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President Barack Obama smiling and holding
He has more reasons to smile about Obamacare every day.
Here's one more nail in Republicans' rate hikes coffin. In Florida, no insurance company on the state's exchange has asked to increase its rates next year. Not one, so far.
Something unprecedented may be unfolding in Florida's individual health-insurance market: None of the nine companies that have filed their 2015 rate requests so far wants an increase.

In fact, two of the companies—Molina Healthcare of Florida and Sunshine Health—actually requested a price cut.

"The fact is, an overall pattern of insurers not seeking rate increases—and even seeking rate decreases—is unheard of," said Greg Mellowe, policy director for the consumer advocacy group Florida CHAIN.

The price cuts Molina and Sunshine are requesting are actually pretty significant, and average of 11.6 percent for Molina and 7.9 percent for Sunshine. There are still four days before the filings are finalized and official, so something could change between now and then, but it doesn't seem likely at this point. That means that not only will the people getting insurance through the exchange in Florida not get dinged with higher premiums next year, but neither will the federal government which is paying subsidies for the vast majority—91 percent—of those consumers.

So far, we've seen a lot of insurers applying to be on state exchanges and modest rate increases in most states. Not breaking people's bank accounts. Not ballooning the federal deficit. Let's see how long the Republicans' rate hike scare campaign continues.

Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 2:55 PM PT: Well, this is a bummer. The state messed up in releasing this information early.

Some of the insurers listed "zero" instead of their real intentions in order to keep them out of the public domain, OIR's spokesman Harvey Bennett said. It is legal for them to do that under a "trade secrets" statute, he said.

The companies provided the actual rate requests to OIR, but the agency will not make them public for several weeks, Bennett said. OIR will prepare a report later in the summer.

"We do have some decreases (in premium rates) but we also have some increases," he said.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by North & Central Florida Kossacks, DKos Florida, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Harbinger of good times? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, Rikon Snow, hbk, FloridaSNMOM, ER Doc

    This is undoubtedly good news, and I don't see why it wouldn't happen in other states.

    I'm in California and a number of insurers left the private market this year. Even so, my premiums were somewhat lower than last year. But I'm turning 60 next month and feeling some trepidation about what next year might bring. Doesn't that put me in the next higher age pool?

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:17:45 AM PDT

  •  freind of mines mom had to take the (0+ / 0-)

    penalty because the rate of 400 month was too much.

    im kind of clueless- anyone know if that is common-taking the penalty i mean and the high mo copay.

    im in NC btw. i havent a clue what the state GOPpers have in mind.

    •  W/out knowing her specific situation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1, hbk

      it's hard to comment on her case.

      Affordability is still a major concern showing up in surveys for why people aren't signing up. There's about 20 million so far who haven't--some of those probably qualify for Medicaid.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:35:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  some might be... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikejay611

        in the same situation my family finds ourselves in.  We will end up taking the penalty because we can't afford the premium even with the payment assistance.

        In our situation, my employer pays 100% of my insurance premium.  My wife and kids are not on my insurance.

        So doing both applications, one with me giving up my employer based (and paid) insurance  and one without me, just the wife and kids,  we are able to get a pretty decent subsidy, but even with the help, it would be a $400 to $500 per month ADDITIONAL expenditure - one that our already strained budget cannot afford.

        I am hopeful though, job prospects in our area are starting to look up and hopefully my wife will be able to find something full time with some insurance soon.  

        At the very least, I hope in the near future this type of situation can be addressed.  

        "To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain." - Louis L'Amour

        by Drokkenian on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:19:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good thing you didn't take the subsidy, probably (0+ / 0-)

          People who have ACA-compliant employer insurance available to them aren't eligible for subsidies. You would have had to pay them back at tax time.

          •  According to the Rep (0+ / 0-)

            I spoke with during the application process, as long as I gave up my employer based coverage, I could then apply with the family and get a larger subsidy, even though the employer's plan is compliant.  The difference in the subsidy was about $200.00

            However, I like my employer plan. I don't have any premium to pay and the plan I have is akin to about the middle, silver level plans on the exchange.  Even my prescriptions dropped from $53/mo to just under $20.  

            In the end the result is the same though, no matter which route we went, its still and added expense.  With the wife and kids on their own plan, the cheapest plan was still around $400 with the lower subsidy.  

