Untintended Consequences of “health care reform”

Any time you raise costs to business they will eventually get passed on to the consumer…

NyPo reports (by way of EPJ):

A Manhattan health benefits consultant says insurance companies are telling employers they will pay have to pay much more in 2011 — and for reduced coverage.

“It should be noted that premium increases were in excess of 30 percent over the previous year,” said Barbara Brody of Barbara A. Brody & Associates. Brody said average rate increases next year for Manhattan-based firms she advises could be as high as “67 percent but will average 30 percent.”

That’s because insurance companies, faced with higher costs after the passage of a giant health reform measure, plan to pass most of the costs onto consumers, according to several industry observers.

The additional costs for the insurance companies include: covering dependents up to 26-year-olds as well as pre-existing conditions of new enrollees and coverage for the currently uninsured.

And they will see hefty premium hikes and out-of-pocket expenses rise, they add.

These increases would be in addition to big hikes already put in effect this year, Brody says…

Brody, who read the 2,000-page healthcare bill twice, says there are many things in the bill that were never discussed in detail.

For instance, the bill contains a category of pharmaceuticals called biologics, Brody explains.

The bill allows the brand-name use of biologics over generics for some 14 years. That will result in millions of dollars of additional costs, she says.

Maybe, she suggests, these things were missed because numerous elected officials predicted the bill would never become law.

“Every insurance carrier in New York state has filed for rate increases,” Brody says. She says carriers are anticipating the cost mandates of the new law.

These increases, she adds, will lead companies to cutbacks. Among them will be:

* Higher deductibles and larger co-payments

* Higher out-of-pocket maximums each year

* Specific tests and drugs dropped from the policies

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