Food is More Expensive Under Obamacare

On top of everything else, now food is more expensive thanks to #Obamacare. Health insurance premiums rising, which is passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for almost everything, including food. But obamacare pizzathis latest salvo from the battleship USS Obamacare comes in a way you may not have expected.

Mary Lynne Carraway owns 60 #Domino’sPizza stores. Most of her business is delivery from orders placed online, but that doesn’t matter to the clowns in DC.

Obamacare says she has put up a menu board in each of her 60 Domino’s stores that tells people the calorie count of every possible combination.

Heritage

Almost 70% of her business starts online, and the nutrition information is there but that isn’t good enough for the folks who are charged with implementing Obamacare. She has to make up menu’s for each restaurant listing the MANDATED nutrition information.

What would it mean for each of her stores to have to install such a menu board? A cost of about $5,000 per store

That additional $5000 doesn’t come out of profits. It is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. Thanks to Obamacare, food is more expensive.

It may also mean lost jobs.

I have 1,800 people who believe in this company, who need this work, who need these jobs. And this is a small thing, maybe, that people could think of, “Well, $5,000 for a menu board” or whatever. But it’s the added on regulations, it’s the added things that are constantly being thrown at us. And as a small business person that wants to keep going, it is really, really hard to do that.

Excessive government regulation.

The number one jobs killer.

So why is DC doing this?

Because they can.

Those who favor big government feel that consumers are dumb and need the nanny state to make decisions for them. We are creating a nation of people who are taught to rely on the government for everything, and that just isn’t right.

Mandates. Obamacare. Just another stupid government trick and the result is food is more expensive. 

If You Like Your Doctor . . . .

See if this sounds familiar. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan. Period.”  If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor

While much has been said about NOT being able to keep your plan, almost nothing has been mentioned about keeping your doctor.

 

You May Like Your Doctor But . . .

If you like your doctor, fine. But your doctor may not like you. More precisely, they may not like your new #Obamacare plan.

Especially if you bought it on the exchange.

Many doctors are disturbed they will be paid less — often a lot less — to care for the millions of patients projected to buy coverage through the health law’s new insurance marketplaces (exchange).

If providers are paid less, “are [enrollees] going to have difficulty getting physicians to accept them as patients?”

NBC News

Most Obamacare plans sold ON THE EXCHANGE in Georgia are HMO’s with very tiny networks. When you buy one of these plans you get a list of docs and are told “Pick one”.

This isn’t Burger King.

You can’t have it your way.

If you like your doctor, get over it. Your doctor may not be on the list.

The benchmark for physician fees is the rate the federal government sets for services provided to older Americans through Medicare. In many markets, commercial plans may pay slightly above the Medicare rates, while doctors say that many of the new exchange plans are offering rates below that.

Physicians are uncomfortable discussing their rates because of antitrust laws, and insurers say the information is proprietary. But information cobbled together from interviews suggests that if the Medicare pays $90 for an office visit of a complex nature, and a commercial plan pays $100 or more, some exchange plans are offering $60 to $70.

One of the bugaboo’s of buying on the exchange is, you may never know who is in the network and who isn’t until AFTER your policy is issued.

There is a relatively simple solution.

Buy your Obamacare plan OFF the exchange. Carriers offering plans off the exchange usually have the same rich networks as before Obamacare.

So if you like your doctor, pay a little more and get a quality plan OFF the exchange. We have found Humana rates for 2014 to be very competitive and they offer a broad National PPO network.

Obamacare Plan B

In one respect, there is no Obamacare Plan B. It is upon us and it is going to happen whether you like it or not. Obamacare Plan B Morning After Pill

No one can be denied health insurance (unless of course they can’t afford it). Pre-existing conditions are covered (whether you had prior creditable coverage or not). Healthy people pay more (a lot more) so sick people can have coverage.

It’s the American way.

And not only can you have free birth control pills, but presumably this also means Obamacare Plan B (the morning after abortion pill).

“We have been through a legal process and the court has ruled against the administration; an appeals court,” Carney said.

That was a reference to a ruling last week denying the administration’s request to delay anearlier ruling that said the drug should be available without age restrictions, at least while the appeal was heard.

“And that ruling means that — meant that Plan B would be immediately available to anyone, of any age,” said Carney.

NPR

HHS decided in 2012 that employers would be required to include coverage for contraceptive devices, including birth control pills, and they were required to do so in spite of any religious objection.

Now the courts and the nanny state have said your 13 year old daughter can walk into any drugstore and walk out with an Obamacare Plan B abortion pill.