            Since it appears the savings are based on what someone is already paying out of pocket for premiums, I just figured that not to many employers pay 100% of the premium for the employee, so that situation was never really considered.

            But then, I have no idea how that could have been  incorporated or helped for (what I'm guessing) is a small number of people in my particular situation; we make too much for medicare and make to little to afford an actual premium with or without the subsidy.

            As i said I have hope though, job prospects are looking up for my wife and hopefully she'll get on some place that will offer her a plan.

            She works at the Travel Centers of America right now, only a select few people actually get "full time" status and everyone else is reduced to 29 hours a week only because OBAMACARE!  (eye-roll - literally that's what they told her.. "obamacare is forcing us to keep everyone at 29 hours or less"... )

            "To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain." - Louis L'Amour

            by Drokkenian on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 06:54:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Does your state offer CHIP? Its for children (s... (0+ / 0-)

          Does your state offer CHIP? Its for children (sometimes parents) who's families don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford insurance? My twins will be on CHIP once they turn 1 and don't qualify for Medicaid anymore.

    •  Probably due to miscommunication (12+ / 0-)

      I kept harping on my sister in law to go to the exchange as she was in a COBRA policy after retiring early with SSI.  She was dealing directly with a BCBS rep.  Now, with her cobra expiring in July she finally had no choice but to make a move.  Her lowest exchange policy with a low OOP was about a hundred fifty more than her COBRA, which I thought was outrageous.  But she wasn't getting any subsidy, why?  Because she never looked and her helpful BCBS rep kept her in the dark.  

      To this day I can't get her to go on the exchange... because she's an idiot.  An a liberal Democrat too.  I've tried, I'm done.

    •  Same concern here with my wife's cousin. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1, FloridaSNMOM, ER Doc

      Her situation is a family of two and the cheapest option was $699 a month.  I tried to help them but I couldn't find anything better. I am curious as to who the nine companies are because on the exchange the only option she had was Florida Blue.  I know it asked what county she was in (Gadsden) and then every option on every level was Florida Blue.  

      •  Some of the bigger cities had other options. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        Like Orlando, and Miami for example. Those areas had other options besides Florida Blue. We had all FB policies here in our smaller county.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:51:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I believe there are exceptions (9+ / 0-)

      written into Obamacare for low income citizens who don't sign up for insurance.  This is particularly pertinent to those who live in states that didn't expand Medicaid.

      "American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. " Paul Krugman

      by yippee ki yay on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:30:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Low Income Citizens Exceptions? (0+ / 0-)

        Well then please tell me about them.  I am in Texas, which we all know did not expand Medicaid, I don't qualify, am on fixed social security, and the premium on the exchange is fully 25% of my income for the month or year.  Also, because it is not earned income (I beg to differ with them, but I digress...), then I don't qualify for any subsidy at all, so $377 almost 400 a month.  Can't do it.  Can't go live in my car.  I am on my own, no financial help, just me, and our income limits to qualify for Medicaid are still at $11,000 something a year, no expansion.  I am supposed to be exempt, but when the two case workers on the ACA put it in the computer, it didn't come back as exempt.  I said "One thing I know about this law is that I am exempt because of the 8% cut off, whether your computer says so or not.  You are not talking me into buying this because I know the law, and if you're not going to subsidize me, I refuse to buy it.  Better not penalize me, or I will make a big public stink of it."  And that IS what I said, lawsuit, and I WILL, believe me.  I championed the ACA, but there is some graftiness going on out here somewhere.  The caseworkers don't know what they're doing more than half the time, depending on which worker you get.  I love the idea of it, but I don't like what I am seeing by my experiences with these workers.  I am in my early 60s and now retired, originally to take care of my mother, who was deceased as of December.  Now I have a back injury, but not enough to qualify for disability (thank God really), but it is enough so that I will never do the type of nursing work that I was doing ever again.  AS far as I am concerned, I am retired, as the marketability is way down, I kid you not.

