Friday, July 31, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Found dachshund in Abrego Lake Estates on July 23rd. Call and describe Tracy 830 477 7779
LOOKING TO FIND:Jacob Sanchez My beloved son. He can get in touch:Alberto Carvajal 786 350 8436 carvajalalberto@yahoo.com www.facebook.com/alberto.carvajal.585 ALBERTO CARVAJAL MIAMI, FL
Lost: White Maltese dog, 12 pounds, answers to Brookley, on Sun., July 19, 10 miles north of Floresville on Hwy. 181, $100 reward! Tom and Jean Harris, 830-393-0814. 
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Warning: While most advertisers are reputable, some are not. Unfortunately the Wilson County News cannot guarantee the products or services of those who buy advertising space in our pages. We urge our readers to use great care, and when in doubt, contact the San Antonio Better Business Bureau, 210-828-9441, BEFORE spending money. If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, contact the Consumer Protection Office of the Attorney General in Austin, 512-463-2070.
Experienced mixer needed for local bakery, stand for long period of time, lift 50 lbs., 2 years of experience. Apply in person at 1371 FM 1346, La Vernia, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Commentaries


Agents, Not Rebates, Help Consumers Get a Better Deal on Health Insurance




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
December 5, 2012 | 1,692 views | Post a comment

By Janet Trautwein

Some Americans recently began receiving checks in the mail from their health insurers.

These "rebates" were required by the federal healthcare reform law's "medical loss ratio" (MLR) rules, which mandate that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premiums on healthcare expenses.

According to the Obama Administration, the rebates prove that the MLRs are working -- that they encourage "insurers to give you better value and [hold] them accountable if they don't."

But these rebates won't lower most Americans' health costs. They may make it more difficult for people to secure affordable health insurance.

Not everyone will get a rebate. At least 66 million consumers are covered by plans that don't have to pay out rebates.

Folks who get coverage through work may not see cash. Rebates for the 8.6 million Americans in the small- and large-group markets who qualify will be sent to their employers.

In the individual market, some 2.6 million households qualify for rebates. They'll receive an average of about $152, or $12.67 a month.

All told, less than 5 percent of the U.S. population will receive a rebate check.

The rebates are also smaller than expected. A few months ago, analysts predicted that the rebates would total $1.3 billion and reach 15.8 million Americans. The actual amount will be $200 million less -- and impact 3 million fewer people.

Meanwhile, annual family premiums for those with employer-sponsored insurance rose 9 percent in 2010 -- triple the pace of wages -- to an average of $15,073.

MLR rules can also reduce consumers' healthcare choices. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), strict MLR requirements have the potential to "substantially reduce flexibility in terms of the types, prices, and number of private sellers of health insurance." The CBO further warns that some insurers "could exit the market entirely."

MLRs are destroying jobs -- and making it harder for consumers and businesses to knowledgeably navigate the health insurance marketplace -- by putting health insurance brokers out of work.

According to a 2010 Congressional Research Service report, the MLR rule creates incentives for insurers to cut back on the use of brokers or reduce their commissions. As the Government Accountability Office noted in a report on how insurers were reacting to MLR rules, "almost all...said they had decreased or planned to decrease commissions to brokers."

That means less help for consumers and businesses who rely on brokers to help them make smart decisions about health insurance and advocate on their behalf when issues arise.

A report by the Center for Studying Health System Change found that in addition to comparing and outlining health plan features and options, brokers essentially serve as human resources departments for small employers by assisting employees with claims and questions about benefits.

Agents and brokers help individuals and small businesses save money on their health insurance -- far more than the MLRs and their attendant rebate checks do.

Janet Trautwein is CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.
 
‹ Previous Blog Entry
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives


Commentaries
Commentaries page govtrack.us
Commentaries who represents me?
Drama KidsHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride RealtyVoncille Bielefeld homeauto chooserTriple R DC Experts

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.