Monday, July 30, 2012

Health Insurance Rebates Are Coming!!

What! What!!!??!

Hear about this Federal Health Care Reform Law, which requires health insurance companies to return a bit of cash to its members/subscribers that used less than 80% of premiums paid towards their policies for the year by August 1st.

From NYTimes:

As a result, insurers will pay out $1.1 billion this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, although not all of it will go to individuals. The average rebate will be $151 per household, with the highest average amounts in Vermont ($807 per family), Alaska ($622) and Alabama ($518). No rebates will be issued in New Mexico or Rhode Island, because all the insurers in those states met the 80/20 requirement.
Although the percentage of insurance companies that owe rebates this year is relatively small, about 14 percent, many giants of the industry are on the list. They include Aetna, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare.
President Obama is highlighting the rebates as a tangible early benefit of the legislation; on the day the Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional last month, he said millions of Americans would see rebates because their insurance companies had “spent too much on things like administrative costs and C.E.O. bonuses, and not enough on your health care.”
So is your check in the mail? Don’t count on it.
Self-insured employers, which cover more than half the nation’s workers, are exempt from the new rule, as are Medicare and Medicaid. And of the 75 million people in health plans subject to the rule, only about 17 percent, or 12.8 million, will get rebates this year, according to the Obama administration.
Many who buy coverage directly from insurers, like Ms. Harkenreader and other self-employed people, are receiving checks. But in most cases rebates are being sent to employers, who can chose to put them toward future premium costs instead of distributing them to workers.
“I’ve been trying to explain that to people — that very few people would be getting a check,” said Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who is an expert on the health care law.
Still, he and others say the rebate provision could prove a potent selling point for a law that remains unpopular with many Americans, not to mention a well-timed tool for the Obama re-election campaign. Premiums — and anger toward insurance companies — keep rising: the cost of employer-sponsored family health plans jumped by 9 percent last year to more than $15,000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

And once again, I say... WHAT! WHAAAAAAA?!!!

For myself and my son, I pay a little over $400 for health, dental, vision,life. I'm pretty sure that health is the bulk of those costs. I'd much rather get a check in my mailbox like the women mentioned in the above article, but understand that this may not be the case for me. I don't like that scenario, but I understand it from what's written above.

If my employer receives this large rebate for all of its insured employees, how can I be sure that this rebate reaches and positively effects me any?! That's all I really want. Let me feel the positive payback! After all, I am the individual most in need. My employer ain't hurtin' for no rebate (I'm sure.).

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