Patterico's Pontifications


Aetna Pulling Out of Most ObamaCare Plans As Premiums Rise

Filed under: General,Stark Choice — Patterico @ 6:45 am

USA Today:

Health insurer Aetna plans to cease its participation in the Obamacare health exchanges in all but four states.

The company’s decision, which it blamed on heavy losses tied to the insurance plans, follows similar moves by competitors such as UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer.

Aetna said that in 2017 it would cease offering health care insurance options through the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 68.9% of the counties where it offered plans in 2016. It will continue offering certain plans in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia. Affected enrollees will keep their plans through the end of 2016 but must find alternatives for next year.

Aetna sustained a second-quarter pre-tax loss of $200 million on its individual health care plans, though that figure includes results from insurance offered outside of the Obamacare exchanges.

Meanwhile, premiums are going up astronomically in places all over the country:

[T]he Rube Goldberg mechanisms of Obamacare are sending insurance premiums into the stratosphere. Pennsylvanians are looking at a 41 percent increase for 2017. In Kentucky, Humana customers will see rates rise 31 percent next year. Blue Cross in Montana seeks a 62 percent increase. Even in Connecticut, deemed one of the great successes of the Affordable Care Act, consumers will likely see rate increases rise more than 20 percent.

Needless to say, this was not what the administration and the law’s congressional sausage grinders led us to expect. As recently as last October, they were assuring the public that the cost of the average health insurance plan would rise only 7.5 percent this year.

If only we had chosen a nominee who actually opposed ObamaCare, rather than one who says he likes the mandate, and is going to take care of everybody’s health care and have the government pay for it. We face a stark choice this November, between a candidate in favor of government health care with a D after her name, and a candidate in favor of government health care with an R after his name.

Choose wisely! The stakes could not be higher lower!

68 Responses to “Aetna Pulling Out of Most ObamaCare Plans As Premiums Rise”

  1. Wrong. We face a choice between a woman who will get her stupid ideas passed because the political elite consider her one of their class and a man who will see his stupid ides defeated because the political elite consider him a rude outsider. It’s idiotic, but it is the choice we have.

    This year it’s a clown vs a shrew – Trump vs Frump – and I’m voting for the clown, because we might as well go out laughing.

    C. S. P. Schofield (36f996)

  2. so Aetna subsidized this fiasco to the tune of $200 million last year

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. The goal was defacto single payer, by collapsing all the other option, that was Morgan discovered about schakowsky, hacker, Frank and obama, did I leave anyone out.

    narciso (732bc0)

  4. >I’m voting for the clown, because we might as well go out laughing.

    “Walken/Busey 2016: because if we’re going to elect batshit crazy, let’s at least make it highly entertaining.”

    Scott (c6e8fa)

  5. I love trying to decode narciso’s comments. He’s very smart and knowledgeable, and everything he says means something. The fact that I sometimes don’t understand it when I first read it doesn’t mean that the meaning isn’t in there. I admit, though, that I prefer it when his comments end with a comma,

    Patterico (bcf524)

  6. This one, I get the gist but the details elude me. I bet with 10-15 minutes of research I could figure out the parts I should already know, but I don’t have the time right now.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  7. the videos that were uncovered about the true goal behind national health care, it is a deliberate act, in keeping with a disciple of alinsky and ayers,

    narciso (732bc0)

  8. 3. narciso (732bc0) — 8/16/2016 @ 7:08 am

    The goal was defacto single payer, by collapsing all the other option, that was Morgan discovered about schakowsky, hacker, Frank and obama, did I leave anyone out.

    What I know is that there was an old radio interview of Obama that was discovered in which he said you’d do things gradually, but I think he was thinking in terms of the history of the civil rights bills, not that he’d enact something that would collapse financially. His idea was first you;d get something half good, then more.

    Anoehr thing whose economics is collapsing is student loans. There’s no more fiscally sound alternative on the horizon.

    the names Morgan, [Congresswoman Jan] schakowsky, hacker, and [Barney] Frank require more research.

    Sammy Finkelman (072cd5)

  9. just some of this, see I remember most everything for good and ill,

    narciso (732bc0)

  10. here’s another from the lizard in chief,

    narciso (732bc0)

  11. the videos that were uncovered about the true goal behind national health care, it is a deliberate act, in keeping with a disciple of alinsky and ayers,

    I know; that was the gist I got — I just didn’t remember all the names.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  12. The managed care organizations that specialize in Medicaid and Medicare are to some extent stepping into this gap. They have experience in eking out tiny profits from small premiums which they are not allowed to set. In some cases they already offered similar coverage for Medicaid members who drift in and out of eligibility.

