Obamacare collapse continues as major insurer Aetna dumps ALL exchanges, leaving millions without options

Image: Obamacare collapse continues as major insurer Aetna dumps ALL exchanges, leaving millions without options
Source: NaturalNews.com
JD Heyes
May 12, 2017

Following lie after lie, the government-run healthcare fiasco known as Obamacare continues to unravel and collapse, leaving tens of millions of Americans paying obscene prices for unusable ‘coverage’ – that is, when they can get it at all.

One of the biggest lies of all used by former President Obama and the Democratic Party is that the Affordable Care Act would provide a myriad of choices of insurance coverage, an alleged aspect of the plan that would lead to more competition and lower prices.

The exact opposite has happened, in fact, as prices for monthly premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles have literally become unaffordable for many.

And now, as major insurer Aetna announces it will become the latest insurer to leave the Obamacare exchanges, millions of Americans will be left with no choice at all. (RELATED: Collapse: Anthem announces it will exit Obamacare markets this year, leaving millions of Americans with no provider choice)

As reported by Bloomberg Politics:

While the move is likely to attract outsize political attention, the decision affects just Delaware and Nebraska. The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer already said last year it would pull out of 11 states, and in the last month announced plans to exit Iowa and Virginia.  

“We will not offer on- or off-exchange individual plans in Delaware or Nebraska for 2018, and at this time have completely exited the exchanges,” Aetna said in a statement Wednesday.

Bloomberg’s attempt to downplay the scope if Aetna’s decision undermines the wider, bigger, and more important issue that the insurer had already pulled out of most of its Obamacare markets, as reported by Reuters:

Aetna had already said it would exit the individual commercial market in Virginia and Iowa, after pulling out of several other states last year.

Townhall.com reported in April 2016 that insurers were pulling out of the exchanges “in droves,” severely hampering consumers’ insurance choices. The site referenced a study by the Heritage Foundation that Obamacare overall had dramatically limited consumer choice, finding that 45 percent of all states had fewer health insurance options than were being offered just one year before – 2015. And of the 45 insurer exits from the exchanges, 31 were “voluntary exits, with 21 of those completely abandoning all ACA exchanges – because they were hemorrhaging money.

Worse, the insurers that have remained in the exchanges have had to dramatically boost premiums in order to remain profitable – another lie regarding Obamacare told to us by the former president and Democrats, who pledged that rates would fall by an average of $2,500 per year.

The departure of Aetna from its remaining Obamacare exchanges is just the latest reason why Congress should fully repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with free market solutions that allow patients, insurers and medical providers the right to determine prices. The only way the U.S. healthcare system will ever be affordable again – for insurance companies, for providers and for consumers – is to get the government completely out of ‘managing’ our healthcare system altogether.

Political sycophant supporters of Barack Obama and Democrats, for some reason, are refusing to face reality and acknowledge the obvious – Obamacare is an abject failure, it is destroying family incomes, it is falling far short of providing the “universal” coverage it was supposed to provide, and it has created havoc and uncertainty throughout the healthcare delivery system. (RELATED: Obamacare will collapse under the weight of rising premiums)

That’s what is so far preventing Congress from pulling the plug on this grotesque, destructive law and letting Americans and the market decide what is best for their needs.

While the government certainly has an interest in the cost of health care as it pertains to Medicare, Medicaid and the VA, in a truly free market system it could use its massive purchasing power to negotiate for better rates – much like retail giant Walmart does when deciding what product lines to carry and from which suppliers. But that’s all government should be – just a customer among tens of millions of individual customers and purchasing groups who, themselves, could negotiate locally for better prices.

Obamacare is an abject failure. The signs are everywhere. It’s not going to get any better.

Repealing it, and returning to the people the right to decide coverage and care options for themselves, should not be as difficult as it has been.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com






Review: SquareTrade

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Inside SquareTrade's San Francisco Offices - Office Snapshots

The Breakaway
Zy Marquiez
May 3, 2017


I purchased a new laptop through Costco, and thought it prudent to purchase an insurance plan that would protect the laptop from drops, spills, and so on.  A protection plan from Square Trade was chosen which lasts three years, based on the fact that it not only met my requirements but also guarantees that the whole process will be handled in 5 business days after they receive the laptop, and an additional two days for shipping thereafter.

After about a month or so of use, water was spilled on the laptop, and it began malfunctioning.  That’s where things get interesting.

The Good:

The entire process took nigh four weeks, and in the end Square Trade paid the claim.  That said, the whole process was much lengthier than expected considering that they guaranteed 5-day service.

Additionally, after SquareTrade received the laptop they updated me consistently for the first week and a half.  However, thereafter, the first week after SquareTrade received the laptop their consistency decreased considerably and was nigh non-existent.  From here attempting to get information was like pulling teeth.  There were a few lengthy waiting periods I went through on the phone [via their call back process] merely to either seek an update of the process, or ask specific questions.

The Bad:

Simply put, the laptop wasn’t repaired within the allotted timeframe.  In fact, instead of taking 5 business days, the whole process took nigh 4 weeks to finish.  This creates many issues when one wants to rely on the guaranteed speed of a company that claims to handle claims in a timely manner.  If SquareTrade didn’t have that guarantee, which is a very solid selling point for those that need their fixed rather quickly, it wouldn’t be an issue.  But Square Trade does, as can be seen below.

The Ugly:

On the Costco website, SquareTrade states:

As one can see, the 5-Day service guarantee is the 4th point below the “Award-Winning Customer Service” heading.  Clear as day, it states “We’ll repair or replace your computer within 5 business days (after we’ve received it), or your plan is free.”

That particular statement is highly misleading because it doesn’t tell the whole story.  The fact is that they themselves will NOT refund the payment for the plan automatically if they fail to fix the computer within that timeframe.

On one hand, the screen shot above shows the guarantee.  On the other, the one below will show the glaring contradiction in their very words, which can be seen in the downloadable PDF, which covers the Terms and Conditions:


“If we fail to repair, payout or replace the Product within five (5) business days of receiving it, We will continue to service Your Product and the cost of Your Protection Plan may be refunded to You at Our discretion.”[Emphasis Added]

That’s a glaring contradiction if there ever were one.   If that’s not false advertisement to boot, I don’t I know what is.
Essentially, what we have is Square Trade:

[1] Not repairing the laptop in a timely manner, taking nigh four times to settle a claim.  Again, if they didn’t guarantee speedy service, it wouldn’t be an issue, but they do.  I don’t mind waiting, but a quick repair process was crucial and one of the key reasons why the plan was purchased.
[2] Not following through on their word when it clearly says in the main product page on Costco that they will refund the money if their guarantee fails.
[3] Engaging in deceptive business practices as they themselves contradict their guarantee, which you only find when you dig deeper within their own terms of agreement.

And, finally, the icing on the cake:

[4] when I inquired why they weren’t refunding the plan payment I was told by the customer service representative that the reason that Square Trade will not refund the plan was because they were not notified about their failure to process the claim in a timely manner.

Plainly, the customer shouldn’t have to tell SquareTrade that they failed at their own job in order for receive proper service.

Really hope that SquareTrade begins to raise their standards of business practice because as a company bandying about “guarantees” they leave a lot to be desired.

A new kind of doctor’s office charges a monthly fee and doesn’t take insurance – and it could be the future of medicine

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Source: BusinessInsider.com
March 19, 2017

Dr. Bryan Hill spent his career working as a pediatrician, teaching at a university, and working at a hospital. But in March 2016, he decided he no longer wanted a boss.

He took some time off, then one day he got a call asking if he’d be up for doing a house call for a woman whose son was sick. He agreed, and by the end of that visit, he realized he wanted to treat patients without dealing with any of the insurance requirements.

Then he learned about a totally different way to run a doctor’s office. It’s called direct primary care, and it works like this: Instead of accepting insurance for routine visits and drugs, these practices charge a monthly membership fee that covers most of what the average patient needs, including visits and drugs at much lower prices.

