Top insurers say Obamacare exchange enrollment is shrinking fast


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After people signed up, would they pay? That was the Big Question lurking in the shadows as the White House trumpted 8 million enrollees in Obamacare.

“Trust us,” said the Obamabots, “they’ll pay.”

Except, as you might have guessed by now, the checks got lost in the mail.

ObamaCare exchange statistics should clear up any doubt as to why the Obama Administration has been tight-lipped about enrollment since celebrating 8 million sign-ups in mid-April.

Reality, evidence suggests, could require quite a come-down from those lofty claims.

The nation’s third-largest health insurer had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, a spokesman confirmed to IBD. At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to “just over 500,000” by the end of the year.

That would leave Aetna’s paid enrollment down as much as 30% from that May sign-up tally.


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Insert obligatory George Costanza shrinkage joke here.

Meanwhile, Obamacare premiums are rising by an average of 7.5%. This is, quixotically, being spun as good news.

The average national increase of 7.5 percent is “well below the double-digit increases many feared,” HRI Managing Director Ceci Connolly wrote in an email.

Yeah, they screwed us over so much last year they can cut back a little.

Last time I looked nobody’s paycheck went up 7.5%. But hey, Obamacare is still a bargain, right?

Maybe. If you got to keep your plan. And if the IRS doesn’t take away your subsidy.

Me? I find out next month what my increase will be. And let me tell ya, I’m praying it’s only 7.5%. Because if history is any guide, that’ll be a bona fide miracle.

Original Post:  Wyblog


Doctor Quits Aetna Due to ObamaCare: Becomes Viral


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We’ve been warning, since about 2009, that the monstrosity that became ObamaCare would eventually cause doctors to not accept those plans, or quit altogether.  That ObamaCare prediction, ridiculed at the time, is now coming to pass.  One  doctor, Kristen S. Held MD, publicly posted her letter to Aetna, informing them that she was ceasing to be a provider due to ObamaCare.  Here is that letter…

January 30, 2014

Dear Mr. Bertolini,

With a deep sense of sadness, I must inform you that I will no longer serve as a physician for Aetna patients under the terms of our contractual agreement, which you most recently unilaterally changed.

I have been privileged and honored to care for thousands of patients covered by Aetna policies since the 1990’s. I have devoted my life to providing the very best, state-of-the-art care to these individuals. We have formed a patient-doctor relationship, which I hope many will chose to continue in spite of my severing ties with Aetna. You see, health insurance has evolved such that insurers and government have inserted themselves smack-dab in the middle of the once sacred patient-doctor relationship. I am called a provider- not a doctor. My patient is now yours- not mine. What I can do as a physician now has strangulating strings and nonsensical numbers attached- to you and government and money-not the best interests of the patients.

Obamacare, the “law of the land”, contains ever-changing-at-the-whim-of-HHS, politically-expedient mandates, rewards, penalties, rules and regulations with which I cannot rationally or morally treat my patients and run a practice, much-less interpret, implement, or comply.

Millions of Americans have lost coverage because of the healthcare law and must now shop on a defective, insecure government website and sign up for more expensive policies through Federal and State exchanges. Only by logging in as a prospective patient did my office manager and I discover that Aetna was selling plans for which I am a provider-effectively selling my services without even asking, much less informing  me that my services would be sold on such a site, under the auspices of new terms with which I will not comply.

Then, after the fact, I received a form letter informing me of Aetna’s “new allowables”. I will not sell my services under such terms. While treated as such, patients and doctors are not commodities worthy of such impersonal, inconsiderate, and cavalier treatment. We choose dignity and personal service over disrespect and form letters.

So here we are, you are getting new business offering health insurance plans featuring my services without my consent under terms which are unacceptable to me. Accept this as my official written notice that the changes that you have unilaterally made to our contract are unacceptable to me and make our contract null and void.  You must explain this to your patients. You must tell them that they have purchased a product that was misrepresented to them and that you cannot deliver. It saddens me to think of the decreased access to care from actual physicians and the shockingly increased costs Aetna patients will now experience because of your choice to collude with big government rather than collaborate with patients and physicians.

Kristin S. Held, MD

This letter, and the rationale behind the decision, is being applauded.  Check out the comments at the first link.   Thanks to Dr. Held for making a principled stand on behalf of her patients, colleagues, and profession.  ObamaCare is meant to destroy not only the health insurance industry, but the medical profession as a whole.

