The New York Times has published an article with a document attached that shows how New York state implementation of the Affordable-Care-Act has resulted in premium prices to plunge more than 50 percent over one year. New York was the first state to start implementing provisions of the Affordable Care Act, months before the law goes into effect nationally. New Yorkers are paying a monthly average of $1000 now, but based on the approved list of 2014 premium rates, the prices were significantly lowered, some premiums would cost as little as $308 a month , these prices can decline even further after the federal subsidy goes into effect.Those rates, however, are only available for people who buy their insurance coverage on their own; it doesn’t affect the majority of New Yorkers who receive their coverage through employment (unlike what Republicans claim).
California was the first state to enact provisions of the Affordable Care Act immediately after it was signed by President Obama. Covered California, the agency in charge of the state’s insurance exchange program, has released the monthly premium rates for a 40-year-old Californian which shows how rate changes ranged from a slight increase of 2 percent for Alameda County, to a 29 percent decrease for Los Angeles County. California leads the nation in the number of uninsured residents, with 7.3 million in 2011 who lack any type of medical coverage. When the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in January of next year, 5.3 million Californians who don’t receive health coverage through employers will be able to shop for health insurance through the exchange website that is set to launch on October of this year. Nearly 2.6 million who will purchase their plans through the exchange program will also be eligible for financial assistance since their income levels range between federal poverty levels.
Another state is Oregon, where two insurance companies have reconsidered their surge in rates for 2014 after they discovered a significant lower rates from competitors. President Obama’s health plan aims to lower insurance rates by creating a competitive insurance market through the exchange marketplace website. That’s exactly what happened in Oregon where FamilyCare Health Plans, Inc. discovered that its competitor, Moda Health Plan Inc., offers the same plan for a 40-year-old Oregonian but at a nearly 60 percent lower cost. An official from the company announced they are asking the state to lower their requested rates to be more competitive. Also, Providence Healthcare Plan have asked the state of Oregon to decrease their requested rate by 15 percent when the company realized that their projections for the plan costs were wrong.
Many Americans will see their rates go down, thats along with the 13 million american last year and 8.5 million this summer who were rebated from their insurance companies an average of a $100. The healthcare reform law require insurers to spend 80 percent of their customers money on medical care, and 20 percent on administrative costs like salaries. If a company exceeds the 20 percent limit, they are required to refund the difference to customers.
In the meantime, the congress has voted once again, for the 38th time, to delay the healthcare mandate.They voted to delay the mandate on small businesses for a year later, and on last Wednesday, they voted to delay the individual mandate for another year. However, with democratic-controlled senate, it is improbable for the bill to pass, and President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it passes. Conservative media and opponents of the healthcare reform, on the other hand, attacked the New York Times for trying to glamorize the healthcare reform.They have continued spreading ideas and scenarios on how the Affordable Care Act is a failure and a waste of tax dollars, or how it works against the people’s will, without providing any alternative ways on how we can take care of our uninsured citizens and curb the skyrocketing premium rates.
President Obama, in a press meeting, praised the healthcare results. He also criticized the Republican efforts on delaying and destroying the health reform by pointing that we have many problems in this country to deal with, yet they are still attempting to repeal the healthcare law that would benefit millions of Americans in the next decade.
The controversial healthcare law, known largely as ObamaCare, was signed into law on March 2010 after a long battle with the Republicans in the US House and Senate who opposed the bill. The law goes into effect in the first day of 2014. A marketplace for insurance exchange website will be available on October of this year for people to compare premium costs and select the best insurer based on income.
Here is an interesting video from Kaiser Family Health foundation that explains how the Affordable care act works:
- Fact Checking Obama’s latest effort to sell ObamaCare (Video) (examiner.com)
- Health-care Law Doing What It’s Supposed to Do: Obama (hispanicbusiness.com)