Our View: New sign-ups only add to Private Option costs

As most of us are aware, Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to call a special session where he will ask lawmakers to approve changes to the state’s version of Obamacare, including charging premiums to certain enrollees, requiring job training for the unemployed, and subsidizing coverage through employer-sponsored plans, instead of through the state’s Private Option program. Something we think may have been overlooked by the governor’s special Health Reform Legislative Task Force, is the Obama administration’s eagerness to maximize coverage, which has allowed large numbers of people to sign up for government subsidized health care coverage after the set deadlines over he past two years. Health care experts are saying this practice of inflating the number of Obamacare participants has clearly destabilized insurance markets and driven up premiums. Get this, Obama’s manipulators have created more than 30 so-called special enrollment categories and have sent e-mails to millions of potential Obamacare recipients almost begging them to sign up for this free government subsidy even after the annual open-enrollment deadline. The joke is that insurers and state officials, like those in Arkansas, say Obama’s cronies did little to verify whether all these late participants were even eligible for coverage. What this sneaky maneuver, designed solely to bloat the participation numbers, has done is allow people to simply wait until they become sick or need immediately medical services before they sign up, resulting in much higher costs, according to insurance experts. One major insurance provider sent a letter the secretary of Health and Human Services recently saying many individuals have absolutely no incentive to enroll in coverage during open enrollment, but can simply wait until they are sick or need services before enrolling and then drop coverage immediately after receiving services, making the annual open enrollment period a meaningless farce. At least a quarter of the applications that this one major insurance company received in the health law’s public insurance marketplace last year came through special enrollment periods. We are talking about as many as 950,000 people taking advantage of this so-called special enrollment periods. The fact of the matter is that on average, special enrollment period enrollees stay with this one particularly insurance company for less than four months, while enrollees who sign-up during the annual open enrollment period maintain their coverage on average for eight to nine months. Let’s face the fact that not only is this entire Obamacare scam a socialistic failure what is being experienced is a very troubling trend that certainly should be a serious priority for state regulators. As concerned as Gov. Hutchinson is about getting a better handle on this state’s Private Option, and his attempt to save our tax dollars, we would certainly think that this particular problem is placed high on top of his priority list of public health care changes.

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