into a consumer-directed plan.

Making Sense of High-Deductible Health Plans – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/17/health/17patient.html

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Posted in health insurance reform, health reform, politics Tagged: access, affordable health insurance, Congress, deductibles, health, health care, health care reform, health insurance, health insurance access, health Insurance exclusions, health insurance reform, health news, health plans, health reform, healthcare, high deductible health plans, Hospitals, HSA, Insurance, insurance access, insurance benefits, mandated health coverage, Medicaid, medical care access, medical deductions, medical news, Medicare, medicine news, Nancy Pelosi, news, outcomes, patient care, patients, personal health mandates, personal health responsibility, physician behavior, physician payments, Physicians, politics, pre existing conditions, President, President of the United States, Senate, underinsured, uninsured
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