That sounded good to him. In September, Hill opened his direct-primary-care pediatrics practice, Gold Standard Pediatrics, in South Carolina.

Hill is part of a small but fast-growing movement of pediatricians, family-medicine physicians, and internists who are opting for this different model. It’s happening at a time when high-deductible health plans are on the rise – a survey in September found that 51% of workers had a plan that required them to pay up to $1,000 out of pocket for healthcare until insurance picks up most of the rest.

That means consumers have a clearer picture of how much they’re spending on healthcare and are having to pay more. At the same time, primary-care doctors in the traditional system are feeling the pressure under the typical fee-for-service model in which doctors are incentivized to see more patients for less time to maximize profits.

Direct primary care has the potential to simplify basic doctor visits, allowing a doctor to focus solely on the patient. But there are also concerns about the effect that separating insurance from primary care could have on the rest of the healthcare system – that and doctors often have to accept lower pay in exchange for less stress.

How direct primary care works


Courtesy Lauren Clark

Dustin and Lauren Clark, who operate Black Bag Family Healthcare.

For Brent Long and his family, paying for healthcare is now like paying a cellphone bill. Since they joined Black Bag Family Healthcare in Johnson City, Tennessee, about two years ago, the family has paid about $150 a month to belong to the practice.

Long joined around the time he was shifting his insurance to a high-deductible health plan. There were two reasons he decided to switch and start paying for all six members of his family to get direct primary care: the cost-effectiveness of not having to deal with copays or urgent-care visits, and the fact that it could easily fit his family’s busy lifestyle that doesn’t jibe with spending hours in waiting rooms.

Included in that monthly fee are basic checkups, same-day or next-day appointments, and – a big boon to patients – the ability to obtain medications and lab tests at or near wholesale prices.

Direct primary care also comes with near-constant access to a doctor – talking via FaceTime while the family is on vacation, or taking an emergency trip to the office to get stitches after a bad fall on a Saturday night. Because direct primary care doesn’t take insurance, there are no copays and no costs beyond the monthly fee.

BI Graphics_Healthcare Chart

Skye Gould/Business Insider

When Blythe Fortin went in for a recent visit at sparkMD, a direct-primary-care practice in Boise, Idaho, Dr. Julie Gunther spent an hour chatting with her before getting to the results of her blood test, which showed elevated blood-sugar levels.

“She listened when I said I can manage with diet,” rather than starting her on medication, Fortin said.

Fortin, who pays $60 a month for sparkMD, had used a different kind of subscription healthcare called concierge medicine. It has some similarities to direct primary care but often costs thousands per month and still incorporates health insurance. She says she prefers direct primary care because the quality of care she has received is better than concierge medicine, and she likes that it’s available to a wider base of patients.

At the 17 direct-primary-care practices Business Insider spoke with, the percentage of members who still had insurance varied. At some practices, all but a handful had some form of insurance, while at others a little more than half didn’t have insurance.


Courtesy of Dr. Julie Gunther

Dr. Julie Gunther of sparkMD with one of her newest patients.

To describe how coverage functions under direct primary care, doctors use the example of car insurance: You don’t use your car insurance for small transactions like oil changes, but it’s there for you if you get in a car accident. Likewise, health-insurance plans – especially those with high deductibles – can be there if you require healthcare beyond primary care.

For those who have insurance, the choice to pay for both makes financial sense, even if they can’t use it at their doctor’s office.

Fran Ciarlo has coverage through Medicare but decided to pay for sparkMD as well. One of the ways she’s seen an advantage is in prescriptions – like many direct-primary-care practices, sparkMD can provide prescriptions at wholesale prices, adding a 10% fee. On a recent visit, Ciarlo estimated she had saved at least $100 on prescriptions for standard steroids and antibiotics that in total cost her $6.

And for those with high health-insurance costs, it’s occasionally a choice between paying a monthly premium or the monthly membership fee for a direct-primary-care practice. For Rebekah Bennett, paying for direct primary care at sparkMD made more sense for her and her children than opting for insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, since for roughly the same cost, if not less, her family could see their doctor without any copays.