H/T: Bizpac Review


ObamaCare Damage: Major Insurers Fleeing Exchanges


When systems become unmanageable, inefficient, or downright tyrannical, people flee it.   And, at the present time, pickings are going to be rather slim in many, if not most of the ObamaCare exchanges, because the major insurance carriers are saying “nyet, comrade,” to participating in them.  

( – Major health insurance companies–Blue Cross, Aetna, United, Humana–have decided not to participate in various states in the Obamacare health-insurance exchanges that will be the only place Americans will be able to buy a health insurance plan using the federal subsidies authorized under the Obamacare law.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), every American must buy a health insurance plan that meets minimum government specifications. If a person does not get health insurance through their employer, and is not on Medicaid, they can buy insurance through their home state’s insurance exchange (which, depending on the state, will be run by either the state or federal government).

States will also operate exchanges where small businesses can buy health-insurance plans.

Individuals and families making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level will qualify for a federal subsidy to help them buy their government-mandated insurance–but only if they buy their insurance on the government-run exchange

So, I see that the  is some good resistance to the exchanges.  While this is a good thing, I fear that the companies will eventually comply, both due to “punishments” created by the government, and a sense of inevitability that many feel about this turkey.   However, ObamaCare can be defeated if the companies refuse to play ball, and enough young people “burn their ObamaCare cards.”  If we can pull this off, we can help ObamaCare collapse under the weight of it’s own failure.


ObamaCare Damage: 100% Health Insurance Premium Increases for Next Year



In a follow-up to a story we covered last December, the CEO of Aetna,Mark Bertolini, warned of 100% health insurance premium increases for next year.  Doug Ross (no relation) has more…

I’m guessing the administration’s infamous “Enemies List” just got bigger by one.

Aetna CEO Warns of Approaching Health Insurance ‘Premium Rate Shock’ in 2014 for Consumers and Others Under Accountable Care Act

Steep increases in insurance costs may leave patients with less money to cover deductibles and copayments for clinical laboratory tests

Next year, consumers and small businesses can expect what one health insurance CEO says will be, “Premium rate shock for 2014.” As this happens, clinical laboratories and pathology groups are likely to find it even more difficult to collect co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket fees from patients who had medical laboratory tests performed.

The premium rate shock remark was made by no less than Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, Inc. (NYSE: AET). In his speech at an investor conference, he predicted premiums would rise by 20% to 50% next year before the government subsidies are applied. In some markets, rates could double, he added.

Aetna is not alone in seeking steep hikes in health insurance premiums. Blue Shield of California is seeking a rate increase of 12% to 20% for more than 300,000 individuals, The Los Angeles Times reported. These new rates would go into effect in March, the company said.

And, ironically, the “official” name for ObamaCare is the Affordable Care Act ?  Of course, like all liberal efforts, it achieves the exact opposite of it’s stated intent.

Doug has far more coverage, so get over there and check it all out.  He also sums it up perfectly.

As conservatives predicted, Obama, Pelosi and Reid all lied about Obamacare as they rammed it through Congress, sight unseen. Rates are going to skyrocket. Employers will drop coverage. Physicians will stop accepting Medicare patients. Insurance carriers will go bankrupt. Care, when you can find it, will be rationed. And the system is going to melt down, with the poor and seniors suffering most.

The people were warned, and they chose not to listen.  Now, everyone will suffer for the Obama voters.  If you voted for Obama, you voted for this.  We tried to warn you.  Doug Ross, myself, hundreds-if not thousands of others tried to raise the warning, but too many decided to be “low information.”

Elections have consequences, and the Obama voters are going to be suffering more and more for their support of Hope and Change.


ObamaCare Damage: Health Insurance Premiums to Double?


If you ask Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, the answer is yes.  Townhall has more…

Yesterday on CNBC, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said that health insurance premiums could as much as double if Obamacare comes into full effect:

To provide all Americans with health insurance, premiums will have to rise to pay for it, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Wednesday.

“If we’re going to insure all Americans, which is a worthy and appropriate cause, then somebody has to pay for it,” Bertolini said of the expected premium increases under Obamacare.

Bertolini said that insurance premiums could double in some places just on the basis of what types of policies people buy today.

Anticipating a criticism, Bertolini said that higher premiums wouldn’t mean higher profit margins for insurance companies. The reason is that it will actually be more expensive to insure people due to some of the Obamacare mandates.

We’ve covered this several times, and we know that premiums have increased dramatically already.  If this comes to pass, it will impact all of us, to some extent or another.

Just remember, if you voted for Obama, you voted for this.  Thanks!