Sunday, October 3, 2010

Consultant: Some Health Insurance Premiums Could Climb as Much as 67%

NyPo reports:
A Manhattan health benefits consultant says insurance companies are telling employers they will pay have to pay much more in 2011 -- and for reduced coverage.

"It should be noted that premium increases were in excess of 30 percent over the previous year," said Barbara Brody of Barbara A. Brody & Associates. Brody said average rate increases next year for Manhattan-based firms she advises could be as high as "67 percent but will average 30 percent."

That's because insurance companies, faced with higher costs after the passage of a giant health reform measure, plan to pass most of the costs onto consumers, according to several industry observers.

The additional costs for the insurance companies include: covering dependents up to 26-year-olds as well as pre-existing conditions of new enrollees and coverage for the currently uninsured.

And they will see hefty premium hikes and out-of-pocket expenses rise, they add.

These increases would be in addition to big hikes already put in effect this year, Brody says...

Brody, who read the 2,000-page healthcare bill twice, says there are many things in the bill that were never discussed in detail.

For instance, the bill contains a category of pharmaceuticals called biologics, Brody explains.

The bill allows the brand-name use of biologics over generics for some 14 years. That will result in millions of dollars of additional costs, she says.

Maybe, she suggests, these things were missed because numerous elected officials predicted the bill would never become law.

"Every insurance carrier in New York state has filed for rate increases," Brody says. She says carriers are anticipating the cost mandates of the new law.

These increases, she adds, will lead companies to cutbacks. Among them will be:

* Higher deductibles and larger co-payments

* Higher out-of-pocket maximums each year

* Specific tests and drugs dropped from the policies
A private equity partner specializing in healthcare told me last week at the Dow Jones Private Equity Conference what EPJ readers already know, that Obamacare is not about costs cutting at all but about getting current insurance holders to pay for those who don't have insurance, but it is structured in a way that will result in less healthcare services for all and much higher costs.

As for the brand name use of biologics, I hear that there will likely be congressional hearings next year investigating why so much of the ObamaCare bill leaned in favor of Big Pharma. My source also believes that the investigation will find a smoking gun that will be very damaging to Obama, Big Pharma and certain lobbyists surrounding Big Pharma.


  1. If we had national health care, like the progressives wanted, then we wouldn't be faced with hefty increases. The bill tried to correct bad health insurance policies, but the government has no control over the insurance companies raising premiums.

    If the government did step in and control prices, the conservatives would scream about that too.

  2. One sided, short sided article. The American people are FED UP with the Health Insurance Industry, with the Pharmaceutical Industry and Medical Device Industry with their bloated waste, excess and abuse. The ObamaCare was originally a Republican idea. People forget that. There is not a more protected and sheltered industry than HealthCare. Unbelievable. No free market forces at work. Just protectionism. No wonder that they have multiple lobbyists per member of congress and spend more on lobbying every year than any other group. It's not for our good but in order to maintain the status quo. It makes me mad. And then when you ask healthcare executives about cost, they don't want to talk about cost. Health insurance should be nationalized.