The history of the direct-primary-care movement

Philip Eskew, who has tracked the movement through his website, Direct Primary Care Frontier, said direct primary care began at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s. Around that time, three doctors had the idea to go insurance-free, charging monthly fees instead and freeing up time to enjoy practicing medicine. This way, patients who might not have insurance could have a clear idea of how much going to the doctor would cost.

One of the three founded Qliance, a direct-primary-care system based in Washington state that got its start in 2007. The company was backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Dell founder Michael Dell before the company leadership bought it to run it privately, without investor pressure. Qliance now has about 25,000 members visiting a handful of clinics around Puget Sound.

Cofounder Dr. Erika Bliss sees this movement growing in the future from its grass roots, rather than becoming big and national.

“It keeps the resolve and the drive toward independent primary care,” she said, which she described as a critical element. She says she envisions independent practices with maybe 10 to 20 providers at three to five locations being about as big as they’d get.

Getting off the ground

Dr. Matthew Abinante opened his practice in Huntington Beach, California, in September. Since then, he has had two people call his office to find out more about his practice. When he explained the system, he said, the callers thought it had to be a scam.

It’s one of the biggest hurdles doctors face when starting direct primary care – the “too good to be true” factor, the learning curve that comes with the understanding that “No, you won’t be using insurance here.” Even so, Abinante has signed up about 150 patients.

Going into direct primary care often means ditching the reliability of a salary. Because the practice relies on membership fees, the more patients who sign on, the more money that can be made. Practices cap their number of patients at anywhere from 300 to 1,000.

And it’s not exactly cheap to get started. Dr. Vance Lassey, who runs Holton Direct Care in Holton, Kansas, took out a loan to start his practice and spent time renovating a 750-square-foot space he rented from a friend at an industrial park. He picked up a lot of old equipment from a nearby nonprofit hospital and surplus stores. For his in-house pharmacy, Lassey took mismatched cabinets and refinished them so they matched.


Courtesy Dr. Vance Lassey

Dr. Vance Lassey in front of the pharmacy cabinets he built from a mismatched set.

Keeping his costs low helped Lassey break even within four months of opening his practice. Still, he’s not earning as much as he used to when he worked at a hospital and had only five to 10 minutes with a patient – a lot less time than he gets to spend with his patients now.

“I am making a profit, I have more free time, and I can practice properly,” he said. “It’s worth it to me.”

Others, like Dr. M. Chad Williamson in Fort Payne, Alabama, went upscale – he offers his patients a 24-hour gym as part of his practice’s $60 monthly membership fee. Williamson, who opened his practice in August, a few months after finishing his residency, currently has 215 members. He wants to bring that up to between 600 and 1,000 people, ideally.

And it’s not just building the office space – direct-primary-care doctors are also responsible for building referral relationships with other doctors in the area.

What’s holding direct primary care back

While doctors and patients using direct primary care might praise the model – it was hard to get anybody to suggest a group, geographic or otherwise, that they thought wouldn’t benefit from direct primary care – not everyone is sold just yet.

Carolyn Long Engelhard, a public-health expert and professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, broke down the main concerns with direct primary care:

  • It might give the false impression that it’s a kind of insurance, so people might not opt to also get a real insurance plan. But if a patient were to have a health issue outside the scope of primary care, they wouldn’t be protected financially. All the providers Business Insider spoke with said they recommended patients have some form of insurance, and there were many instances where most patients in a practice had insurance or took part in a healthcare sharing plan, a program that functions like insurance in which an amount is sent monthly to people who have medical expenses in the plan.
  • Because doctors at direct-primary-care practices take on fewer patients than doctors at traditional primary-care practices, it might add to the caseloads of primary-care doctors. There is a shortage of these doctors in the US, partly because many choose to go into specialty medicine. Some doctors, on the other hand, say that they would have considered leaving medicine outright if they hadn’t had the option to do direct primary care. “There are doctor shortages already, so I say, ‘Compared to what?'” Dr. Chad Savage, who runs YourChoice Direct Care in Brighton, Michigan, told Business Insider.
  • Direct-primary-care physicians could become isolated from other doctors, and because the only person the direct-primary-care doctor has to answer to is the patient, there are fewer insurance regulations in place, potentially putting patients at risk. This is one of the reasons that getting hard data on how direct primary care compares with traditional practices is difficult. But between direct-primary-care networks and the referral relationships doctors build in their communities, there might not be so much isolation from the rest of the system. Dr. Deborah Moore of AmarilloMD in Amarillo, Texas, said she has more time now to do research than she did when she worked at a clinic. “I can do what I really need to be doing,” she said.

