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
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
In defense of State of Indiana’s ACA cost claims
RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!
The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)
EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust
Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.
Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014
• A blessing from our young folks
• Confidence in judge candidate
EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes
The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.
Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014
• Mott’s rant on global warming
• Salvation through the Indian way
RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman
In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.
LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars
My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.
Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014
Sound choice for county judge
Giving your car the care it needs
Park restrooms should be open
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)
Honors for outstanding women
Sprucing up around the wetlands
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014
Alternatives to ‘injustice’
EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti
Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.
MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy
Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.
ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.
Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014
• An attack of hypocrisy
• New jail not a good idea
• Thinking about the next election
• Being positive a tremendous asset
• Work status a matter of value
FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government
In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.
Death Notice: April 13, 2014
GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success
The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.
RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future
I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman
When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.
Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014
• An appeal for organic farming
• Kesler best choice for judge position
RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces
I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.
EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention
Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.
Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014
• Appreciation for writer’s views
• Amazed by policy on birth control
EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us
Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.
- Readers' Forum: April 9, 2014
RONN MOTT: Basketball and Done
I guess I’m going to have to change my mind about the “One and Done” rule. It would seem the future professionals wearing university uniforms — national runner-up Kentucky is an example — has proven me a fool. Why should I care about the education they are getting, or not getting?
LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing
While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.
Readers’ Forum: April 8, 2014
Tracking the trail of thieves
Friendly service at local store
New voice for judicial system
Movie strikes a proper balance
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (New roles for proven leaders)
A couple of familiar faces in Terre Haute in the realm of public affairs are taking on new jobs, and we take the opportunity today to express confidence in their selections and best wishes for the future.
Readers’ Forum: April 7, 2014
Playing politics with education
Time for rep to go
- More Opinion Headlines
- RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!