Jan. 27: Insurance exchanges are next big hurdle in health care

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 10, 2013 - 10:10 PM

Minnesota has its work cut out designing an online marketplace for policies.

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jhb8426Jan. 27, 13 9:39 PM

Like Medicare this is whole program is going to confuse and frustrate people. There are too many options and coverage choices to make a reasonable decision. Is this going to be like Medicare, with an annual open enrollment period? That will also cause problems annually.

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roymercerJan. 27, 1310:13 PM

Before they're done, we'll all be going to Tijuana for healthcare. You can see it coming a mile away.

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sharkysharkJan. 27, 1310:21 PM

Minnesota should not be involved in this. Let the Feds handle it.

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freedomallJan. 27, 1310:30 PM

'Massachusetts, a state with one of the nation's highest premium costs' Of course it has, because Massachusetts does not have a Single Payer system where Insurance Companies won't continue to jack up premium rate on Middle-Class Americans because they would be virtually eliminated. Why are DFL legislators wanting to follow the Massachusetts model? Why can't the DFL focus on something new like implementing a state-wide Single-Payer system like that in Vermont so that we can truly see COSTS GO DOWN!

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hookshotJan. 27, 1310:46 PM

The bottom line is your small business health insurance, which is already very expensive, will increase another 15-20% immediately with this new law. Why? Because insurance companies will be forbidden from screening the health of the groups signing up. In the past, if your group had a good track record being healthy, you got rewarded with a lower premium. No more. They can't ask. "Affordable Care Act" will be anything but. Don't believe me? Wait until you see the change in your premium. This is exactly what happened in Massachusetts.

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callmeronJan. 27, 1310:48 PM

Online health insurance comparison and shopping websites have been around for 15 years! eHealthInsurance is just one that has been around since 1998. They already do EVERYTHING state "health insurance exchanges" say they will do and they do NOT cost the taxpayers $100 million in each state! This entire Obamacare is abject stupidity from top to bottom.

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william16Jan. 27, 1311:15 PM

Health insurance exchanges are a fool's errand--a pipe dream concocted on paper that will not make healthcare costs easier to understand, won't increase access to affordable healthcare, won't improve health outcomes and won't increase the value of healthcare. It's easy for MN state officials to talk brave and big now about the potential of the MN exchange while it's new and they're doodling with taxpayer money, but they're just at the front-end of installing a major new bureaucracy that will eventually find itself swamped seeking to comply with often-confusing federal directives.

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pinky1933Jan. 28, 1312:12 AM

"If the market was so great, people wouldn't be complaining." Stated perfectly. Enter ACA, and if the parasites (i.e. insurance, providers, lawyers, pharma) don't highjack it, MEDICARE for all!

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tnesleyJan. 28, 13 4:27 AM

Massachusetts is a mess. 3 years ago, they got a ton of money via the stimulus to prop up their healthcare plan...and are now restricting services to the elderly via a panel to balance the books.

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swmnguyJan. 28, 13 5:55 AM

I have an individual HealthPartners policy for myself and my two teenaged kids. My wife has coverage through the Minneapolis Public Schools. The Family coverage available to her is so expensive it would eat up 80% of her paycheck, and she does work full-time. So the kids and I are on a $10,000 deductible plan, which still costs around $450/mo.

Sure, there are benefits. My daughter's 7th grade volleyball sports physical was billed at $980 (she also got a couple regularly-scheduled vaccine boosters), but we ended up paying $180.

Here lies the problem with our health care system. How on earth does a routine office call cost $980? And if that's a legitimate price, how on earth can the system function if they can just negotiate away $800 of that?

The problem isn't access, it's not insurance. It's the cost of the product. I can get an estimate from anybody I do business with; a roofer, a mechanic, an insurance salesman; a landscaper. But not from a doctor or a clinic. They're free to perform a complete radical cashectomy as they see fit.

And having the State or the Feds re-create Google isn't much help. I can already find the pricing details of all the plans that operate in Minneapolis.

This is all just a time-wasting, face-saving exercise, stalling so the health finance industry can loot what remains of the middle class and small business until we, inevitably, open up Medicare to everyone. I've been saying for years, and continue to believe, the next Republican President will do it, to thunderous applause, as a job-saving measure. Big Business wants it.

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