Read the following excerpt from a WSJ article talking about large premium increases being requested by health insurers offering plans on the Obamacare exchanges.
Do you see what I see?
If something costs $100 today and tomorrow it costs $130 that’s a big increase in costs is it not?
I guess that math doesn’t matter when it comes to federal agencies and spin. You see, in this case it’s not all that significant because the consumer is protected by the government premium subsidies, the impact is “blunted” and “tax credits reduce the cost of coverage.”
But tax credits don’t reduce the cost of coverage at all. Tax credits shift the cost from one person to every other taxpayer.
And public rate review? Well, such review may force lower increases temporarily, but in the end the costs are a true reflection of the expenses incurred by consumers. The optimum word and the fallacy of the HHS spin is force.
The problem for the Administration is that the reality of health care costs and the basic design flaws within Obamacare do not fit the narrative started seven years ago.
Source: The Wall Street Journal 5-4-16
Proposed average increases are just one indicator of coming premium changes for individuals, which vary depending on the specific plan a person buys, and they must be evaluated by regulators before they can take effect. Increases can be blunted for many lower-income consumers by federal subsidies that flow directly to the insurer, offsetting the consumer’s premium bill.
Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services emphasized the role of those subsidies and said that after increases last year, by one estimate the average additional amount paid by people with tax credits was only a few dollars a month.
“Averages based on proposed premium changes aren’t a reliable indicator of what typical consumers will actually pay because tax credits reduce the cost of coverage for the vast majority of people, shopping gives all consumers a chance to find the best deal, and public rate review can bring down proposed increases,” said Ben Wakana, an agency spokesman.