Health Insurance Premiums Sharply Rise

I’m kind of surprised that no one posted anything about this.

It’s really not a good thing, and it’s gonna exacerbate the problems we already have projected as a result of our healthcare costs skyrocketing. It also doesn’t shine a flatering light on the recent healthcare bill, which was suggested would help lower healthcare costs (although that argument never had any actual support behind it… there was never any actual mechanism described that was supposed to be able to limit the costs. What mechanisms had been originally proposed ended up being stripped out before passage.).

So… that’s kind of crappy, eh?

It’s only a problem if you’re unemployed. Or self-employed I guess. Or employed by a company that doesn’t offer insurance. I don’t see what the big deal is. If people want insurance, they should get a better job.

According to the article, one or two percent of the 9% increase is due to the Obama plan, and the rest is just business as usual (that is, companies trying to make as much profit as possible).

1-2% is a non-story by comparison.

Well, to be more clear, 1-2% is related to increased costs directly tied to provisions of the plan that are currently in effect, and pushing up costs.

Another section of the increase is apparently due to insurance companies building up a stockpile, in preparation of a future part of the law which will limit future increases. So, this is also indirectly related to the bill.

Either way, this is a bad scene.

And it illustrates that the real problem with our system is the one thing that seemingly no one is actually interested in addressing, which is reducing the growth rate of the cost of healthcare.

See, I call bullshit on that, because insurance rates have increased by roughly the same proportion (as far as I can tell) without regard for “stockpiling”. They’re simply charging what the market will bear; that’s the full extent of their reasoning. Everything else smells of excuse.

And it illustrates that the real problem with our system is the one thing that seemingly no one is actually interested in addressing, which is reducing the growth rate of the cost of healthcare.

Hammering the insurers would, in fact, have reduced the growth rate of health care (I’ve gone over why, though I’m not convinced it would be particularly huge), but that was apparently a non-starter due to “not giving corporations barely-regulated monopolies” being too liberal a position.

I mean, look at this.

“There was an effort to somewhat artificially suppress premiums to prove that the prior approval system was working,” she said, noting that New York requires at least 82 percent of premium revenue be spent on paying medical claims. (Nationwide, under the new health care law, the minimum is 80 percent.)

Really? They’re complaining because the law now limits their overhead to 18%? What a joke.

So we have a watered down bill that tries to prevent health insurance companies from screwing over their customers as much, leading to health insurance companies screwing over their customers as much as they can get away with under the new law and that is somehow worse than there being no limits on them at all? This sounds like business as usual for the health insurance companies.

Come on, is it really news that health insurance rates go up frequently and sharply? This sounds like business as usual for the health insurance companies.

I do agree that the real problem is that the united states pays SIGNIFICANTLY more than nations with modern health care systems for the same level of care though, but this will not change in our lifetime. We can’t even really reform health insurance which means there would be no way we could actually touch health care directly. This sounds like business as usual for American politics.

It’s also not a problem if you live in a country where your government cares about its citizens.

That’s right, the 9 point something percent of Americans who are unemployed and the much higher percentage of Americans who are in shitty minimum wage jobs that don’t offer healthcare should just get on that right away.

It’s so simple!

You guys gobble obvious bait like this is a game of hungry hungry hippos.

Well, as you can see from the article, this rise is quite large compared to what it has been for the past few years. In recent years, we’ve had annual increases in these premiums of 3-5%. A jump to 9% is significant.

The core issue is that our healthcare system appears to be fundamentally broken. And this failure is not isolated to the US system. The healthcare costs for pretty much every other developed nation are increasing at a rate which outpaces the growth of their economy, and thus are ultimately unsustainable.

And this probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise, since we’ve managed to effectively separate the cost from the consumers.

So you’re saying you hate freedom?

Yes, this is pretty much the republican line that the united states’ health care problems are caused by frivolous lawsuits, too much regulation and not connecting the cost of various operations directly with the customer in some way.

Even if they show the cost, what is it going to change? If someone has been shot in the leg in a freak hunting accident with the former vice president, they aren’t going to see that professional removal of the bullet is too expensive and then decide to go home and do it themselves. Are you somehow expecting there are all of these useless operations being done because the patient wasn’t allowed to choose a cheaper (or none at all) one?

It also isn’t like you can go to the competition if you feel the price to treat your heart attack at one hospital is too high…

Not to mention I was under the impression that the problems countries with “socialist medicine” face are significantly less than ours and they make the cost even less obvious to consumers.