Thursday, August 27, 2009

Employers Face 10.5 Percent Health Care Cost Increases

If corporate income taxes were raised 10.5%, all hell would break loose.

Aon Consulting surveyed more than 60 leading health care insurers, representing more than 100 million insured individuals, and found that health care costs are projected to increase by 10.4 percent for HMOs, 10.4 percent for POS plans, 10.7 percent for PPOs and 10.5 percent for CDH plans.

In addition, health care rate increases for retirees over the age of 65 are projected to be 6.6 percent for Medicare Supplement plans and 7.3 percent for Medicare Advantage plans.

The Medicare Advantage plans are overpaid deliberately to give the plans an unfair competitive advantage over the traditional Medicare program, with the intent of privatizing Medicare. Most of the extra payment is wasted in administration and profits, and what little benefit there is should be given to all Medicare beneficiaries, not just those enrolled in these plans.

The Medigap plans provide the worst value in the private insurance market. The insurers pay a much lower percentage of the premiums they collect for actual health care than they do in any of their other insurance product lines. Americans would be receiving a much greater value if the benefits of the Medigap plans were rolled into the traditional Medicare program, and these wasteful private supplemental plans were totally eliminated.

This Aon report should lead to two obvious conclusions: 1) get the private health plans out of our Medicare program, and 2) replace the private employer-sponsored plans with an improved Medicare program for all of us.

If you agree, let President Obama and the members of Congress hear your message loud and clear. Immediately.

Read it all at PNHP

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