    Whether most people now on the exchanges, will be happy with insurance that differs little from Medicaid and Medicare is yet to be seen.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  13. that’s all right, counselor I do, so we have rube goldberg insurance, that one cannot afford to use with up to a 10K deductible, states like ahia, will go bankrupt faster because of medicaid,

    narciso (732bc0)

  14. Although “Medicare for all” may be the uickest and dirtiest solution to the collapse of Obamacare, I don’t think a death spiral was the intention, and now there’s a tremendous invcentive to find something else. Everyone knows Medicaid doesn’t work right. And the private insurance companies are not out of business, just maybe mostly out of the individual market. And anyway, over-insurance itself is part of the problem.

    Sammy Finkelman (072cd5)

  15. yes, it was deliberate, they even spell it out, sammeh,

    narciso (732bc0)

  16. I’m so shocked!

    The media apparently is not. The only good thing that I await is when the system finally collapses, and you have to wait six months to see a doctor or two years to get an operation, is to say: I told you so.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  17. We all knew that this was going to happen, and the private insurance companies sold the rope to hang themselves. Good show!

    The goal was always single-payer, but the Democrats knew they couldn’t pass it. The question now is just how badly people get f(ornicated) in the transition from Obysmalcare to Medicare for all.

    I will be eligible for Medicare in one year, seven months and 15 days.

    The thoroughly disgusted Dana (f6a568)

  18. “Medicare for All” is a dandy way to kill Medicare. Even Vermont, the leftard homeland, discovered that there was no way to provide single payer healthcare without ginormous tax levies as the demand for health care would skyrocket if it was “free.”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  19. The question now is just how badly people get f(ornicated) in the transition from Obysmalcare to Medicare for all.

    Well, if it is anything like Obominablecare, those that have been honest, responsible, paid their way and generally followed the rules will get fukked and the scammers and deadbeats will get special subsidies and privileges.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  20. Fun fact about Obamacare. It was sold as a way to keep medical costs down to a few percent of income. But a 60-something couple making $65K a year before deductions can have costs exceeding 50% of their pretax income counting premiums, co-pays and max out-of-pocket.

    Unlike younger folks, where subsidies gradually tail off, subsidies for the middle-aged stop abruptly with thousands of dollars in lost tax credits for the wrong additional dollar of income.

    Pretty sure that “Medicare for All” will be as lousy for the aged.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  21. BTW, Aetna stopped issuing individual plans in many states, including California, at the start of Obamacare.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  22. Story on Covered CA:

    The only two plans worth having (Blue Shield and Blue Cross, which compete in CA) go up by 19% and 16% respectively. In some places (e.g. Los Angeles) one or the other of these is the only PPO plan available.

    I know all this because I’m self-employed and have been forced into this where my rates are set by all the non-paying deadbeats now treating their diabetes.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  23. If the Anthem/Cigna and Aetna/Humana mergers go through, the illusion of competition wrt health insurance will be very hard to sustain. The large insurers already derive significant income from Medicaid and Medicare management contracts and Aetna’s withdrawal from ACA probably has more to do with the DoJ antitrust suit seeking to block the merger than potential losses.

    Rick Ballard (d51940)

  24. “If only we had chosen a nominee who actually opposed ObamaCare”

    The time for that was 2012. But the establishment and donor class managed to force the nomination of the only republican in the entire country who could not effectively attack on the obamacare issue.

    noway (2640f4)

  25. Mitt Romney is an execrable person

    i still feel just awful that he got that nomination

    the sheer senselessness of it is really hard to grasp even in retrospect

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  26. .. as the demand for health care would skyrocket if it was “free.”

    “Free” has many meanings. I began receiving SS at age 70 a year ago. I wasn’t surprised to find that a healthy portion was deducted to pay for my “free” Medicare. I wasn’t surprised mainly because two decades ago I began doing my Dad’s taxes, and I quickly figured out that income tax is levied against 85% of the nominal SS “benefit” if you have other retirement income that is of roughly the same size as the SS “benefit”.

    But this doesn’t change the fundamental principle that you mentioned. I have no choice on the Medicare deduction, and, the premium being a sunk cost, I might as well take advantage of it to the maximum. It is not surprising that it is becoming increasing difficult to finding Doctors, because they are ones who are getting squeezed to keep costs down, all the while having to comply with the insane reporting requirements of our elite healthcare overlords.

    Social Security is really just a minimal subsistence plan. Those who fail to fund their personal retirement plans will discover this to their sorrow when it is too late. And those who fund their retirement plan will discover that they are being heavily taxed to support those who did not.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  27. OUr premiums are jumping AGAIN, by a hefty 10% margin, after huge leaps in previous years we are paying double for our insurance in a few short years. In return for the hike in premiums, we get reduced coverage and more hassling of our personal physicians for the most ordinary and standard treatments. It goes without saying the coverage is nowhere near a good as our “grandfathered” plan that didn’t stay grandfathered (It was eliminated and the nearest ACA plan substituted, despite a last minute “save face” reprieve by the government, the insurer just dumped the plans anyways as it had prepared to do when dumping was interpreted as mandatory.
    The ACA fees are an astounding percentage of the monthly cost.

    I need two MRIs and possible 3 surgeries. I can’t afford them – and apparently neither can most providers, who stay out of network on purpose and who balance bill without mercy, even though they are contracted to work an in-network hospital. The radiologists, the pathologists, the physical therapists/rehab team, the cardiologists. There are no in-network physiciansfor private insurance in some specialties.

    I have to pay 20 percent of IN network charges up to the maximum stop-loss, but that doesn’t include out of network fees and balance bills or deductibles (ours is 500 a person, relatively low)

    I’m in my early 50s. We are forced to pay for maternity benefits, and must also buy a mandatory pediatric dental rider that no one in the small group purchasing the plan can use. NO ONE IN THE GROUP, let alone my family, CAN USE IT – BUT IT IT MANDATORY.

    I don’t sleep at night. Our son ages off the plan in a couple of months and we can’t find substitute coverage. Going naked on coverage is not an option. I don’t know what is going to happen.

    SarahW (3164f0)

  28. The insane rise in monthly premiums is only half the story. The deductibles I read about are stratospheric. The combination of premiums and deductibles is worse than no insurance at all. People pay outrageous amounts each month, and because they will never reach their deductibles their health care cost is always straight out of pocket.

    Advo (322ad6)

  29. Don’t forget the absolutely unavoidable out of network fees, and balance bills (which can be many times the cost of the covered portion)

    SarahW (3164f0)

  30. We live in an age of miracles. We had a wonderful dog who suddenly lost the use of both his front and back legs. There are two veterinary hospitals in the Seattle area that can do MRIs, and we choose the one in Tacoma. At 2 pm we delivered Max to the hospital and signed the papers. At 6 pm they called to say they were beginning the MRI. At 7:30 pm they called to say they could perform neurosurgery to correct a ruptured disks that was impinging on his spinal cord. We told them to go ahead. At 10 pm they called to say the operation had gone well. We picked up Max two days later and spent four months helping him recover, although he was walking within two days. He regained the full use of his legs, and he was a wonderful companion for the rest of his life. The cost for this care was only slightly more than the annual deductions from my SS for “Medicare”.

    This should give us some idea of what is possible for humans. Double or triple the costs, or increase them by an order of magnitude, and it would still be a bargain in today’s marketplace. We have given the political class control of our health, and they are unmerciful in pursuit of their self interest. They did this with endless media anecdotes about care that was inept. And we gave them the power to ration and control our access to medical care thinking that this would protect us. A two-bit bureaucrat has access to medical records that are denied to members of a family unless you make special provision. The Federal government is the Father to 72% of all black children born in this country, and it is the only party guaranteed access to our medical records.

    We have squandered our miracle.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  31. Obamacare = The pull out method.

    Dejectedhead (0c7c2f)

  32. A guy goes to hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

    In recovery, he slowing awakens to a horrible discovery.

    “The good news,” his surgeon tells him, “your appendectomy was a complete success.”

    “But my balls and penis are gone!” the patient says.

    “Didn’t you read the micro print when you signed the fifty page consent form?” the doctor asks.

    “The micro wha…” the patient says.

    “Mr Jones, you clearly consented to an appendectomy, penectomy, bilateral orchiectomy, and vaginoplasty most of which is covered by your new and mandatory Hillarycare as administered by the IRS and –”

    “But … I was in pain, in the ER –”

    “We all have to pay taxes, Mr Jones.”

