In addition, it is outrageous that insurance companies can negotiate deep discounts from Providers while the uninsured are billed full price. Why do I say that? Insurers take at least 30 days, sometimes much longer, to pay. Uninsureds don't get a discount even if they pay in cash immediately. That's unless the uninsureds have to negotiate for themselves - who reading this has negotiated with a Provider?
"The players sitting across the table from them — the health insurers — are not so profitable. In 2009, their profit margins were a mere 2.2 percent. That's a signal that the sellers have the upper hand over the buyers."
That IS misleading, for the reasons given by jenlewi . Their profit margins may be "a mere 2.2 percent", but their executives are some of the highest paid in the world. And those SAME executives have already obtained waivers to the Affordable Care Act. Their employees WILL have annual caps on the amount that can be paid for health care. Guess they don't want to chance having to take a million or so a year pay cut... http://ezinearticles.com/?Waivers-to-Affordable-Care-Act&id=5251038
I believe a big part of inflated health care charges occur because Providers assume they will have to apply huge discounts that insurance companies negotiate.
I hope everyone reading this takes the time to read the hotlinked article.
Many of us recognize that health care costs are a HUGE problem. And many of us cannot see how it can be brought under control because of the influence of health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies. ( at the rate of 24 MILLION dollars a month!)
Also from the article: "They do this in one of two ways. In countries such as Canada and Britain, prices are set by the government." Yet another government bureacracy? Generally Not a good idea. However, the mere threat might bring about a bit of pricing sanity...
How to reduce the influences ....
Term limits could do it!
That's been proposed and discarded in the past.
Well, WE can do it without the legal system.
Regardless of party affiliation or presumed past performance, do NOT reelect ANY congressman! NOT ONE.
I agree the additional coverages remove some of the financial panic that occurs when specific situations are now denied by health insurers. What I object to is the cost already present that will only continue to get higher.
You paid $346 per month for Cobra coverage.
Insurance companies lobbied in favor of passing the Affordable Care Act at the rate of ............
$12,416,666.67 per month.
Big numbers can be hard to comprehend.
That's Twelve Million plus dollars per month.
And it was not spent on employee salaries, facilities, claims, preventative medicine, etc.
No, it was paid because health insurance company executives KNOW they will have the keys to Fort Knox if the bill is determined to be within constitutional law.
For that reason alone, I am in favor of a single regulated payer. That is not the case with this bill.View Thread
"The problem with the American people is that most of them believe everything they hear ..."
The problem with most health care provider administrators and insurance company employees is they treat other human beings like cattle with wallets/purses. Sure, almost all of them are graduates of the school of customer service. They have to be nice when they're inflating prices for everything they do. ===
"The hospital I work in writes off millions of dollars yearly to take care of the indigent."
They write off inflated bills AFTER they've taken every penny possible, including forcing bankruptcy. Written off bills are tax deductible. While Providers complain about revenue lost, they are silent about the profits offset by tax deductions. And they use the non-payment excuse to increase prices for customers (individuals and insurance companies) having the ability to pay. To the extent the Affordable Care Act limits amounts/assets that can be taken from customers, it would be an improvement. ===
"With everyone having insurance ... "
THAT is my primary issue with the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance company lobbyists STOPPED the health care bill championed by Bill & Hillary Clinton. Why, then, did they SUPPORT the current bill? Answer: Because of the mandate for everyone to participate or pay fines.
Insurance companies SUPPORT the Affordable Care Act for one reason ONLY: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
I recently had blood work performed. The bill was: $742.00 = Total amount - 519.90 = Contractual adjustment - 199.90 = Insurance payment 22.20 = Patient responsibility
Those who wonder why I complain when I only had to pay $22.20 cannot be helped. They have been consumed by the deadly disease "As long as I get mine, too bad for everyone else."
The bill was inflated because the Provider knew there would be a huge discount (contractual adjustment). If I did not have insurance I would have been charged $742 for a couple of hours of lab work. Of course I would have negotiated for a reduced bill. And the Provider would have happily pocketed a generous profit because they NEVER would have settled for the amount the insurance company negotiated.
Health insurance companies are far more the bad guys than health care providers.
If medicare was expanded to include all, their incredible profit motive would be removed from the equation. That's idealistic and impossible under current lobby-controlled Congress. Never hurts to dream, though.
Summarizing previous posts, health insurance companies stopped the Clinton health plan. But they got behind Obamacare specifically because of the mandate to include everyone. (Except, of course, for getting annual coverage limits for THEIR OWN insurance employees.) Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-s ? So, with insurance companies lobbying FOR Obamacare, it passed.
We can only hope the Supreme Court does not allow the country to become socialist.View Thread
"Most patients opt for immediate relief and will pay any amount of money for healing."O.K., but those without insurance would be MORE THAN HAPPY to have a less expensive option available, even if it took longer.
Obamacare is written to make everyone participate. That is intended to help those who cannot obtain health insurance at the present time.
(CNSNews.com) — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has granted waivers to 10 health insurance companies, including giants such as Cigna and Aetna and divisions of Blue Cross Blue Shield, from the requirements of the new health care law, also known as ObamaCare.
