Saturday, May 18, 2013

Obamacare Nightmare: Congressional Report Says Insurance Premiums Will Climb 100% to 400%

Reports The Examiner:
Internal cost estimates from 17 of the nation's largest insurance companies indicate that health insurance premiums will grow an average of 100 percent under Obamacare, and that some will soar more than 400 percent, crushing the administration's goal of affordability. 
New regulations, policies, taxes, fees and mandates are the reason for the unexpected "rate shock," according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which released a report Monday based on internal documents provided by the insurance companies. The 17 companies include Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Foundation.
The report found that individuals will face "premium increases of nearly 100 percent on average, with potential highs eclipsing 400 percent. Meanwhile, small businesses can expect average premium increases in the small group market of up to 50 percent, with potential highs over 100 percent."
The report concluded:
Despite promises that the law will lower costs, [Obamacare] will in fact cause the premiums of many Americans to spike substantially. The broken promises are numerous, and the empirical data reveal that many Americans, from recent college graduates to older adults, will not be able to afford the law's higher costs.
 Gary North has found a loophole for the religious. He writes in his free newsletter:
Premiums will not rise for my wife. She is exempt from ObamaCare, yet she has
no health insurance. She has health care non-insurance.
She pays $85 a month for a program of shared liability for sickness. It's not
insurance, legally. It is not regulated by the government. If she has to get
an operation or major medical service, she will not have to pay.
For an extra $2 a month, she is in a supplemental program in case the bill goes
above $125,000.
It does not pay for office visits or prescriptions.
       Recently, the "Atlantic Monthly" ran an article on these programs. It was
There are several programs out there. She is in Christian Healthcare
Ministries. Another is Medi-Share. Another is Samaritan Ministries
The Atlantic Monthly article says in part:
Exempt from regulation, taxation, and the individual mandate, Christian collectives called health care sharing ministries are paying for the care of their neediest members -- if they approve of the morality of their needs[...]

The ministries have been around for more than two decades as a creative approach to handling the growing costs of medical care. The largest players include Medi-Share, Samaritan Ministries International and Christian Healthcare Ministries. They market themselves as alternatives to health insurance, though they themselves are not insurance but nonprofits.

Christian Healthcare Ministries does not turn people away, cancel their membership or raise their monthly financial gift because of expensive illnesses, a spokeswoman said.

Medical costs are "shared," not pooled the way they are with insurance companies. Also, people can choose to leave the plan whenever they want. Members themselves vote on what medical procedures should be shared.

Medi-Share has the funds sent to a bank account, then distributed. Everything is done digitally, so members log on to see where their money is going. In the case of Samaritan Ministries, members receive a letter in the mail telling them to send a check to a specific member in need each month.[...]

As nonprofits, health care sharing ministries aren't required to follow the same state and federal regulations as health insurance companies.

The Affordable Care Act has a section that exempts members of health care sharing ministries from purchasing insurance. The Amish, Mennonite, and Indian tribe communities also are exempt from the penalty that will be incurred on Americans who fail to purchase health insurance by 2014. Since the law was passed in 2010, membership for Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries has risen by about 40 percent.[...]

Christian health sharing ministries aren't for everyone. Members have to follow biblical principles of behavior, including abstaining from drugs or tobacco products, staying away from alcohol abuse and keeping sex within the confines of marriage. They must make a profession of their faith and attend a church regularly. In the cases of families, if a teenager were to become pregnant or get a sexually transmitted infection, the associated medical costs would not be shared.

Meggs admits the plans are not right for everyone. "There is a statement of faith and lifestyle that you have to abide by," he said. "Some people have an affinity toward these principles and others are not a good fit."
(ht Gary North)

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