    •  Be careful many people confuse the price before (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton, FloridaSNMOM, ER Doc

      the subsidies with what they pay out of pocket. Many people assume they make too much for the subsidies and never apply. There needs to be better messaging that the middle class receive them. I like to say we need to get people to view them like student loans (geared to the middle class as well as the poor) and not food stamps (geared towards the poor)

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

      by dopper0189 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:02:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's important for everyone to understand (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton, hbk, FloridaSNMOM, ER Doc

      That unless you fall in the Medicaid Gap in a state that refused expansion, nobody has to pay more than 9.5% of their income for health insurance (please see my comment below for a more thorough explanation.) People who didn't sign up through the exchange will be eligible for tax refunds that make up the difference if their premiums exceed 9.5% of their income.  So, using the example above, the person paying the $400 per month premium will be eligible for a tax refund if their annual income is less than $50,526.  (All examples I use are for single adults with no dependent children.)

      If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

      by nancyjones on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:21:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Not For People on Fixed Income (0+ / 0-)

        And I keep saying this, but, like I said, when the worker fed mine to the hungry computer, it did NOT come back as exempt, even though my social security is low, but just less than $1800 a month.  What's that crap?  I already know it's exempt, and I can't pay a $400 a month premium, or I'd have to go live on the street.  I was all for this and couldn't wait to have insurance, yet I can't because of the cost of it for ME.  I'm retired, but in my early 60s heading to 63 yrs old.  I am so disappointed.  But, if they think they are going to scare me or coerse me into it, they've got another thing coming, I'll say again.  These workers either don't know what they are doing OR they are trying to coerse because they've been told to or whatever.  The medical bills are starting to some in, I'm paying ON them, but can't pay FOR it all, AND I can't have Medicaid, too young for Medicare.  If the 60 to 70 something year olds want to get out there and continue working like they always did, more power to them.  Hope they are good and healthy because, the fact is, that if they die before they take their social security benefits, that's that much less the government has to do in pay outs for all the money these people had earned before they die.

    •  thanks all for your responses (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, ER Doc

      it does help

    •  Penalty or Premium (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      She didn't qualify for a subsidy?  A single person may earn up to approx 44,000 and a couple is eligible for a subsidy earning approx $62,000 and a family of four up to $94,000.

      If she didn't get insurance, she will pay 1% or $95 whichever is greater. But next year it's close to $700.  The IRS will take it from any return of taxes due her.

    •  Yes, if you don't qualify for subsidies (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, rates in many states are advancing at 25-40% this year; ours are up even more in Michigan (my family of four saw a premium increase from $500 to $730 per month). For those of us who don't qualify for subsidies, it is far better to move to a non-compliant plan and pay the penalty than to absorb nearly $3,000.00 a year in premium costs.

      No doubt the ACA is not completely to blame here, but it is part of the problem. Yet another piece of evidence for a single-payer system.

    •  waiver? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1

      If the premiums are over 8% of income, a person is not required to purchase a policy and there is no penalty.

      I your friend's mother made 50K or less, she would qualify to waive the mandate and penalty, if the cheapest policy was $400 a month.   the median wage is 26K per year.

      If you make over 70K a year, $400 a month would be less than 6% of your income.  I know people making 90K a year who say they can't afford $400 a month, which is about 5% a year.  

      If  you make the median wage, you probably qualify for a subsidy.

      "Can't afford" is a vague and relative term.  Often it means, I would rather gamble that I won't need medical treatment this year....so I can have a nice vacation, or buy a new car, etc.  

      I am on Medicare Part A (tho, at 73 and working, is still pay Medicare payroll taxes), but I refuse to buy Part B, because I found it will pay for each office visit to a doctor about $14.  In order to make up the $1800 a year, I would need to make about 120 office visits a year.  I consider it a rip off, in most cases. It's not that I can't afford it (it alone is about 8% of my income) but that it's not worth it, since Part A pays hospitalization, which is where the costs are racked up.

      Part A (public) has an overhead of under 2%; Part B (private) has an overhead of 11%.  Tell me again how the private sector is so much more efficient than the public sector?  Most private insurance has a 20% overhead.

    •  We're screwed here in NC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1

      Idiot rethugs turned down Medicaid money. So there is no market here. Only BCBS and Joe-Bob's Insurance out in Buncombe. This also means here in NC we pay a disproportionately larger share into everybody else who did accept Federal funding.

