By tweaking the kinds of plans they offer, making it more difficult to file claims, and going the old-fashioned route of raising premiums, health insurance companies can negate many of the health bill’s stipulations aimed to help consumers.
Here’s part of a top ten list of ways insurance companies will get out of reforming, from the Washington Independent:
1. Raising premiums
There is absolutely, positively no prohibition on companies raising premiums at outrageous rates until 2014 — so they’re not going to stop. And politicians in Washington might scream, but the volume will be far less next year because the President won’t have a reform bill to pass.
2. Kicking people out for pre-existing conditions
The insurance industry may have relented about using pre-existing conditions to determine children’s eligibility, but they’re not about to let adults with pre-existing conditions qualify for insurance coverage one minute sooner than 2014 — and the way they floated the idea that the law didn’t really totally require them to accept children with pre-existing conditions is a hint that they’re desperately looking for a similar loophole in 2014 and beyond.
3. Changing your insurance plan
Remember how President Obama said that if you liked your insurance plan, you wouldn’t have to change? Well, the health reform bill won’t make you, but your insurance company might. They’re busy shutting down and restricting access to managed care plans (HMOs) and pushing current customers into high-deductible plans, where customers have to pay all expenses out of pocket before the insurance company picks up a dime.