A new report released yesterday by the United Hospital Fund (UHF) has confirmed what anybody who pays for their own insurance already knows: the health insurance industry is making a killing off of us. UHF’s report, titled “The Big Picture III: Private and Public Health Insurance Markets in 2009,” finds that commercial health plans posted gains of $921 million – a 25% increase over 2008.
The big shocker is that one of the main reasons why the insurance industry is banking so much has to do with Medicare Advantage plans. As it turns out, Medicare Advantage is quite profitable for the insurance industry – accounting for over two-thirds of reported HMO profits (despite only representing 20% of total enrollment). Medicare Advantage plans are currently allowed to charge seniors more for services and give them a lower value for their money than regular fee-for-service Medicare.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will prohibit Advantage plans from charging higher costs than required under traditional Medicare, and will require them to have a minimum medical-loss ratio of 85%. Seniors also can choose whether to enroll in Medicare Advantage or keep traditional Medicare.
Of course, if the Republican majority in the House has its way on tomorrow’s budget vote, seniors will lose that choice and will all be forced to enroll in private plans like Medicare Advantage. They will also lose all of the new protections under the ACA, as the House Budget Proposal seeks to repeal the new health reform law.
So, what would this all mean?
Surprise!!! EVEN MORE INSURANCE INDUSTRY PROFITS!
But, it doesn’t have to end this way. If you or your grandmother are tired of devoting so much of your paychecks to the insurance industry, simply:
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 1-888-245-0215 to get a hold of your Representative and tell them to OPPOSE Rep. Ryan’s 2012 House Budget Proposal.
Not sure who your Representative is? Click here to find out. Email works too!