Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why the insurance companies really hate the Affordable Care Act

Nancy-Ann DeParle
Nancy-Ann DeParle
June 05, 2012
10:13 AM EDT
Consumers across the country are starting to hear the good news about their health insurance costs.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law, health insurers generally have to spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on health care and quality, not administrative overhead. This minimum percentage is called a medical loss ratio.

If your insurer doesn't meet or exceed this standard, they must rebate you the difference.

The rule encourages insurers to give you better value for your premium dollar and holds them accountable if they don’t.

Last week, insurers were required to report the refunds that will go to consumers and small businesses later this summer and we have already started to see the effects:

  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has announced that it will pay $8.6 million to about 73,000 individual policyholders in August because they spent less than 80 percent of premiums on health care.
  • In Arizona, more than $36 million in refunds will go to both consumers and small businesses. One insurer in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, alone will pay out an estimated $8.7 million to more than 77,000 individual policyholders, and another $3.2 million to more than 3,700 small businesses. 
  • United Healthcare's Golden Rule Insurance will refund nearly $8.7 million to more than 30,000 additional Arizona policyholders.

  1. Two insurers in California will pay out more than $50 million in rebates to nearly 1 million customers statewide.

This is just one way the new health care law is helping American families and businesses get a fair deal when it comes to their health care.

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