    “But … I didn’t –”

    “You’ll have to discuss your consent with Dr Gruber who’s in charge of such things…. Between you and me”, the doctor says leaning in conspiratorially, “you really don’t have a choice but to sign the the thing and have the operation … you understand, Hippa laws, demography reform and all that.”

    “But there’s no going back now, Mr Jones,” the doctor says officiously, glancing about, making notes. “You might as well go for the full sexual reassignment surgery… though under Hillarycare, the IRS may have compliance requirements given your surgical electives.”

    Mr Jones stares ahead blankly.

    “Look on the bright side,” the doctor says gently, “ you’ll get a permanent trans privacy pass for all public restrooms and any abortions you have will be FULLY covered by Hillarycare!”

    PTS (ce7fc3)

  33. In 2012 the establishment gave us Romney, the architect of Obama care, in a year when we could have maybe stopped it. I held my nose and voted for him anyway (Romney also was pushing a plan to tie minimum wage to inflation BTW, but oddly none of the people bemoaning Trumps lack of purity didn’t seem to mind these things). This is one of the catalysts that made this the anti establishment year.

    I think you mischaracterized Trumps plan. He is for repealing a replacing Obamacare with a employer based insurance system, with a government safety net for those that don’t fall into that system. The reasoning is that such a safety net would actually save on public resources and contribute to a better and less costly healthcare system for all. See, what happens with those people otherwise is they just use the emergency room for their healthcare, the most expensive way to go, and the government ends up subsidizing it anyway, plus the emergency room is less efficient for the rest of us that might actually need emergency care.

    Bottom line, Trumps plan is head and shoulders above Obama care, and a quantum leap above what Hillary will do.To dismiss Trumps plan as equally bad is just disingenuous.

    LBascom (0b9b35)

  34. “and the government ends up subsidizing it anyway”

    OK, that wasn’t quite correct. The PUBLIC ends up subsidizing it anyway, in the form of skyrocketing healthcare costs as hospitals need to recoup the costs of people using the emergency room as their primary healthcare provider.

    LBascom (0b9b35)

  35. As Ginsburg stated in her ACA opinion (the cliff notes version) – “Obamacare is good public policy , therefore it is 100% constitutional”

    joe (debac0)

  36. Say, did anyone see the trailer of the Legend of When Barak Met Michelle?


    Pinandpuller (928ad9)

  37. good soon medicare for all.

    medicare for all (a0977b)

  38. I love comment #4,
    But I must admit,
    Whether ending in a period or comma usually doesn’t make a difference to me.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  39. I just assume that I am no longer at the peak of my intellectual function,
    That and not enough coffee…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  40. I doubt that very much, md, my grandfather, a very wise man, said he forgotten much as a result of his stop in spain, but he still knew more than 10 men had forgotten, but thanks for that,

    narciso (732bc0)

  41. yes yes i just saw SarahW was here

    i come back later or early tomorrow to read


    happyfeet (28a91b)

  42. He is for repealing a replacing Obamacare with a employer based insurance system, with a government safety net for those that don’t fall into that system.

    Sounds fine, but ignores the fact that many employers would love to get out of the health insurance system. This was so years before Obamacare. My employer does its best to limit employee eligibility, and regularly bemoans how high the expense of providing insurance. It’s been doing that since about 2000, possibly even before. In fact, the ACA exchanges gave it a grand excuse to dump a whole bunch of part-timers from its insurance, and cut benefits/increase costs for those who stayed on the plans.
    And from what I know, it is not the employer to do this

    kishnevi (98ea1b)

  43. #nevertrumpniks are out of touch with the unwashed:

    41. Business followed government in offering the plans in the first place to attract a better class of worker.

    Now we no longer need workers so why keep the burden?

    DNF (755a85)

  44. and the models seem to be following michael mann protocols.

    narciso (732bc0)

  45. 29. I believe our “political class” may be the crux of the problem. An excision is in order.

    DNF (755a85)

  46. well why did the hmo bill, that ted kennedy was a part of, come into effect, it was supposed to be a cost saving exercise,

    narciso (732bc0)

  47. Never cease to amaze how much time we spend trying to reform healthcare by changing how we finance it instead of how we practice it.

    Plain stupid. Left and right.

    This is how you can mandate coverage of more services and then expect premiums to go down.

    You simply are stupid.

    All 20,000 pages written by the smartest people in the world.