Engelhard worries about the direct-primary-care model becoming the norm. Generally, she said, “I do think it has a place in our healthcare system.” Instead, though, she’d like to see more adoption of the “patient-centered medical home,” a model in which primary care is more of a team effort.

Medical organizations have had mixed reactions to the movement as well. The American Academy of Family Physicians supports it, while the American College of Physicians, which represents internal-medicine doctors, has chosen not to take a stance on direct primary care.

There are also logistical hurdles that present challenges. For example, Eskew said that in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, having a health savings account is illegal if you’re a member of a direct-primary-care practice. The IRS views the monthly fees as insurance payments, making the person ineligible for an HSA, he said. Patients also can’t use the funds from an HSA, flexible savings account, or Medicare savings account to pay their monthly membership bills.

But politicians have shown support for the business model. Libertarians see direct primary care as a free-market solution to healthcare, and legislation at the state level has gained support from Democrats and Republicans alike. And direct primary care is on the radar of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who while he was a member of Congress introduced a plan that would allow HSA funds to pay for direct primary care.

“Whoever is in power tries to take credit,” Eskew said. The ACA contains a paragraph about direct primary care that allows for the business model. It’s unclear what would happen to direct primary care under the American Health Care Act, the proposed bill to replace the ACA.

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Courtesy of Dr. J. Bryan Hill

Hill with a patient.

Where does direct primary care go from here?

As one of the first pediatricians to go into direct primary care, Hill has had the additional challenge of figuring out how the service works with children. Unlike many direct-primary-care physicians, he offers one-time visits to nonmembers. He said he also spends a lot of time listening to what parents want and sets his prices accordingly, offering discounts to families with three or more kids.

Doctors who are part of the movement tend to be the first in their area to have a direct-primary-care practice, and patients the first of their friends to use direct primary care. But all said they had positive experiences with the model.

“This is a niche, but a niche that makes sense,” Long said.

If direct primary care continues to gain traction, it could lead to new kinds of insurance plans – ones that don’t necessarily factor in primary care. Already, patients with high-deductible healthcare plans are using this. But direct-primary-care doctors also said they’d prefer to recommend catastrophic health insurance plans, which have deductibles as much as $10,000 or $30,000 and aren’t allowed under the ACA.

Even with the growth in the last few years, Bliss said the market is still slow, and a lot of unknowns would come with the AHCA should it become law. And it will be hard to get fully insured employers to use it in the same way self-insured employers and unions have picked it up.

Either way, those in direct primary care are optimistic about the movement’s future.

“In 10 years, we’re going to be an overnight success,” Eskew said jokingly.

Read More At: BusinessInsider.com

Obamacare Collapse: Aetna leaving exchanges in 11 states due to Obamacare

Obamacare collapse
Source: NaturalNews.com
Julie Wilson
August 19, 2016

Healthcare providers are increasingly unable to survive unforeseen costs associated with Obamacare. In June, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas announced its plan to significantly increase health insurance rates, hitting the pocketbooks of some 600,000 residents.

Now, healthcare insurer Aetna has announced that it will completely pull out of the Affordable Care Act individual public exchanges in 11 states, due to millions of dollars in losses. The provider said that it will still offer coverage in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia, but will cease operations in 11 other states beginning next year, as reported by Breitbart.

A statement released by Aetna Chairman and CEO, Mark T. Bertolini, said that the company suffered “a second-quarter pretax loss of $200 million and total pretax losses of more than $430 million since January 2014 in our individual products.”