      Albert So, The Original Socalled Socialist

      by Socalled Socialist on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 04:56:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't Your State Where the Thugs Broke Into the (0+ / 0-)

        Governor's suite of offices and laid the signed budget on one of his desks, hoping that he would not get to it in time?  And they certainly don't want him to get the ACA insurance for the people, they're fighting it tooth and nail?  Maybe I'm wrong which state.

    •  Live1--Friend's Mom (0+ / 0-)

      If your friend's mom is strictly on fixed income, i.e., social security, and it is not over the $25,000 per year mark (where the amt above that can be taxed), she is exempt, and they cannot penalize her.  If she's on fixed income but also working, they can.  Also, if her insurance premium is going to be more than 8% of her income, she is exempt.  How can it be that she is getting penalized unless she has an awfully good job and no fixed income?

  •  Not one of Barrasso's 'Side Effects.' (0+ / 0-)
  •  I got a letter detailing that the company I chose (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, JBraden

    in NY will be asking for an increase of 16+%.  I don't imagine that's the final number but I am so glad I can go shopping again in October.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:56:52 AM PDT

  •  From your headline to BlueCross/BlueShield's ears (8+ / 0-)

    That would be the best news I've heard in days.  My platinum policy is fabulous and I would hate to have to downgrade it, an eventuality I was considering if next year's rates go much higher.

    Got so many damn things wrong with me, that even with a platinum policy, the out-of-pockets are starting to pile up.  Ah well, at $2.19 a month for my high blood pressure meds, at least I'll be around next year to find out.

    Life on two wheels is life in balance

    by YaNevaNo on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:03:30 PM PDT

    •  "Ah well, at $2.19 a month for my high blood pr... (6+ / 0-)

      "Ah well, at $2.19 a month for my high blood pressure meds, at least I'll be around next year to find out."

      ^facts like this are what is lost in the ACA discussion most often. Glad you have good insurance and access to affordable medication. It's a shame republicans would rather people die in the name of ideology rather than focus on the fact that the ACA is saving lives.

    •  Yep, my mom has the platinum (100%) BCBS plan (10+ / 0-)

      Prior to this year she had a lot of pre-existing conditions and had not had insurance in about 8 or 9 years.  I'd been paying her medical bills out of pocket.  

      With Obamacare I was able to get her a plan with zero deductible that pays 100% of costs for $430 a month.  Not bad for a 54 year old with a lot of medical issues.  So far she's racked up about $8,000 or so in medical bills paid for by the plan.  All the skin cancer and other issues she'd been putting off for fear of bills is being taken care of.  It's been a lifesaver.  And this news of possibly no premium increase for 2015 is very welcome.

      •  I thought even platinum was 90%. I think any (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChadmanFL

        exchange plan was 100% and zero deductible.

        •  ***I didn't think any plan was 100% and 0 ded (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          type o

        •  There's aren't a lot of them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          But 100% plans do exist.  Most of the major insurance companies offer them, at least in Florida.

          •  Is there a like a link to support that 100% (0+ / 0-)

            claim? I know people who would love to have that, depending of course on what the premium was. All I've seen were "catastrophics" via HMOs, and most HMOs are worse than they ever were.

            My Medicare premium, by the way, with AARP secondary, is a little over $7,000 a year. For that I don't have co-pays and my deductible is puny. I do get my meds from the VA, and before I finally hit a certain level of disability, my cost for a 90 day supply of any med on the formulary was $8. VA can bargain with the Big Pharmas, but Medicare isn't allowed to, Bill Clinton, and of course Obamacare don't.

            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 06:25:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Didn't see any 100% plans on the exchange (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jm214

              My zero deductible, low co-pay platinum plan is awesome, especially if I stay in-network, but it doesn't pay 100% of everything. Many of the diagnostic tests that I have taken have additional fees, I have a $10 co-pay for office visits, meds and a total out-of-pocket maximum of $2000 per year.  

              I've had several CT and MRI scans done that are an additional $150 above what the plan covers, each.  Out of network is of course a different set of numbers, $500 deductible, higher co-pay and higher annual out of pocket.

              13 years with no doctors, now suddenly I have a Osteopath, a Hematologist and a Cardiologist.   I think I liked it better when I had none, but then I'd still have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an incredibly high White Blood Cell count and worse back pain.  Well actually I still have two of the four but at least they're working on it.  

