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Does Competition Benefit Health Insurance Subscribers?

From: New York Times


Uwe E. Reinhardt is an economics professor at Princeton. He has some financial interests in the health care field.

How does competition work in the health insurance market? Do more competitors in a market area — say, a state — invariably mean a better deal for the insured?

These questions are germane as regulators are busy implementing the Affordable Care Act, which imposes a series of stringent new regulations on the market for health insurance, particularly the market for small-group or individually purchased insurance.

Federal health overhaul will cost MontCo

From: Washington Examiner

By: Liz Farmer
Examiner Staff Writer
October 25, 2010

Montgomery County’s health care tab will cost a bit more this year thanks to the federal health care overhaul, but agencies say the real financial test is in the years to come.

The county will pay just under $2 million more this fiscal year to cover changes in health care coverage mandated by the federal legislation that took effect last month. More than $1 million of the total comes from county schools.

Putting the brakes on health insurers

L.A. Times

Obama should forbid premium hikes until the companies comply with pricing provisions of the new federal law.

October 19, 2010|By Jamie Court and Carmen Balber
Health insurance companies have declared war on President Obama’s healthcare plan.

They are sending letters to policyholders announcing big premium increases and pointing the finger at the federal healthcare overhaul. Some insurers are refusing to sell individual policies for children because of rules requiring them to take all comers, not just those in perfect health. They are lobbying on Capitol Hill and in statehouses to undermine or eliminate the law’s provisions.

Long-Term-Care Premiums Soar

  • OCTOBER 16, 2010



People with long-term-care insurance polices are getting hit with a new round of steep premium increases. But there are options that can help both existing policyholders and new buyers cut some of the costs.

Last month, industry behemoth John Hancock Financial said it would ask state regulators for an average 40% increase for about 850,000 of its 1.1 million policyholders. The insurer, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., also suspended sales of new long-term-care plans to employer-benefits programs.

Consumers Union Report on Surplus of NonProfit BCBS Plans

FYI, here is the recent Consumers Union Policy Brief on the Surplus accumulated by nonprofit Blue Cross-Blue Shield Plans.

FINAL REPORT 7-22-10.pdf (302 KB)