Aetna reports huge financial losses under Obamacare

Of the 11 million Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, 838,000 were Aetna customers, according to data compiled in June. Aetna is the third large insurer to scale back services under Obamacare.

UnitedHealth Group said it will also exit most exchanges next year, after it too suffered huge losses to the tune of $1 billion in 2015 and 2016. And Humana Inc., which covers about 800,000 people, will leave an estimated 1,200 counties in eight states in 2017.

Aetna stated that it will reconsider entering the market in the future, but for now plans to limit its services.

“We will continue to evaluate our participation in individual public exchanges while gaining additional insight from the counties where we will maintain our presence, and may expand our footprint in the future should there be meaningful exchange-related policy improvements,” said Bertolini.

Government: Just raise the premiums and you’ll be fine

The Obama administration says it’s the insurance companies’ own fault for losing money because they set their premiums too low, adding that despite major scale backs from insurers, the system will continue to provide good quality coverage to many.

“Aetna’s decision to alter its Marketplace participation does not change the fundamental fact that the Health Insurance Marketplace will continue to bring quality coverage to millions of Americans next year and every year after that,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of HealthCare.gov.

Customers who are now forced to obtain insurance or pay a hefty fine that grows more costly over time are being left in a difficult position. Americans are essentially stuck between a rock and hard place, either losing coverage entirely, or having to cough up money for a plan they can’t afford.

“Something has to give,” said Larry Levitt, a healthcare law expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Either insurers will drop out or insurers will raise premiums.”

Is a healthcare collapse on the horizon?

Others question whether a healthcare collapse may be on the horizon. “While analysts expect the market to stabilize once premiums rise and more young, healthy people sign up, some observers have not ruled out the possibility of a collapse of the market, known in insurance parlance as a ‘death spiral,'” reports The Hill.

A March report published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, said that new enrollees under Obamacare experienced 22 percent higher medical costs than people with coverage through their employer. The report drew immense controversy, highlighting the disaster that Obamacare has become.

Last year, a top doctor issued a dire warning about the possibility of a “catastrophic collapse” of the U.S. healthcare system. The former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said that the result “will leave Americans clamoring for medical attention, medical supplies and hospital care,” according to WND.

“Catastrophic collapse due to a ‘doctor death spiral’ will occur when we drop below a critical number of practicing physicians,” said Dr. Lee Hieb, a practicing orthopedic surgeon and author of Surviving the Medical Meltdown.

“As our population ages, it requires more physician man-hours of medical care. But as our population ages, so too do our physicians. More than half of the surgeons who cover emergency rooms are over 50.

“And although they are some of the most productive physicians, they are being overloaded and overstressed, and are beginning to burn out. Many are retiring early; others are dramatically reducing their patient loads.

“Recent surveys suggest up to 60 percent of physicians are preparing to do one or the other within two years,” said Hieb.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com








An Update on the Obamacare Disaster

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Michael Krieger
August 8, 2016

An architect of the federal healthcare law said last year that a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” helped Congress approve ObamaCare.

He suggested that many lawmakers and voters didn’t know what was in the law or how its financing worked, and that this helped it win approval. 

– From the post: Video of the Day – Obamacare Architect Credits “Lack of Transparency” and “Stupidity of the American People” for Passage of Healthcare Law

2017 is shaping up to be a very, very ugly year for Obamacare. A year in which it may become obvious to all that the entire thing is an unredeemable failure.

Many of you surely have been paying attention to headlines regarding insurers fleeing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges due to major financial losses (despite huge premium hikes), but you may still not recognize how bad the situation really is.

In that regard, read the following excerpts from a Vox article published yesterday titled, Obamacare’s Markets Will Be Less Competitive Next Year:

Competition on the Obamacare marketplaces will decline next year. There will be significantly more places in the country where customers have no choice of health insurance because just one company signed up to sell coverage.

This is the conclusion that health policy experts have increasingly gravitated toward in recent months and weeks, as major insurance companies have announced hundreds of millions of dollars in financial losses on the Obamacare marketplaces.