              Life on two wheels is life in balance

              by YaNevaNo on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:04:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  But at $430 a MONTH??? Never heard of this!!! (0+ / 0-)
      •  More of a Question? (0+ / 0-)

        How?  She must still be working?  I'm trying to figure out how I'm getting this shaft I'm getting.

  •  GOP has already moved beyond Obamacare (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Hockeyray, mjd in florida, TopCat

    Now it's just Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!!!

  •  Pardon my ignorance...but.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, mwh191

    ...what exactly is causing this, specifically, in addition to the ACA?  It seems to me they would either hold the line, or go for modest increases whenever they are able.  Why lower their prices?  It's like they are speaking Greek.  I am not used to this.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:34:14 PM PDT

  •  But...but SD GOP wants impeachment because of ACA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    (and Bengazi), and...

  •  For once, positive news from Florida. (4+ / 0-)

    When the F**K are we going to wake up and do something about this mess?

    by keyscritter on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:37:29 PM PDT

  •  The Republicans are as wrong on the ACA (5+ / 0-)

    as Dick Cheney is/was on Iraq - same dirtbag attitude.

    Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

    by TerryDarc on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:43:17 PM PDT

  •  Yes but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, aimeehs

    BENGHAZI!!!

    BERGHDAHL!!

    Uhm...

    er...

    HILLARY DEFENDED A RAPIST IN 1980!!!!

    #PrimalScreamWithoutACause

  •  As I look at early retirement, my principle (4+ / 0-)

    concern has gone from health insurance to housing.  That's good.

    But the ACA is not a perfect, nor is it even the best, solution.  It's better . . . that's all one can say for it.

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:51:17 PM PDT

    •  It's better than what we used to have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Rikon Snow

      And if we had a functioning Congress, we'd have had some adjustments and amendments to the Affordable Care Act, just like we have with every major piece of legislation.

      But for some odd reason that no one can quite put their finger on, the Affordable Care Act hasn't been tweaked at all, so any problems with the system persist. It's very strange. I'm confident that Fox News will be along soon to tell us which Democrats are at fault for the Affordable Care Act not being better.

    •  I still fear for the future of the ACA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Rikon Snow

      All it takes is one dreadful Presidential/congressional election for Dems and it will be in danger.  The GOP has voted to repeal it 50 or so times in the House and nothing I've seen leads me to believe they wouldn't still go all out to repeal it if they took the trifecta in DC anything in the forseeable future.

  •  Sorry to say... (0+ / 0-)

    My Blue Cross Blue Shield policy just went up almost a hundred dollars a month here in Florida.  I wasn't expecting that.  Even though I don't quality for Obamacare, I need to find something cheaper than almost a grand a month for two middle aged people.  

    •  What does "I don't qualify for Obamacare" (0+ / 0-)

      mean? Do you have employer provided insurance?

      Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

      by Gary Norton on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:59:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        We just make too much money to qualify.   Which should be fine, but our business is tied to the construction industry down here.  We've taken several large hits to our financial situation with hurricanes, the recession, and not being able to sell our house because it was underwater.  So while trying to dig our way out of debt, we still have to pay the highest rates for insurance because we are self employed.  I'm not complaining because it could be a lot worse and was for a while, but I still can't afford premiums of 1K per month, with a deductible and co-insurance.  I was just hoping that the increase would not be so big, and was pretty shocked at how much it went up.  

        •  Obamacare or the ACA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Norton

          is an insurance mandate, among many things it means insurance can no longer do lifetime premium caps, insurance can't deny you for pre-existing conditions, etc.  

          Anyone who has medical insurance this year is part of Obamacare or the ACA.  It doesn't matter if you purchased your policy privately  and not on the exchange, if your employer offers it, or if you bought it on the exchange...you are covered under Obamacare.

          Charlie Crist for Florida Primary date: August 26, 2014, Election Date: November 4, 2014

          by aimeehs on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:34:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I meant... (0+ / 0-)

            that I didn't qualify for any subsidy.  I do have all the benefits, but my premiums have gone up this month significantly which I had hoped would not happen.  This diary was about the cost of insurance and I wanted to let folks know about the increase here in Florida.  That's all.  

