Health law consumers face least choice in program's history

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30 October, 2016

The UPMC Insurance Services Division is owned by UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. "Hillary Clinton wants to build on the progress we've made and fix what's broken".

An Associated Press analysis of data compiled by Avalere Health, a health care consulting company, shows that some of the 440,000 Pennsylvania consumers who buy insurance through healthcare.gov will face some of the highest premium increases in the nation.

"In order for Obamacare to make economic sense, both healthy people and sick people would need to have health insurance".

Under the Affordable Care Act, the USA federal government facilitates state-by-state marketplaces where uninsured Americans can buy health care coverage from private companies. Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare", starts on November 1.

The confluence of the sign-up period's arrival, news about pending rates for next year and Election Day also gives the politicians another opportunity to brawl over whether the controversial law has worked. That's more than 1,000 counties in 26 states.

In addition, the increases may reflect insurers' anticipation of the end, in 2017, of programs meant to stabilize costs in the first few years of the law's rollout. UnitedHealthcare, which is selling plans to Covered California customers in 34 of California's 38 counties this year, is not participating next year.

Priority Health, which serves over 746,000 members, says industry premiums are expected to increase an average of 24 percent nationwide and 17 percent in MI. They argue that even though it's costing everybody more now, those cost aren't rising as quickly as they did in the past and will eventually level out cost.

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For instance, requiring insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their revenue on patient programs has saved consumers $9 billion over the past five years, government reports indicate.

Premiums for coverage on the exchange will go up an average of 16 percent next year in Wisconsin.

The question going forward: What will the improvements be?

"We're going to have to clear the bugs off the windshield so people can see the road ahead, and that's where you guys come in", Obama said. The Essential Plan lowers premiums to $20 or less a month and provides comprehensive benefits with no annual deductibles, free preventive care, and low copayments.

Trump would also allow those who buy individual policies to fully deduct their premiums.

Most people who get coverage through the marketplaces receive a tax credit to lower premiums.

Obama said tax credits will help more than seven in 10 shoppers get a plan for less than $75 per month, but said many may not bother looking because they have heard about spiking costs. We are already $20 trillion in debt and can not afford one more social program added to the deficit.


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