Insurance plan changes were inevitable

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 11, 2013 - 10:28 AM

The most surprising thing about President Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise as the Affordable Care Act kicked in was that anybody believed him.

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theruntNov. 8, 1310:39 PM

Good job, Mr. Schafer. You are right. It's not like there was no warning. Or that premiums weren't going up 15% a year already. And by that token, the average increase of 18% mentioned by the Blue Cross executive ought not be causing the volcanic eruption we're hearing from the far right.

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jbpaperNov. 9, 1312:43 AM

The problem is not all of the plans were high deductible plans. My $3200 deductible plan is being replaced by three choices: $100, $2200 and $6300. Unlike my current plan where the deductible is the same as the out of pocket max, the two plans with the lower deductible now have an out of pocket max of $6300. Having a deductible that is $1000 less might sound good at first, but when you factor in the out of pocket max is $3000 more, it doesn't sound that great anymore especially since the premiums are about $200/ month compared to the $160/month I currently pay.

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texas_technomanNov. 9, 13 4:29 AM

I am part of the group plan from my former employer (retired) although I pay 100% of the premiums. The MnSure rate, from the same insurer, is 45% less than what I pay today...I'm still scratching my head....

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bogie246Nov. 9, 13 6:21 AM

Schafer has done a reasonably good assessment, but there are several internal contradictions within the article. For example, he states there is no longer health "insurance" but continues to refer to insurance products and markets. There no longer is individual insurance, but rather mandatory healthcare/penalty/tax. And the group market will experience similar upheaval this time next year. Then the funding problem will explode leaving no alternative to more government funding and subsequent deficits.

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LicoriceNov. 9, 13 6:36 AM

Thanks to Lee Schafer for a helpful, simple-to-understand explanation of what is going on, and the previous 4 posters to this article are also good. I am going to keep the article as a reference point for people I know who are frothing at the mouth over the ACA, even though they are not affected by the individual mandate. The ACA is not perfect, but the previous situation was not sustainable, either. Hopefully, some of the difficult individual impacts can be mitigated. A pox on all those who are trying to sabotage the law and create outrage for political gain. Ted Cruz comes to mind.

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badcopperNov. 9, 13 7:30 AM

the ACA was making such fundamental changes to health insurance that any promise of no changes was suspect the moment it was said.------ yet obama and his administration kept repeating it. Over and over and over. Was this willful deceit in their grand marketing plan to get this passed? Did he not understand his signature legislation? One of these options has to be the truth. Neither bodes well for the administration.

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chuckdancerNov. 9, 13 7:51 AM

1) How could anybody think their health insurance policy wasn't going to change when specific changes in coverage were the essence of the reform law? 2) Most people never touch their policy's out of pocket maximums just like most people never touched their policy's lifetime benefit maximum. 3) jbpaper, you don't assign any value to the expanded coverage in your policy over the old policy and appear to assume that you will pay the maximum out of pocket costs possible. Are you saying that you know you always max out your costs? Do you purchase your policy as an individual; your limit of three options seems odd?

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onepercenterNov. 9, 13 8:43 AM

If it was so obvious that this law was going to cost more, and not allow people to keep their existing insurance and doctor, why did Obama keep saying the exact opposite over 20 times and no one from the mainstream media report it before the 2012 election? There is no way to spin this - he lied.

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joe_mnNov. 9, 13 9:10 AM

You have a simple plan that does not cover some things. Premium is ok. Next yr, ins co says u need more coverage and premium will go up. Why can't the ins co give u the option of NOT having additional coverage so premium stays low? Plan A has addl coverage. Plan B does not. Wow, 2 plans. U think a computer billing system can keep track of that!

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FrankLNov. 9, 13 9:22 AM

The problem is all the mandates. lets get rid of them and allow a free market to match policies to people's needs. Some of these mandates impose high cost solutions when a lower cost alternative exists. If the ACA thought process was applied to cars every car would have to be wheel-chair accessible and have built-in child seats.

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