  •  Math has a well known liberal bias! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL, Gary Norton

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:59:26 PM PDT

  •  No rate increases in Oregon either (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, TofG

    All insurance providers in Oregon submitted rate REDUCTIONS for 2015 to the state for approval. http://www.oregonhealthrates.org/...

    Other sites report increases among the large insurers. So, more confusion added to the mix.

  •  I'm glad that the ACA is working as intended. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    It is fantastic that more people have health insurance.

    Now what is step #2? This is no time to rest on our laurels because this problem is far from being fixed. Can we eliminate deductibles and copays altogether? Can we increase the amount of the subsidy?

    We need to push our representatives to continue to improve on the ACA, or this will be all that we get.

    •  Single-payer via state government (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tidalwave1, hbk

      It's obvious the federal government is not going to do anything with single-payer for a good while.  Therefore it's imperative we get the ball rolling on the state level.  As usual Vermont is leading the way.  They passed single-payer a few years back and I believe it begins in 2017.  Progressives need to heavily target more blue states and lobby those state legislatures in passing single-payer at the state level.

      Single-payer bills did pass the Democratic-held California legislature a few times during Arnold's time as Governor, only to be vetoed.  Unfortunately once Dems took the Governorship and supermajorities they got cold feet and have since backed off from single-payer.  California would be a heck of a testing lab for single-payer healthcare.  Still, I think once people see it working well in VT it'll spread to other states.

      •  I live in a red state. (0+ / 0-)

        My career would keep me from moving anytime soon.

        The ACA was sold to us as a first step, and I think we should hold our representatives to that promise. I realize that they probably can't get single payer done without cleaning house in Congress (both parties) but I don't believe for one second that they couldn't force through incremental improvements to the ACA (eventually leading to single-payer) if the political will was there. We need to keep up the pressure to create that political will.

  •  2010 - The Last Year of Good Governance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL, Gary Norton, aimeehs

    It's hard to believe Congress was able to pass a law as good as the Affordable Care Act as recently as 2010, the last year they did anything decent.

    But, while it may not have been the single payer dream we were looking for, it was a pretty damn good bill.  Below are the top 12 features:

    Provide Universal Coverage
    1. Expand Medicaid for the poor
    2. Provide subsidies for the working class
    3. Expand community hospitals and clinics
    4. Allow children up to 26 to stay on parent’s plan
    5. Pay for it with higher taxes on the rich
    Reduce the Cost of Healthcare
    6. Limit profit and administrative costs to 15%
    7. Set up competitive state exchanges
    8. Require preventative care
    9. Require everyone to be covered
    Make Insurance more secure
    10. No pre-existing conditions
    11. No lifetime limits
    12. No arbitrary dropping of coverage

  •  I fear that Ricky Scott the evil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    and his vast minions in the Florida legislature will somehow claim that it was their fiduciary discipline in rejecting Medicaid expansion that's resulted in this windfall for hard-working Floridians.  

    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Floridians (like me) are caught in the medicaid gap.  People like me who do not have dependent children at home and are not disabled are almost to the person ineligible for Medicaid even if we have no income.  We are not eligible for federal subsidies unless we make more than 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).  

    So a childless single adult making less than $15,730 a year has to pay the same (or more) for medical insurance as a childless single adult making more than 400% of the FPL.  For a 50 year old, the going rate is about $650 per month or $7,800 per year.  People making more than 400% FPL don't have to pay any more than 9.5% of their income on health insurance, so 50 year old adults making between $15, 730 and $82,105 a year will pay less for health insurance than a 50 year old person like me who will make less than $15,730 this year.  So, in order to get health insurance, people like me in Florida have to spend at the VERY least 49.6% of our incomes on it.

    But, like I said, I bet evil Ricky will figure some way to spin this.

    If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

    by nancyjones on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:09:04 PM PDT

  •  DUH! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton

    Keep people healthy and well. and see costs go down?
    Duh, this has been your rocket science moment, we now return...

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:13:20 PM PDT

  •  So True! (0+ / 0-)

    "There's a reason Mississippi is last in everything."  Indeed!

  •  FOX News ALERT (0+ / 0-)

    "Obamacare Prices in Florida Not What Administration Predicted"

    There is concern that the cost of insurance is not what the Obama administration had said would happen. Is there a reason why the costs are not what was promised or advertised?

    To help explain this is "INSERT REPUBLICAN DICK HERE."