    Rodney King's Spirit (d28741)

  48. 46. And the single payer trend is not conducive to Donks holding their factions at bay:

    DNF (ffe548)

  49. it’s sort of a game of chicken, they believe that they will be bailed out, no matter what the calamity, look at puerto rico,

    narciso (732bc0)

  50. 48. This week in Greece the tax authority has required everyone to submit itemized lists of assets.

    Wealth tax imminent.

    DNF (ffe548)

  51. I’m surprised it took this long, with syriza at the head of the coalition,

    narciso (732bc0)

  52. Hillary cannot break the tape without falling:

    Why not retire with your billions to Monte Carlo?

    DNF (ffe548)

  53. I hear tell that Cuba’s three successes are education, sports, and health care. Its three failures are breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    nk (dbc370)

  54. #53 got to use that.

    Rodney King's Spirit (d28741)

  55. #52
    Cuz when u have Parkinson’s and likely Dementia u slowly start to live in another world

    I can ask my mom how my dad is doing and she can go on for hours about he complains too much and is messy … He is dead for 7 years.

    So Hillary while maybe early onset won’t make it too long if she is ill. No MD can solve that issue. Just medicate it to death to mask the problems.

    Rodney King's Spirit (d28741)

  56. those who fund their retirement plan will discover that they are being heavily taxed to support those who did not.

    Owning your house outright replaces a lot of that extra income you need, and a house, just sitting there, is lightly taxed compared to the income required to rent or pay a mortgage.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  57. SarahW,

    It does depend on where you live. Here in Los Angeles, there is a giant medical complex run by UCLA, including the 5-star regional Ronald Reagan medical center and a lesser one (in Santa Monica). Every single one of the 2000+ UCLA doctors is on the Blue Shield and the Blue Cross plans. It’s a hell of a backstop actually. Outside of the large networks, it can be tough to find specialists, but it was not a problem when my wife had her (now-cured) throat cancer. The oncologist that several people suggested independently was on the plan.

    The premiums aren’t cheap though; considerably above the low-cost plans, and WAY above what I was paying before.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  58. Will the Pattericans continue to help Hillary stumble her way into the White House?

    HillaryCare 2016… you’ve got to elect her to find out what’s in it!

    PTS (ce7fc3)

  59. Trump 2016 … because it’s time we nuked Denmark.

    nk (dbc370)

  60. stinkypig’ll do the bad policies all up in it, and children will be maimed or worse as a result

    Mr. Ace says broccoli has more carbs than you might think and it’s not to be trifled with

    obamacare is gay and oppressive fun fact sleazy pervert John Roberts and president food stamp both went to harvard

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  61. Sarah hang in there so sorry all this is dumped on you

    i don’t know where to find the hopeful words

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  62. But I like Denmark. Why can’t Trump nuke Holland instead?

    nk (dbc370)

  63. Nice and informative post. thanks to share with us. Jobs

    Batuk (a3b1e1)

  64. Kevin, I live in Virginia, and even with emergency care, if you are not in an HMO, all you are entitled to is in-network co-insurance (the percentage of the plans own determination of allowable charges) and deductibles. Non-participating providers can balance bill anyone, even in emergencies, who has private insurance that is not an HMO AND care takes place in an HMO facility.

    Hospitals here generally farm out everything but nursing care and from and board and equipment and OR time, and meds. Many specialist types in this state avoid participating in private insurance plans of any description. OB gyns almost always do, but most captive audience specialties in the hospital setting do not. That includes radiologists, pathologists, anaesthesiologists, cardiologists, even hospitalists, and paraprofessionals in the hospital setting such as respiratory therapists or physical therapists. There is not only no guarantee that choosing a participation hospital will contract with participating service providers, but a near impossibility to avoid going out of network and being balance billed for a planned surgery.

    Revenue scraping is the new hotness, and it’s patients who get skinned, and if the best case scenario, put in the middle of negotiations with an insured. Hospitals do not even have to warn consumers and do not take responsibility for the nonparticipating docs..while cultivating an illusion that “we are in hour insurance network)

    (There are other borderline unethical or straight up unethical fee splitting or trading arrangements that take place routinely.)

    My ideal fix is to require by statute that any physician practicing within the four walls of the participating facility must accept all insurances the facility does….but it’s complicate, and reimbursements are so low most physicians would prefer that day never come.

    SarahW (3164f0)

  65. Yoda wonder if this effect will work in a comment section.

    Or this way

    Yoda wonder if this effect will work in a comment section.

    Yoda (e6eca8)

  66. And the answer is no.

    Yoda (e6eca8)

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