No prescription needed.

If she has insurance, presumably no copay.

 

Obamacare Health Insurance Rate Increases

Obamacare rate increases on individual health insurance are coming. If you do not have health insurance now, you will be required by the government to purchase an approved plan in 2014.

We anticipate health insurance rates in Georgia will increase by 50% or more over current rates. Some individuals will see their Obamacare health insurance rate double or even more.

Young people under the age of 35 and individuals who do not use tobacco and are in good health now are in danger of seeing their health insurance rates rise more than premiums for those who use tobacco now or are in poor health.

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HHS Admits Obamacare Will Raise Premiums

screwedObamacare WILL raise premiums. Most of us have known that for years, but now HHS Secretary Sebelius is finally willing to admit that health insurance premiums WILL be higher as a direct result of Obamacare.

(HHS Secretary Sebelius) remarks are among the first direct statements from federal officials that people who have skimpy health plans right now could face higher premiums for plans that are more generous. She noted that the law requires plans to provide better benefits (which are MORE EXPENSIVE) and treat all customers equally regardless of their medical claims.

“These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, and so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,” she said. “But we feel pretty strongly that with subsidies available to a lot of that population that they are really going to see much better benefit for the money that they’re spending.

Human Events

Obamacare requires “better benefits”.

Define better.

Is paying an insurance company a higher premium to cover a portion of a routine medical bill that most can pay out of pocket a “better benefit”? Would you be willing to pay your car insurance carrier a higher premium in order to have “better benefits” that cover the cost of oil changes, wiper blades, car washes and a fill up at the gas station?

And what about this “treat all customers equally regardless of medical claims”?

Do you think someone with damaged credit should be entitled to the same interest rate on a loan as someone who pays their bills in full on a timely basis? Should a person with a history of moving traffic violations pay the same car insurance rate as someone who has never had an accident or moving violation?

If you have no problem with these suggestions, then you won’t mind one bit that Obamacare will raise premiums on your health insurance by 100% or more?

We now live in an era when life is only fair if everyone pays their “fair share” so when your premiums go up due to Obamacare you have no right to complain . . . even if you can no longer afford to buy health insurance.

So what about these subsidies that are supposed to make your health insurance more affordable?

Do you believe it is OK to raise taxes on medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs and rich benefit plans (such as those MANDATED by Obamacare) is fair just so a chosen few can pay less for their health insurance? You do understand that these costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and higher health insurance premiums?

Are you still OK with this grand scheme?

Is it OK for employers to lay off workers, reduce hours and drop health insurance plans because Obamacare will raise premiums on employers who want to provide a benefit?

How many people have to lose their job or work fewer hours just so you can have a new Obamacare health insurance plan?

Don’t worry, folks, ObamaCare is blowing premiums through the roof, but there will be subsidies available for lower-income Americans!  That means the rest of us will get screwed twice – once when we pay our higher insurance premiums, then again when we pay for all those lovely subsidies.

On the political front, Obama’s cherished young voters are getting rooked, but luckily they tend to be low-information types who don’t hold him accountable for anything – they keep saying jobs and economic growth are their top concern, but they voted to re-elect him, didn’t they?

There is a price to be paid for failing to be an informed citizen.

Obamacare WILL raise premiums. The administration is FINALLY admitting it, and the people who voted for this guy will pay for their foolishness.

PCIP – Obamacare Runs Out of Money

The Obamacare Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) is flat broke. Busted. Don’t bother applying for PCIP because you won’t get in.

Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of pre-existing medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low.

Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based “high-risk pools” set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.

But they stressed that coverage for about 100,000 people who are now enrolled in the high-risk pools will not be affected.

Washington Post

What happens now?

If your state does not have a high risk pool or carrier of last resort, you will have to wait until October to sign up for coverage to be effective January 1, 2014.

Initial fears that as many as 375,000 sick people would swamp the pools and bankrupt them by 2012 did not pan out. This is largely because, even though the pools must charge premiums comparable to those for healthy people, the plans sold through them are often expensive.

Congress miscalculated.

 

 

Not enough money to fund PCIP.

Not enough people signed up.

All things considered, the premiums are quite affordable. Makes you wonder how well Obamacare 2014 will work when current premiums for everyone, including healthy people, are 2x current rates.

Asked why the administration has not requested additional money from Congress to keep the program open — admittedly a tough sell in the current political and budgetary environment — Cohen said, “My responsibility is to work with the appropriation we have.”

So what happens if Congress fails to make funds available for the subsidies and Medicaid expansion?

Did it ever occur to these folks that running PCIP costs money?