    Are you concerned that the premiums are not what the Obama administration promised?

    Yes. It just further shows the arrogance and failure of Obamacare.

    Thank you.

    Turning to Benghazi…….

  •  Hmmm...how does Fox portray this? "Obamacare sm... (0+ / 0-)

    Hmmm...how does Fox portray this? "Obamacare smashes insurance companies, profits down 9%!!!" The rest will follow.

  •  Lest we forget "Obamacare's" not perfect, (0+ / 0-)

    one might add the following article (from Naked Capitalism, so get any dismissive digs in early) to the reading list:

    The Truth about Electronic Health Records

    Propaganda only works for so long. Pretty soon truth catches up to it. This is exactly what’s happening with electronic health records.

    If you’re a doctor you know how bad the government-mandated electronic health record (EHR) is. But if you’re a patient, you may not realize that EHRs are endangering your life and jeopardizing medical excellence.

    The EHR is nothing like what Big Government, Big Data, and Big Health said it would be. They promised convenience, coordinated care, fewer medical errors, more efficient medical practice, and portable medical records. They never meant it and it hasn’t happened. These data systems were created for billing, data collection and government control of doctors, not patient care.

    "The Ugly Truth About Electronic Health Records," http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

    Please, if you care about your health and don't want to get "the treatment," read on, and keep paper records of your medications, history and labs and imaging and treatments, organize your "explanations of benefits," keep copies of all payments made. If you are physically and mentally able. Those magical EHRs can kill you. I do have stories of how that can work...

    Yeah, the Narrative here is mostly all in favor of the Victory of Obamacare in getting past the Red Menace of Repeal and in "signing up all those people." But as a lowly nurse in a clinical practice, I do get to see how the New is doing some big damage to what one would suppose to be the important parts of the Old, like the notion that doctor-patient relationships are about "patient care," and not feeding an insatiable insurance bureaucracy to try to stay afloat.

    Don't let's just pat ourselves on our triumphant backs about this piece of, ah, legislation -- so many of us did, and still do, about Obamacare, and about the election of Barack Obama on the Hope and Change platform. "Implementation," from my and my doctors' perspective, let alone the patients who are finding out what it costs them in money and peace of mind and continuity of care, is a cruel joke, a series of nightmares. And since my doctors practice in two hospitals as well as in their office clinic, they have three (3) incompatible Electronic Health Record systems to try to deal with, and so do us shlubs who have to work double tides to try to keep the whole idiot thing in operation, for the benefit of our patients and of course those who profit from the privatized model, who depend on (but don't pay) us trench fighters to keep in all going. Having to deal with stuff like what's reported here, http://www.iwvoices.com/... is such a blast, right?

    Add that to the infinite complexity of the effing UNSUREance mazes, "Press 1 for the Department of Denial Department, your call is very important to us if you don't want anything from us," and you have patients, our fellow humans, that so many actual health care people work so damn hard to, you know, care for, getting gutted and slammed by all the Wonders of Privatized National Forced Health UNSUREance. UNSURE of who your providers are or will be, UNSURE of what's covered, UNSURE whether you will be forced to "trial" cheap meds for a condition on which you have long been stable on more costly but effective med, UNSURE whether the REAL "death panels," the "utilization review" and "formulary decider" ghosts in the insurance companies will mark you for their attention, on and on...

    As a footnote, as a disabled vet who still has to work to eat, I get VA health care. Is it "single payer" or something else? Who cares? I have a little experience as provider and patient in most medical care settings. The VA system, despite the overload and underfunding that the assholes who are bringing you yet another Forever War reprise in Iraq (is Vietnam next? a do-over for the neo-cons there too?) have imposed, is way "better than average," costs are controlled, meds are cheap. Believe it or not, by the way, patients, PEOPLE, die while on the list for appointments with private primary cares and specialists and even hospitals, it's just the nature of life, as we have formed it here and as actuarial reality and statistics sort of mandate. But while "it's not perfect," it's a whole lot better than what I have seen in both for-profit and those fraudulently named "not-for-profit" hospitals. http://www.forbes.com/...

