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Archive for Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kansans to receive $4 million in insurance refunds under Affordable Care Act, White House reports

July 18, 2013

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— Kansans will receive $4 million in refunds from insurance companies under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, according to figures released today by the White House.

The ACA requires that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care. It is aimed at holding the line on insurers' administrative costs and executive bonuses.

Nationally, what are called Medical Loss Ratio refunds, totaled $504 million, benefiting 8.5 million Americans, the White House reported. In Kansas, 83,742 people are due $4.04 million.

"Recent reports show us that this policy is working — it’s holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of millions of middle-class Americans in the form of refunds, reimbursements or reduced premiums when consumers don’t get the value out of their premium dollars," the White House said in a statement.

Officials said the Medical Loss Ratio provision also reduces premiums as insurance companies operate more efficiently.

President Obama and his administration also said that the new Health Insurance Marketplace, which will take effect Oct. 1, will also provide affordable health coverage for people who are currently uninsured.

In New York, officials approved rates for 2014 that are 50 percent lower on average than current rates for those buying insurance on their own. Supporters of the ACA credited that drop to the online marketplaces that they say are creating competition among insurers.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress continue to oppose the legislation.

On Wednesday, the GOP-controlled House voted for the 38th time to eliminate, cut funding or change the law.

Republicans say the law is unworkable and point to the administration's recent decision to delay for one year a requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide them with health care coverage or pay a penalty.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, who represents the district that includes Lawrence, said, "I voted to give both employers and hardworking Americans and their families reprieve from the president’s costly health care law. It is simply unfair and wrong to let businesses off the hook, and force the rest of America to pick up the tab.”

Comments

Larrytown 9 months ago

My wife actually received a check from Humana yesterday in the amount of $57.25. With that being said, I don't anticipate her receiving a check next year given that she switched insurance to my employer's plan...as a result of us getting married last Summer.

0

JayhawkFan1985 9 months ago

I'm shocked. The GOP with their scare tactics got this one wrong too...

1

bad_dog 9 months ago

"It is simply unfair and wrong to let businesses off the hook, and force the rest of America to pick up the tab.”

I wonder how Lynn feels about Westar's rate increase proposals before the KCC...

1

Larrytown 9 months ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyv8ZRkXnfU

Here's another great speech (earlier this week) by President Obama discussing the refunds associated with the Medical Loss Ratio.

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Clearly4Kansas 9 months ago

Our HR department just held meetings to let us know how ObamaCare is impacting the employee share of health insurance premiums. I can either pay a 35% increase in my share of the premium or have my deductible go from 1,000 to 5,000. Wow, Obama and the democrats are waging war on middle class family budgets. Gas at the pump has doubled sine January 2009, Obama's EPA is going to double my utility bills, and I have this massive ObamaCare cost increase coming in January. I'll never vote for another democrat again!

3

yourworstnightmare 9 months ago

Lynn Jenkins has no idea what she is saying. As long it is vaguely anti-Obama, she will say anything at any time to suit the expediency of the anti-Obama moment, and to please the Tea-OP. She is an anti-Obama tea-bot through and through with no sense of morals or conviction, except to say things that please the Tea-OP and that are anti-Obama.

5

Centerville 9 months ago

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/19/3507807/fact-check-obama-spins-health.html

You have to hand it to the LJW for being trusted water-carriers, despite published facts at their fingertips.

2

notajayhawk 9 months ago

The administration has been making these claims since that abomination was forced down the throats of the American people against their will. One question they have never answered: Is the amount of these rebates higher or lower than it was BEFORE Obamacare passed? Mutual insurance companies already rebated the excess they took in - not that I think this administration would take credit for something that was already being done ...

"Officials said the Medical Loss Ratio provision also reduces premiums as insurance companies operate more efficiently."

And yet premiums continue to rise. And faster than they were before Obamacare.

The loss-ratio mandate in the absence of a premium cap is a disaster. Before Obamacare, neither the provider nor the consumer had any incentive to hold down the actual cost of CARE, the only ones that had that incentive were the insurance companies. Now the insurance companies have lost that incentive, since it only takes a very small reduction in reimbursement rates to completely eliminate their profit. On the other hand, it only takes a small INCREASE in their reimbursement rates to DOUBLE their profits. This is the prime factor which is currently driving up the cost of care, since the equation has been reversed - it used to be the insurance companies' profit incentive was to hold down costs, now their profit incentive is to inflate them as much as possible. Incidentally, this wouldn't be possible without the individual mandate, because eventually it would get so expensive people would simply stop buying insurance - but now we can't.

"In New York, officials approved rates for 2014 that are 50 percent lower on average than current rates for those buying insurance on their own."

This same spurious claim was made in California. Problem is they were comparing apples to oranges, and in reality the cost of insurance has doubled for similar policies. Also, the 2014 rates were - by requirement - set according to PROJECTIONS, not actual costs, so it has no connection to what the true cost will be once fully implemented.

2

Larrytown 9 months ago

Good to hear that the Affordable Care Act, in this instance, is working as designed.

As for Lynn Jenkins comments....you can't make this stuff up! The Koch brothers are doing a hell of a job in pushing the buttons to get the robot (i.e. Jenkins) to spew out their talking points.

5

workinghard 9 months ago

"It is simply unfair and wrong to let businesses off the hook, and force the rest of America to pick up the tab.” But isn't that what Brownback and Jenkins are doing when they let businesses stop paying taxes? Isn't that what they are probably going to let Westar do when they lower the electrical rates for businesses and pass the loss on to residential costumers? Seems they are worried about the rest of Kansas only when it suits them.

11

Liberty275 9 months ago

Enjoy your $1.38. I'm going to add mine to $3.00 and have a latte in the morning.

0

bevy 9 months ago

No, what Lynn is trying to say is that she wants EVERYONE "off the hook" from the healthcare bill that most Americans support. But Lynn and the other Kochers don't care what the elections say, they are just sure they are WAY smarter than the average American, and know what's best for us. You know, whatever helps them and their cronies make more money off the backs of everyone else.

7

weeslicket 9 months ago

  1. i got about $500 back from my insurance carrier this year. it doesn't pay the mortgage, but it is appreciated.

  2. who knew insurance companies could, and would, overcharge?

  3. from lynn jenkins: "... It is simply unfair and wrong to let businesses off the hook, and force the rest of America to pick up the tab.” did lynn just go anti-business and anti-COC on that? can't wait to here the roll-back on that one.

5

Lefty54 9 months ago

The only thing keeping Lynn Jenkins from the title of "Worst Representative" is Little Timmy Huelskamp.

Right now the standings are-

Worst Representative- Little Timmy Huelskamp

2nd Worst Representative- Lynn Jenkins

15

Alyosha 9 months ago

Of course Jenkins' comment makes no sense. She doesn't understand the law or approve of giving insurance rebates to Kansans: that much is clear.

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George_Braziller 9 months ago

Huh? Can someone interpret this for me? Her comment is circular and doesn't make any sense.

"U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, who represents the district that includes Lawrence, said, "I voted to give both employers and hardworking Americans and their families reprieve from the president’s costly health care law. It is simply unfair and wrong to let businesses off the hook, and force the rest of America to pick up the tab.”"

7

mom_of_three 9 months ago

the GOP controlled House voted for the 38th time?? do they not have anything else to do?? Give it up already.

8

nocrybabies 9 months ago

Unbelieveable! This is great news. When will my check arrive?

Oh, and in answer to the required question, I would never ever buy tires online.

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