President Obama promised when the marketplaces launched that Americans will find “[m]ore choices, more competition, and in many cases, lower prices.” And insurance competition did go up in the first few years of Obamacare. Between 2014 and 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services estimated that the number of insurance carriers participating in Obamacare increased 25 percent. More health plans wanted in on a new opportunity to sell directly to consumers.

But now some of these gains are backsliding. A recent analysis shows that Obamacare’s marketplaces will have twice as many exits as entrants in 2017. Insurers have tested out Obamacare, and in some cases they’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Continue Reading At: LibertyBlitzKrieg.com

Obama Premiums Set To Spike Again In 2017

healthcare cost
Source: NaturalSociety.com
Julie Fidler
June 20, 2016

Obamacare was instituted to make sure that every American had access to healthcare, especially low-income individuals and families. But Obamacare insurance premiums are set to go up yet again. For many, their families will be covered, but it could be a hardship.

In 2017, some of the most popular types of Obamacare health insurance plans want to jack up their prices by 10% or more in 14 major cities, an analysis published Wednesday reveals.

The Kaiser Family Foundation analysis shows there is a wide variation in the proposed prices of lower-cost so-called silver plans. The foundation found that about half of the markets it looked at would see a slight drop in the number of insurers selling plans.

The price hikes ranged from a high of an 18% premium increase proposed for the second-lowest-cost silver plan in Portland, Oregon, to a low of a 13% price cut for the same type of plan in Providence, Rhode Island.

In most of those areas, Kaiser’s report shows double-digit hikes would be common. [1]

Cynthia Cox, lead author of the analysis, said:

“Premiums are going up faster in 2017 than they have in past years.”

The impact on consumers will depend largely on whether they receive government subsidies for their premiums, as well as their own willingness to switch plans to keep increases more manageable.

Among the cities Kaiser looked at, the monthly premium for a 40-year-old nonsmoker in 2017 will range from $192 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to $482 in Burlington, Vermont.

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com

Watchdog Audit Finds Billions Wasted On Obamacare Fiasco

Total Incompetent Government Let Anyone Sign Up With No Proof Of Anything

FactsTruthLiesSource: NaturalNews.com
Daniel Barker
March 9, 2016

There is now yet another reason to be disgusted by the ongoing fiasco known as Obamacare: A new report from the Government Accountability Office has concluded that the federal government’s failure to properly monitor the eligibility of enrollees may have cost taxpayers billions in fraudulent payments.

The problem stems from the inability of the system used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to verify “inconsistencies” in the data it receives from the three agencies (IRS, DHS and SSA) responsible for determining the eligibility of applicants under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

From the report:

“GAO found CMS did not have an effective process for resolving inconsistencies for individual applicants for the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace). For example, according to GAO analysis of CMS data, about 431,000 applications from the 2014 enrollment period, with about $1.7 billion in associated subsidies for 2014, still had unresolved inconsistencies as of April 2015—several months after close of the coverage year. In addition, CMS did not resolve Social Security number inconsistencies for about 35,000 applications (with about $154 million in associated subsidies) or incarceration inconsistencies for about 22,000 applications (with about $68 million in associated subsidies).”

The report warned that these unresolved inconsistencies leave the CMS vulnerable to making fraudulent subsidy payments to ineligible enrollees.

The GAO went undercover to test the system; it created 12 fictitious phone and online applicants during 2014, 11 of which received payments throughout the year, “even though GAO sent fictitious documents, or no documents, to resolve application inconsistencies.”

These fake enrollees received around $30,000 in advance premium tax credits, as well as “eligibility for lower costs at time of payment.” The GAO noted that although the subsidies were paid to healthcare insurers and not directly to enrollees, “they nevertheless represent a benefit to [fraudulent] consumers and a cost to the government.”

No one minding the store

When the GAO looked at how the CMS monitors fraud, it found that the CMS relies on a document processing contractor to report on instances of possible fraud, while not requiring the contractor to have any viable fraud detection capability.

In other words, this is like hiring a blind policeman to catch speeding vehicles.

Continue Reading at: NaturalNews.com