    So for all the Obamacare cheerleading, who's leading on to something better? Iraq under Saddam had universal and excellent health care, that dirty socialist monster that he was. Boy, we sure have fixed that situation, now haven't we? Fixed it so good that there's likely not even a prayer that there will be a "nation" called Iraq in pretty short order. So guys like me can get back to our flashbacks and nightmares and fears that we will be "called up" and have to go serve the Empire once again... While some have pleasant dreams of the Victory of Obamacare...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 06:12:45 PM PDT

  •  Nothing is perfect. Certainly not the ACA. But ... (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing is perfect. Certainly not the ACA. But don't blame Obamacare for problems that would have/did exist anyway. EMR: My physician-husband has had to deal with/learn 8 systems in the last 10 years (note, that started before the ACA.) One was the VA EMR, and as primitive as part of that was, it was way better than the EMR at the clinic/hospital where he now works. But when my specialist doc, at a huge clinic, needs to communicate with my primary care doc here, it has to be fax or snail mail. Fault of the AMA? Long waits for an appointment? Doctor shortage predates Obama. I've heard that the ACA provides doc training funds. ?? High school + 12 years to turn out a doc. No problem. Hire more foreign medical school graduates...who want American level salaries. Yes there are so many problems. Don't expect miracles.

  •  They've backtracked (0+ / 0-)

    The information posted by health insurers on a state website indicating they would not seek a rate increase for 2015 in Florida's individual market was "incorrect" and has been taken down, the Office of Insurance Regulation said late Tuesday afternoon...Some of the insurers listed "zero" instead of their real intentions in order to keep them out of the public domain, OIR's spokesman Harvey Bennett said. It is legal for them to do that under a "trade secrets" statute, he said.

    Looks like there will be some decreases AND some increases. State Backtracks on Rate Proposals

  •  Gee - funny how competition + requirement to sp... (0+ / 0-)

    Gee - funny how competition + requirement to spend 80% of premiums on actual health care (especially the 80% requirement) works.

  •  The neolibs fooled you again! (0+ / 0-)

    You have been fooled yet again into thinking that the neoliberal giveaway to the corporatocracy that is the ACA is somehow a good thing.

    The thieving insurance companies don't need to apply for rate hikes.  What they're doing is cancelling the plans that don't pay them well and forcing subscribers into more expensive plans with less coverage.  That's what BCBS did to us.

    I read about some poor lady in Florida who now has subsidized health care for $3 per month and as a result has better coverage than I could ever afford, because I'm middle class and make just enough to not qualify for a subsidy like her.

    I pay $1000 per month and have a $6300 deductible, and then still have to pay 60 percent of the next $10000 or so of medical costs.

    How is it fair that the lady in Florida that probably doesn't even make enough to pay my insurance premium can afford to go to the doctor but I can't?  I'm broke after shelling out the $1000 per month for coverage that doesn't even pay if I go to the doctor.

    With my taxes and insurance premiums, I'm paying for that lady's health care and can't afford my own.

    The ACA rewards the insurers at great cost to the middle class.  Only single payer, or at least a public option, will fix this mess.  Let me buy into Medicare now.  They won't rip me off like BCBS.

  •  Don't forget the bailout .... (0+ / 0-)

    Insurance companies such as WellPoint and Humana will receive $5.5 billion in bailouts in 2015 to help cover the losses they claim they will face because of Obamacare. The reason… Insurance companies claim that government must help to lessen the “risk” they take through Obamacare mandates.

  •  Predictions (0+ / 0-)

    Economists (the ones I have listened to, anyway) predict that although ACA will control costs better than all-private care, costs will continue to rise.  By 2018, the cost advantage of single-payer will become obvious.  Single-payer advocates such as myself, will make this argument for scrapping the compromises and going to a public system.  Hopefully, the politics will work out that way, but who knows?

  •  ACA (0+ / 0-)

    Enables our two younger kids to stay on Tri-Care a little longer. And if Virginia would wise up (Goodlatte and Marshall, we are watching y'all) I might be able to afford our oldest kid a decent healthcare policy (he had spinal meningitis when 3 months old, pre-existing condition anyone?). I hope Gov. MacAulliffe really CAN figure out an end run around the Rs in Richmond!

  •  Exposing (0+ / 0-)

    lies, disinformation, misinformation, distortions and delusions by conservative buffoons isn't that hard to do. It takes nothing more than facts and science.

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