Yes, but we were promised that Obamacare would “not add one dime to the deficit”.

About 129 millionpeople nationwide have a medical condition or prior illness that would make it hard for them to buy their own insurance plan.

That’s about a third of the population.

I find that figure hard to swallow.

So what happens next year when hardly anyone can afford Obamacare health insurance?

Among those stunned by Friday’s news was a 61-year-old Virginia woman who is battling stage-four breast cancer. The woman, who asked to be identified by her middle name, Joyce, because she wants to keep her illness private, is self-employed and had bought her own insurance for years.

Late in 2010, however, the insurer that Joyce was using pulled out of Virginia. She was healthy at the time. But when she applied to other companies, she was told that because she had been diagnosed with — and successfully treated for — an earlier breast cancer, she was ineligible for coverage.

Carriers pulling out of the health insurance market before 2014 is another concern the birdbrains in DC failed to consider. We have no idea how many people are like Joyce, that had coverage until the carrier bailed.

PCIP ran out of money. DC is running trillion dollar deficits every year.

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Obamacare and Your Grocery Store

obamacare and your grocery storeWhat does Obamacare and your grocery store have in common? Nothing really, until the FDA decided they wanted to mess with us.

For those who have been on an alien space ship for the last 3 years, Obamacare is the massive health “care” law that is growing more heads than Hydra. Just when you think you have a handle on it, the damn thing grows another head that infringes on personal liberty and steals more money from your wallet.

In this case, Obamacare and your grocery store are now married in a twisted sort of way.

If the Food and Drug Administration gets its way, your trip to the grocery store could get a tad pricier.

Supermarket owners argue a pending federal food-labeling rule that stems from the new health care law would overburden thousands of grocers and convenience store owners — to the tune of $1 billion in the first year alone.

The rule stems from an ObamaCare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus. Most in the restaurant industry were supportive of the idea, but when the FDA decided to extend the provision to also affect thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores, the backlash was swift.

The proposed regulation would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items.

Fox News

We already have the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Peace Corps and the federal Office of Personnel Management with their fingers in Obamacare. What’s one more federal agency and another billion or so in extra hidden taxes?

Yes, I said hidden taxes.

The Supreme Court said Obamacare is a tax, and this will be an additional consumer cost directly tied to Obamacare which means it is a hidden tax.

The FDA says much of ObamaCare is aimed at helping Americans live healthier lives, and these proposed labeling requirements would help them do just that. In the text of the proposed regulation, the FDA states: “[The information] should help consumers limit excess calorie intake and understand how the foods that they purchase at these establishments fit within their daily caloric and other nutritional needs.”

Nutritional labels have existed on pre-packaged foods for years now and yet we, as a nation, are becoming fatter. So why will this proposed FDA rule change things?

Obamacare and your grocery store. Just one more stupid government trick.

Navigators on the Obamacare Exchange

navigatorsLet’s say you have a new give away and need to sign up 30 million folks in 90 days. What do you do?

In the case of Obamacare, you plan to hire “navigators” to assist in the process. These navigators are kind of like online Wal-Mart greeters whose job is to direct you to the right health insurance plan.

While some people will find registering for health insurance as easy as booking a flight online, vast numbers who are confused by the myriad choices will need to sit down with someone (navigators) who can walk them through the process.

Enter the “navigators,” an enormous new workforce of helpers required under the law. In large measure, the success of the law and its overriding aim of making sure that virtually all Americans have health insurance depends on these people. But the challenge of hiring and paying for a new class of workers is immense and is one of the most pressing issues as the Obama administration and state governments implement the law.
Tens of thousands of workers will be needed — California alone plans to certify 21,000 helpers — with the tab likely to run in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Washington Post

California is broke, as are several other states. Where will they get the money to pay for these navigators?

Groups such as unions, chambers of commerce, health clinics, immigrant-service organizations, and community- or consumer-focused nonprofits can use the grants to train and employ staff members or volunteers to provide in-person guidance — especially to hard-to-reach populations — and to provide space for them to work.

That is a rather diverse group that is expected to become versed in the business of health insurance terms, plans and procedures. So if you need landscaping work, a green card and health insurance you can get it all at one place . . .

Compounding the difficulty, de Percin said, is that many of the uninsured struggle with English or don’t have easy access to the Internet. Others aren’t familiar with concepts like co-payments and deductibles, let alone the subsidies that will be provided for lower-income people or the new eligibility rules for Medicaid.

And the folks that wrote this law never considered any of this . . .