The waivers allow these companies to impose annual limits on the health coverage they provide to their employees. Under Obamacare, companies that do not get special waivers from the administration must phase out their caps on annual health-care benefits between now and 2014 when they must offer limitless annual benefits. The Obama administration began granting waivers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last September.
If you work for an insurance company, you should check whether your company has a waiver. If it does, some of your premium will be used to pay claims for people with no cap while your own benefits will be capped. Gotta protect pay rates for the executives, after all. Limitless benefits (think cancer, AIDS, brain surgery, etc.) might mean they's have to settle for a few million less each year.
Ins. Co. & CEO With 2008 Total CEO Compensation Aetna, Ronald A. Williams: $24,300,112 Cigna, H. Edward Hanway: $12,236,740 Coventry, Dale Wolf: $9,047,469 Health Net, Jay Gellert: $4,425,355 Humana, Michael McCallister: $4,764,309 U. Health Group, Stephen J. Hemsley: $3,241,042 Wellpoint, Angela Braly: $9,844,212
Why would insurance companies be granted waivers at the same time their executives are being compensated with MILLIONS OF DOLLARS?
http://www.libertariannews.org/2010/03/30/big-pharma-and-insurance-industry-lobby-heavily-for-obamacare/ According to a study released over the weekend by "The Center for Public Policy", a non-partisan public interest think tank in Washington D.C., it is estimated that a record $120 million was spent lobbying for health reform. Miami Herald journalist John Dorschner reminds us in a March 23rd article that "In November 2008, just days after Obama's landslide victory, America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, made a stunning announcement, saying it favored universal coverage and supported a law that would stop insurers from rejecting applicants because of preexisting conditions. "Universal coverage is within reach," the group said in a historic press release. After being adamantly opposed to reform during the Clinton years, AHIP said it had changed its mind — based on one condition: Any reform plan had to require that all individuals have insurance or pay stiff penalties." While capping payments for their OWN employees...
I am not living in a vacuum.
And I did NOT invest with Bernie Madhoff - because it was OBVIOUS the returns he promised were TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.View Thread
Most reading do not remember when there was NO health insurance.
We got sick or hurt, went to the doctor/hospital for treatment, paid the bill, DONE.
NO hassles figuring out what was covered, appeals, bills coming after we thought all were paid, etc.
In short, life was a WHOLE LOT LESS COMPLICATED. (Not to mention less expensive!)
Very, VERY few families were forced into bankruptcy.
My strongest argument is my first nephew was born in 1966 with the total bill being $300 and no insurance. My second nephew was born in 1968 and the bill was $600. The same hospital and I believe the same doctor.
The employer then provided health insurance.
Twice the bill BECAUSE of insurance.
Luckily the family had insurance. And those who would say "So what" because the whole $600 did not have to be paid miss the point. The inflated amount came out of SOMEONES POCKETS!
And medical costs have spiraled out of control ever since.
Insurance does NOT pay for anything. It merely reallocates premiums paid in by many to the bills of some... After lifting a THIRTY PERCENT service fee off the top.
And browbeating providers for "cost adjustments".
Doctors study many years and labor through challenging resident programs to earn their degrees.
And then are told what is covered and how much they can charge by someone in the insurance industry who has a bachelor's degree in statistics.
So, while I do not like the idea of a federal health program, it is a FAR BETTER option for the citizens because the outrageous profit margin will be eliminated.View Thread
(Don't think it was necessary to use all capital letters - guess you were/are upset.)
O.K., the insurance negotiated for a more reasonable price. I.E., volume discount. Then they make the provider wait at least 30 days for payment, sometimes much longer.
But without insurance, someone would probably be told the price is $742.00, even if they paid immediately with CASH.
Where is the discount for instant payment?
So long as the health system primarily uses for-profit insurance as the intermediary, uninsured people WILL suffer financially.
I still believe that a payroll deduction with funds only allowed to pay medical bills in a price competitive environment would be better than using anonymous premium payments would be more efficient. That would ELIMINATE insurance fraud.
And it sounds good to advertise a health insurance company is non-profit, BUT:
A citizen met with her Representative with a question: She asked why BCBS was called non-profit when they are building huge office complexes, paying large salaries and generally spending huge amounts of money on non-insurance expenditures.[br>[br>The answer from the Rep?[br>[br>We are non-profit because we do not have shareholders. Of course we make a profit but the profit stays within the company. We pay large salaries because that is how we attract the talent needed to run the business.[br>[br>OK folks, the answer shocked her. Why are they given non-profit status when clearly they make a profit?[br>[br>Non-profit? Not at all. I think they need a new moniker. Many of us thought that non-profit means what it says. I thought the premium monies went out to pay claims. Not so, if she is correct.[br>[br>That is why we see huge new buildings, huge advertising campaigns, huge salaries. Got to use up those dollars. Deny claims? Maybe there is no money to pay them. Need to give the boss a raise.
We won't change each other's minds, but clear information is useful to anyone reading.View Thread