Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Karen Weldin Stewart does exactly what you'd expect for 12,000 people who lost their insurance: less than nothing

Here's the misleading opening from today's WNJ story of our Insurance Commissioner:

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart said Monday her office has reached agreement with two more health insurers to grant limited renewal of policies that would have been discontinued Jan. 1 because of the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act. 
The agreement could affect up to 12,000 Delaware policies.
I guess it could affect 12,000 policy holders, but it won't.  Why?

Because here's what the KWS agreement does NOT do:

1.  It allows Highmark and Coventry to renew those policies, but does not require them to do so.

2.  It places the onus of inquiring about the possibility of renewal on the consumer, not the corporation.

3.  It only allows a window of renewal until 31 December 2013.

4.  It allows the insurance company to make such renewals contingent on paying premium increases.

5.  It provides no relief for anyone whose company has moved out of state.

6.  It provides no options for people whose policies come up for renewal even 60 seconds after midnight on 31 December 2013.

In other words, KWS and her corporate cronies have created this pseudo-renewal agreement to create the impression that they have offered something substantial to the 12,000 Delawareans who have lost their insurance during the past several months because of ACA guidelines.

It's obvious why they need to create this impression, but perhaps you'd like to know why the insurance companies don't really want to renew any of those policies.

The simple fact is, based on the available Federal subsidies, Highmark and Aetna (the only two corporations on the market since Aetna bought Coventry) will make FAR MORE profit on the new policies than they did on the old ones.  And YOU will be paying them those profits, under a subsidy scheme that allows a family of four bringing home $92,400 annually to collect a $3,200 subsidy for purchasing insurance.

It's actually comforting, don't you think, to find KWS protecting the interests of those who elected selected her?

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