In a kind of Catch-22, the money must come from an exchange’s operating funds, which will rely on fees from insurers. But those won’t be available until at least Jan. 1, well after navigators must be in position.

States can pitch in during the meantime. But that’s an unlikely option in Colorado, which has stringent rules governing its budget.

Buy now, pay later. Hire someone that knew how to ask if you want fries with that order and make them navigators.

What could possibly go wrong?

Obamacare Insurance Exchange

If you can’t wait until the Obamacare Insurance Exchange is up an running you might be very disappointed. It has been painted as a streamlined market place where online shoppers can view plans, provisions and rates and pick the best plan.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The truth is, the Obamacare insurance exchange may never materialize, complete with taxpayer subsidies, and if it does come to be it probably won’t be anything like you have imagined.

Like paying taxes, buying insurance is a complicated proposition, rife with jargon and high stakes: Errors can cost big money and run afoul of the law.

And like doing taxes, buying a policy on the exchange means interfacing with state and federal government agencies, too.

Kaiser Health News

After more than 37 years in the health insurance business, working in many capacities and now the last few years dealing with Medicare on behalf of my clients, I can tell you that the only thing worse than trying to get help from an insurance carrier is getting a straight answer from the government.

Like the bumper sticker says, “If you like the U. S. Post Office you will LOVE government health care“.

 Jargon is a big issue for consumers, who want to be able to hover a mouse over confusing terms to get a quick explanation of something they need to know, a popular feature of the tax software.

The insight comes from discussion groups convened last summer by three Colorado nonprofits. The groups found 414 people in eight urban and rural locations to help the state’s exchange board understand what people are going to need to shop on the exchange. Participants were volunteers, not scientifically selected, but organizers said their demographics roughly match those of anticipated exchange users.

The feedback tells exchange planners that they have a high mountain to climb. Consumers said they know very little about insurance and will need a lot of customer support to use the exchange.

Isn’t it a shame the Obamacare insurance exchange will all but eliminate the role of the insurance agent, many of whom have spent years learning their trade and assisting clients in finding the right plan that meets their needs and budget? Instead of relying on experienced agents, consumers will have to hope that “Suzie” is available to answer their questions and has learned enough from her 2 week training course to offer real advice and assistance.

More than half in the discussion group were under 30 years old. When asked “who helps you choose a health plan now?” 215 said “parents,” and 105 said a family member. Only 17 said they turned to the Internet for help picking a health plan now, fewer than named brokers/agents (22), employers (45) or “myself/nobody” (44).

That’s a real vote of no confidence for this process going forward.

Affordable Health Care Through ACO’s

The government has promised affordable health care but has yet to deliver. Truth is, most of the proposed solutions do nothing to lower the cost of health care. Everything they have tried, and most things they have proposed, will not result in more affordable health care.

Washington’s big idea in making health care more affordable is to pay doctors and hospitals LESS for the services they provide.

Consider this. How enthusiastic would you be if your employer told you they were going to reduce your pay by 27% but expected you to do the same amount of work for less pay? Medical providers that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients feel the same way.

But one part of the incorrectly named Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) may indeed provide a way to improve the quality of health care while lowering costs. Accountable Care Organizations, or ACO’s, are an attempt to hold providers accountable for the level of care they provide.

Emory and Blue Cross said in a press release that a goal is “to bring together the often fragmented health care delivery and reimbursement systems to create an integrated model of coordination and shared accountability among hospitals, doctors and insurance carriers.’’

An Emory official, Janet Christenbury, said the two organizations will have more to say about the collaboration in coming weeks. She said the talks were driven, in part, by changes in the health care marketplace and by the Affordable Care Act.

Charles Goldberg, an Atlanta-based health care consultant, said the Emory/Blue Cross collaboration could be a response to recent moves by Piedmont Healthcare and WellStar Health System. Those two organizations have formed a partnership and are working to offer a health insurance product.

“There’s a lot of momentum’’ toward these combinations, Goldberg said. “It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years.’’

Georgia Health News

One potential downside of ACO’s is this. Since providers are penalized for poor results, the ACO’s may limit or refuse to take on the most difficult medical cases or limit the number of sick people with traditionally poor outcomes. By restricting the number of patients to those who have a better than average chance of recovery, the ACO can maximize their revenues.

This will limit access to health care, affordable or otherwise, which is never a good situation.

Affordable health care may or may not prove effective. Still, it is an attempt to change the status quo but completely ignores the one element that can truly lower the cost of health care.

The patient can make health care affordable by taking personal responsibility in their health. Proper diet and exercise go a long way toward affordable health care.