News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

August 8, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Aug. 8, 2013

In defense of State of Indiana’s ACA cost claims

When Indiana recently announced that individual health insurance costs in Indiana will rise 72 percent on average because of new Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements, an immediate outcry followed from some ACA supporters, who accused the Department of Insurance (DOI) of misrepresenting these numbers in a deliberate attempt to mislead Hoosiers. The DOI provided a lengthy testimony about these numbers before the Indiana Health Finance Commission on July 22, and the DOI stands by its numbers. The fact remains that the Indiana individual health insurance market will see significant increases next year because of ACA.

The following is some background about how we arrived at and compared our cost increase number. First, we began with the average “per member per month” cost for 2012, which is based on actual filings submitted to the DOI by Indiana health insurance companies. We then compared this number to average “per member per month” cost for 2014 filings. After subtracting normally expected cost increases or “trend” costs, we arrived at a 72 percent average cost increase for 2014. This is the increase amount in insurance costs directly attributable to the ACA.

Some media outlets have highlighted costs for the absolute cheapest health plans available in Indiana in 2014 without any comparison to costs for similar plans prior to the ACA to portray the appearance of “affordability.” In fact, many “bronze” and “silver” plans will likely receive the sharpest percentage increases compared to similar health plans before ACA because younger and healthier Hoosiers will bear more of the cost shifting from senior and sicker Hoosiers. These younger and healthier Hoosiers are more likely to choose “bronze” and “silver” plans.

Indiana is not alone in seeing dramatic increases in health insurance costs under the ACA. Nor were these rates unexpected. In 2011, the State’s independent actuary, Milliman, predicted that insurance costs would increase in Indiana by 75 percent to 95 percent by 2020. The reality is that the ACA requires many Hoosiers to purchase more comprehensive and more expensive health insurance than they may want or need.

It is also important to note that these cost increases will occur regardless of who is actually paying the final bill. We acknowledge that many Hoosiers in the individual market will qualify for tax subsidies to purchase insurance in the federally-run marketplace.

However, these subsidies do not change the insurance product’s cost, only the price some consumers will ultimately pay out of pocket. More importantly, the cost of these subsidies is not free, even to those that receive them. They will be paid in full by federal taxpayers.

ACA proponents have attacked the DOI for not including federal subsidies in our insurance cost projections, which would paint a prettier, yet unrealistic, picture of the law’s costs in Indiana. This is merely an attempt to distract Hoosiers from the actual insurance costs. The regrettable fact is that health insurance costs are going up because of the ACA, regardless of who is picking up the tab.

— Stephen W. Robertson

Commissioner of Insurance

State of Indiana

Lovely performance by church group

Last Friday night I attended the presentation of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Maple Avenue Methodist Church.

In my many years I have seen a lot of shows done by so-called amateurs — but I was totally impressed by the work of so many young people.

The stage set was beautifully done, the costumes were fabulous, and the voices of the characters and the music accompaniment were especially well done. What a lovely performance by all involved.

It does my heart good to see a group so totally engrossed in their work. My hat goes off to everyone connected with the show.

— Elizabeth Gelder

Terre Haute

Bennett backlash seems partisan

I am not quite sure of what former Indiana School Superintendent Tony Bennett is being accused of, but I am sure if he were a Democrat there would not be much said about it.

— Jim Adams

West Terre Haute

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Raw: Stampede in Rio During World Cup Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Track Owners Fight to End Greyhound Racing Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Mississippi River Flooding Likely to Slow Down Germany Crushes Brazil in 7-1 Win at World Cup Cleveland Picked to Host 2016 GOP Convention Raw: Palestinians Clash With Israeli Forces Man Finds Venomous Snake in Toilet Raw: Panic in Tel Aviv As Siren Warns of Attack Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway Today in History for July 9th Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York
NDN Video
Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter Joan Rivers Storms Out of Interview Watch: A turtle and dog play ball Yikes! This Jet is Way Too Close Late-Night Highlight: Ben Falcone Screwed Up His Proposal To Melissa McCarthy Jenny and Sherri Talk "View" Departure
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity