Another Round of Insurance Price Hikes Coming

Per the AMA Morning Rounds report about an AP article: health insurance companies prepare for next year, “early moves…suggest” customers will see “another round of price hikes and limited choices” in policies offered on the marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. While “price increase requests are only just starting to be revealed,” state authorities in Virginia and Maryland said requests for increases range from “just under 10 percent to more than 50 percent.” One reason suggested for price increases is “evaporating competition” because it is expected that for next year, “more than 40 percent of U.S. counties would have only one insurer” offering policies through the ACA marketplaces.

Here are my questions:

  1. Why do we believe insurance companies?  They pretend they are your healthcare givers.  They are not. Doctors and nurses and other medical staff are.
  2. Why do we let insurance companies stop competition from getting into the market to bring prices down?
  3. Why do we not go crazy every time we see this crap being announced? They are reaping massive profits.  Their CEOs make unbelievable amounts of money.  All this and they stick us with the bill.
  4. Why are we letting them control the whole market?  You would think I support a government or single-payer system.  I do not!  I do not want the gov’t screwing things up even more. I want a free market system.  A real one that brings prices down.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Another Round of Insurance Price Hikes Coming

  1. May 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Insurance across state lines won’t work. No small or local insurance companies will spend the money and effort to contract networks in every state. Even if they did, your insurance prices wouldn’t change, since they are based upon the cost of care in your geographic area. In general, insurance profit margins range from 2.5% to 3.5%, some of the lowest relative to all other industry. Health insurance is expensive because healthcare is expensive, and health care is expensive, because we use third parties to pay for it. Health insurance should be reserved only for catastrophe. Alll other healthcare should be paid for directly by the consumer. Only then will health care and thus health insurance become affordable.

  2. Randy
    May 14, 2017 at 11:08 am

    What gets me is the people (even some doctors) who say the trouble isn’t Obamacare, it’s the insurance companies. Well, Obamacare IS insurance companies, you can’t separate them out. The foxes were put in charge of the hen house.

  3. Thomas Guastavino
    May 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Competition across state lines now!!

    • JRDO
      May 14, 2017 at 11:22 am

      There has never been a healthcare system merger that I am aware of that brought lower prices to consumers- such mergers have only been good for the executives that broker the deal. I fear allowing across state line competition between health insures would result in the same merger mania with the same result of larger monopolies and even higher prices.

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